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A Simple Soul

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  29 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
His crafty plan results in a deadly threat. Her hopes keep her locked in a vicious circle. They parted ways, supposedly forever. But will they be able to live apart?

Elizaveta, an attractive Muscovite, experiences a series of odd events: she is followed; she receives anonymous calls, flowers, and gifts. The culprit is her former lover, Timofey. He now lives far from Moscow
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Paperback, 406 pages
Published May 22nd 2013 by Ergo Sum Publishing
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(showing 1-30)
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Chanticleer Editorial  Book Reviews
In this character-driven novel that delves deeply into the psyches of six flawed individuals seeking life's meaning in post-Soviet Moscow, the most enigmatic character is Russia itself. A Simple Soul begins apparently as a romantic endeavor that turns into an enthralling perilous thriller with plot twists, humor, and retribution.

Russian-born Babenko's A Simple Soul,, unlike Flaubert's work, is filled with souls who are anything but simple. They are bored workers and wily entrepreneurs, all harde
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Grady
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Contemporary Journey to the Traditions of Russian Writing

Vadim Babenko has written a quintessentially Russian novel in A SIMPLE SOUL and nothing could be as welcome a return to the magic of the great Russian novelists who more than any other group of writers have been able to plumb to the kaleidoscopic explorations of human feelings of love, sadness, happiness, sadness, revenge and yes, even humor. Think Gogol, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and ...Babenko. We of course must rely on the gifts of
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R.P. Rochford
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this book, the second I've read by this author, the reader is taken on a convoluted, musing journey through the lives of a number of citizens of Moscow. As the story meanders from scene to scene and character to character we are treated to a rich depth of description and analysis of the city, its inhabitants and the lives they lead.

Although a somewhat awkward romance is at the core of this book, I would hesitate to describe it as a romantic novel. Rather, the author uses this central thread a
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Lyza
Nov 28, 2013 marked it as hiatus
Got my autographed copy from goodreads giveaway :))
Can't wait to read this!
Sheila Trask
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Intricate, Cerebral, and very, very Russian


A Simple Soul is anything but simple. As with matryoshka nesting dolls, Russian author Vadim Babenko fits stories inside stories in this clever, cerebral, and complex novel. Babenko tucks an unlikely romance inside an intricate thriller, wraps it in intellectual musings, and sends the whole thing on a tour of modern Moscow and environs. Filled with astute observations about the contradictory inner and outer lives of modern humans, A Simple Soul offers
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Romancing the Book
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Marissa
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

As I read the book and more characters were introduced, I realized this was a story that involved many characters whose lives touched at some point. Everyone is connected by a thin thread and as the threads interweave, a web is formed drawing them closer together. The hard part was waiting for that connection. Some I saw immediately, others took almost the entire book to play out. It was amu
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Roberta
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Simple Soul is the story of two star crossed lovers......No, not really. It is the story of two young people who come together under false pretenses, each with an agenda of their own. And it is the story of how, no matter how simple a soul may seem to be, without knowing a person, we can never understand the complexities beneath the surface.

Timofey Tsarkov inadvertently saved the life of a man with connections in the mafia and in politics. When the man returned to his home, he took Timofey alo
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Jenny Falcone
We see into the thoughts of numerous characters while Timofey is trying to avoid marriage to his boss' daughter, by convincing an old girlfriend to marry him. They get into some amusing situations, including being kidnapped and a brawl.

This book opens with Elizaveta Andreyevna walking out of the apartment of her "latest lover" and includes references to experiences occurring. There is very minimal dialogue for the first half of the book. Lots of long sentences that have a wealth of descriptive
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Pegboard
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My initial thought of A Simple Soul was Vadim Babenko’s vast vocabulary. Born in Soviet Union, Vadim gives the experience of Russian culture, while his English writing is quite precise and refreshing. I felt I was reading something of great value because of his choice of words.
I found it interesting how often the main characters were baffled by members of the opposite gender and at other times they felt they had mastered their understanding. A perfect example was when the American, Frank White J
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L.A.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
A Simple Soul by Vadim Babenko is a four hundred and six page fiction novel written in third person, past tense. This novel was nominated for one of Russia's most prestigious awards and recently translated and published in English. There are quite a few references that I was not familiar with and the writing style is a lot different than what we are traditionally used to, however for a nominated foreign title I had to try it out. The story is told mostly through the narrator, there is not a lot ...more
Kenny
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I agree that this shouldn't be classified as a romance, but it is the main story in this book. Timofey has hard luck, and as a result decides it is best to move on and pursue a way to make those he finds responsible for his hardship pay. This directly effects the woman who loved him, Elizaveta, as after a near tragedy she is left alone. Years later, a selfish plan to get out of a mob betrothal causes much more harm than good; Timofey must now find a way to keep him and his former love out of the ...more
James Goulding
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"A Simple Soul" was nominated for a Russian bestseller award. This unique book, whose colourful characters and complex plot transcend genre, deserves plaudits.

A helmet of blonde hair frames Elizaveta Andreyevna Bestuzheva's gracile, aristocratic face. Men flock to her like bees to honey, and she swats the lesser of them away. Even Alexander, her boyfriend of six months, is dissatisfyingly obedient.

Elizaveta is being spied on by Timofey Tsarkov, a hard-hearted lover from her past. Having abandone
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David Clarke
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed 'Semmant', one of Babenko's other novels. 'Semmant' is a techno-futuristic science fiction romp, and 'A Simple Soul' is a distinctively Russian, outré romance-thriller novel. I slightly preferred the former book, but this is also good.

"Love doesn't exist any more in Russia"--only lies and laziness, and literature remain. The words of Savelly Savellievich seem to echo the author's sentiments. In place of love, Timofey Tsarkov (a.k.a. "Tsar") substitutes underhand methods of fascination
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Anita D
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Timofey and Elizaveta will steal your heart. You will struggle with them as they try to bring their love to fruition. They are in love when what he saw as good fortune happened to Timofey. He saves the life of an important underworld figure who whisks him off to a grand life working for him. He finds himself engaged to the bosses daughter.

This is the story of love lost and won, betrayal and revenge. A broken hard can turn cold the results could be deadly. Vadim Babenko tells a tale that is in t
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Melissa
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Vadim Babenko left two "dream" jobs - cutting-edge scientist and high-flying entrepreneur - in order to pursue his lifelong goal to write full-time. Born in the Soviet Union, he earned master's and doctoral degrees from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology, Russia's equivalent to MIT. As a scientist at the Soviet Academy of Sciences he became a recognized leader in the area of artifici ...more
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“She recognized her emerging impulses, unchecked and capable of surprising anyone, but she needed help to awaken them and set them free. When flirting with men, she tested their courage in hopes that their shameless gaze would help her find something deep within herself.” 1 likes
“His customary tactics relied on piling up a heap of accidents until they grew into a clear inevitability – or at least into the likeness of one. Inevitability was something you couldn’t argue with – this was the secret of success.” 1 likes
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