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Lights All Night Long

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  97 reviews
A gripping and deftly plotted narrative of family and belonging, Lights All Night Long is a dazzling debut novel from an acclaimed young writer

"Lights All Night Long is utterly brilliant and completely captivating. . . . One of the most propulsive, un-put-downable literary novels I've read in ages."--Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Penguin Press
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  303 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Susanne  Strong
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.25 Stars* (rounded down)

Brilliant, intense, thought-provoking!

When Ilya got the opportunity to go to America from his hometown of Berlozhniki in Russia, he always imagined that his older brother, Vladimir would be going with him. Never in a million years did Ilya think that Vlad would be in prison, charged with murdering three young women while he was on his way to Louisiana as part of an exchange program. Now, every day and night at the Masons, is spent thinking about Vlad, trying to figure o
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A coming of age story of two devoted Russian brothers. Vladimir the oldest is quite a cad.. into thievery, drugs, sex, .etc. and Ilya the younger brother, a good kid with a great mind. They come from a very poor family and Ilya has the opportunity of coming to America as an exchange student.
This story goes back and forth from their story while together in Russia and the time Ilya is here in Louisiana with his host family and attending high school.
I enjoyed this story very much.. it contains a my
"T'was a junkie girl in my world
And everything began to twirl
And it spun so that I couldn't even stand
She had many charms, I heard alarms
She stuck needles in my arm
And I guess that’s when the trouble began
Days and nights, city lights
Empty bags and broken pipes
Slowly things got completely out of hand
Oh my god how far
Did we fall to get to where we are
In the dark, it’s not always easy to see the light
Was it just because
It was love on drugs
I don't know how we made it out alive"
- Lyric
Aga Durka
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-arcs
4.5 Stars, rounded up to 5.

Ilya and Vladimir, two brothers born and raised in Russia, make life choices that will lead them into two different worlds. Forced by their decisions and opportunities presented to them, they are torn apart from each other, but their strong brotherly bond keeps them connected no matter the circumstances they find themselves in.

Close to perfect debut novel from Lydia Fitzpatrick, is a beautifully written story filled with emotions of brotherly love, devotion, family s
Abbie | ab_reads
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you @penguinpress for providing me with this free copy of Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick to read and review, it was such a compelling reading experience!
I was really very impressed by this novel, which is Fitzpatrick’s debut. It follows the moving story of Ilya, a gifted Russian student from a small refinery town whose talent for languages is often overshadowed by his older brother’s problems, which become a lot worse when a new drug called Krokodil arrives in Berlozhniki and
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
Lights All Night Long feels really quite an accomplished debut novel from Lydia Fitzpatrick. A coming of age story following Ilya Ekhalov, a teenage boy from rural Russia who gains a place on an exchange programme to study in America. The story is told in alternating chapters set in Russia and America - focusing on the lead-up to his trip to America and chapters on what happens once he gets there.

While Ilya is the main character, the supporting cast - Vladimir (his elder brother), his mother and
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up! There is not much that I love more than a fantastic, debut novel and I’m definitely here to say-this one checks that box! It is a well-written and intense read that will be sure to make you think about this family, and their story, long after you read the last sentence. Although it started a little slow for me, that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed the book overall. Fitzpatrick has a way with her beautiful prose and character development that can’t help but hook you in as ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Living in a derelict mining town near the Arctic Circle, Ilya learns English from the bootleg VHS movies he and his brother Vladimir watch incessantly. Some tapes are so damaged that the dubbing of the languages overlap. After an astute teacher recognizes his "gift," Ilya's loyalties are split between his increasing ambitions to become an exchange student in the US and his love for his brother who he doesn't want to leave in the dust. From the first, we know he makes his way to Louisiana, and hi ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is gorgeously written and impossible to put down and just trust me: read it now, thank me later. Heartbreaking, beautiful, lyrical, but also equally compelling, this is literary fiction at its best.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Profoundly sad and affecting story of two brothers from a small town in what is best known to the rest of the world as gulag archipelago who take very different ways out of there. One uses his smarts, learns English, gets to go to US to study, the other choses addiction. No idea if the author has ever actually visited the area, but her descriptions of it are superb, not just surroundings but the zeitgeist, the beaten down snowed in tired desperation of an oligarch owned small company town so rem ...more
Riva Sciuto
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4.5 stars for this dazzling debut. I loved it so much!
Amy Meyerson
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if there's such thing as a perfect debut, but this is as close as I've read. Lydia Fitzpatrick captures small-town Russia and Louisiana with such precision, they are permanently etched into my mind. While the mystery of the murdered girls will keep you guessing until the end, this is fundamentally a story of two brothers. Ilya is a powerful protagonist and his love for his troubled brother, Vladimir, made me want to reach into the book and hug him. Combine these complex characters w ...more
Bruce Katz
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
What a remarkable book. Reading it I had the sense that was discovering something I had never seen before. The juxtaposition of two places, two cultures — a remote town in Russia, once a Stalin era penal village now become a place of dead and dying dreams, of drugs and drunken stupor, and flickering glints of hope; and a small town in Louisiana, with its own nests of poverty, it’s own conflicted identities — is revelatory. Throw in a smart young boy, a broken but loving brother, dark secrets, an ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars….Lydia Fitzpatrick is a debut novelist but you wouldn’t know it from her writing. She does so many things well in this novel about two brothers growing up in modern day Russia. First, she’s a consummate storyteller. There is plot here and it moves seamlessly between Ilya’s (younger brother) life in Russia and then in America.

Second, there is a mystery and honestly I didn’t know until so very near the end that there wasn’t time to even guess what really happened.

Third, the characters ar
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to get my hands on an advanced copy of this wonderful book. I read Lights all Night Long on a long airplane flight and had about 15 pages left when the plane landed. I was so captivated by the conclusion of the book and the revelation of the mystery that I could not put the book down. I ended up being the last person on the plane with the stewardess gently telling me it was time to get off the plane! Simply put, Lights all Night Long is an utterly captivating story with a mystery tha ...more
Sherry Chiger
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is as close to perfect as any other novel I've read. From the first paragraph, with its almost-throwaway mention of how a hook had given a coat "a permanent hump behind the collar," it transports you with its authenticity. Every character is well rounded, fallible, utterly human; every relationship is relatable, and the bond between the protagonist, Ilya, and his older brother, Vladimir, is limned beautifully. There's a mystery that drives the plot, but even if there weren't, I'd have ...more
Stacey Roth
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute gem of a book.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing, beautiful, sad and utterly compelling novel by the brilliant author Lydia Fitzpatrick that from the very first few pages transport’s you into two completely different ways of life from Ilya’s life in Russia to the life he then is sent to as an exchange student in America. I was completely captivated the character Ilya and by the descriptions of his life especially in connection to his brother Vladimir and the need for him with the help of Sadie the eldest daughter of the ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On reading the Booklist review of "Lights All Night Long" I wondered how this was going to work--exchange student Illya goes from his raw oil refining hometown in remotest Siberia to an American refining city near Baton Rouge. How similar--or not?--will these places be?

A teacher recognized Illya's facility with languages early and has carefully groomed him to leave Berlozhniki, where the oligarch-owned refinery is the center of everything. He lives in a communal apartment with his mother, grand
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I reviewed this in a Goodreads giveaway. Very sad book that’s engaging and makes you think
Nancy McFarlane
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ilya and his older brother Vladimir could not be more opposite. Vladimir is a poor student, gets in trouble constantly and eventually turns to drugs. Ilya is brilliant, has a true gift for language, and with the mentoring of a special teacher he has blossomed. But, they both have the same dream – to get out of their small bleak and depressing mining town in remote Russia and go to the US. Ilya idolizes his older brother while at the same time knowing he should not let his bad ways affect his cha ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was not sure what to expect from this book as it did not fit in the normal "book" that I usually read, but that is one of the things I love about new books. The opportunity to go to a different world than I'm used to!
I was instantly hooked on the relationship between Ilya and Vladimir.
To be the descriptions in this book was like a breath of fresh air and it really REALLY transports you to the world inside the book, so much so that I had to take a few seconds when I closed the book in order to
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Exchange student Ilya Alexandrovich’s plans and hard work are finally airborne. He lands in Louisiana ready to embrace the Jean-Claude Van Damme American life, just as he and his brother, Vladimir had shouted intent from their Russian kommunalki community flats. Except Vladimir, punk and drug addict, remains back home to stand trial for the murder of three young women. Guilty? Framed? And Ilya, amidst the bounty of Walmart, gyrating preachers, and high school comes to realize how he and Vladimir ...more
Debi Hawkes
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
An incredible book,. The characters so well defined, the locations visible to the the readers eye, the storyline realistic, and the layering superb.

Kudos author Lydia Fitzpatrick!

A heartbreaking story of addiction, poverty, hope and dreams, brotherly bonds, family sacrifices, and redemption, with a nice mystery to boot! Who could ask for more?

Highly recommended.

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Press for the opportunity to experience this book.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**review to come**
Kathleen Gray
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will linger in your head. The story of Ilya, a bright young Russian and his brother Vladimir, who is felled by drugs, it's so wonderfully written I had a hard time putting it down. The novel opens with Ilya arriving in the US as an exchange student but bearing a heavy heavy burden- his brother confessed to the murders of three women but Ilya does not believe it. Ilya's facility for English was able to catapult him away from his dying town in the Russian Arctic Circle. Both his home in Russi ...more
Donna Hines
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
America! The Land of the Free and the Home of the BRAVE!
What better words to here for any immigrant hoping to make a brighter life, "Welcome to America."
Ilya was on his way full of hope, dreams, and a brighter future but he always wanted the dream to include his brother Vladimir.
Unfortunately, while Ilya went ahead with his host family the brother was facing chargers for murder of three women in Russia.
Drugs, addiction, despair, depression it's all alive and well in their homeland. 'Krokodil' is
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a book with a creative and unique premise, as in this book: the story of two towns, linked by a refinery (hence lights, all night long) and a teenager, Ilya, who is a Russian student sent to Louisiana as an exchange student. Although the story can be sad (Ilya's brother, Vlad, is an addict, and life in Russia is bleak and hard), what I loved about this story is that the characters are so redeemable and likable, yet they feel real. Ilya's host family is open-hearted and kind, the students ...more
Grainger David
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Loved it. Terrific story - very satisfying mystery that kept me turning the pages. But it's the relationships in this book that really make it special. The pages between Ilya and his brother Vladimir are so full of life and humor and heart-wrenching truth. Seeing America through Ilya's eyes is so touching and funny and illuminating -- I particularly enjoyed the way he sees everyday things we take for granted. Ilya's transition to high school life in Louisiana is not without bumps and the baggag ...more
Molly Riportella
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LIGHTS ALL NIGHT LONG follows Ilya, a 15-year-old boy growing up in a former gulag community in northwestern Russia, and his journey in becoming an exchange student to America as his brother, Vladimir, is arrested for murder. As Ilya attempts to integrate into his new community, he also begins to investigate and piece together the crimes that Vladimir has, and has not, committed.

A story of love, addiction, corruption, and guilt, LIGHTS ALL NIGHT LONG expertly illustrates how siblings inevitably
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Lydia Fitzpatrick’s work has appeared in the The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, One Story, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fiction fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and a recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. She graduated from Princeton University and received an MFA from the Un ...more