‘[A] wry and whimsically humorous historical detective story.’
Solovyov and Larionov
From the award-winning author of LaurusEugene Vodolazkin
‘THE MOST IMPORTANT LIVING RUSSIAN WRITER’ New Yorker
A groundbreaking and gripping literary detective novel set in Soviet-era Russia, from the award-winning author of Laurus and The Aviator
Can we ever really understand the present without first understanding the past?
From the winner of the 2019 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Prize, and the author of the multi-award winning Laurus, comes a sweeping novel that takes readers on a fascinating journey through one of the most momentous periods in Russian history.
What really happened to General Larionov of the Imperial Russian Army, who somehow avoided execution by the Bolsheviks? He lived out his long life in Yalta leaving behind a vast heritage of undiscovered memoirs. In modern day Russia, a young student is determined to find out the truth.
Solovyov and Larionov is a ground-breaking and gripping literary detective novel from one of Russia’s greatest contemporary writers.
‘Absorbing, darkly witty, history-soaked pages for literary and historical fiction fans.’
‘Vodolazkin has produced a romanticized hero's quest that affirms the "indivisibility and harmony" of history and personal fate. In the face of overwhelming death tolls, he insists on making space for mythology.’
‘Simply cannot be ignored... A smart and often humorous account of contemporary Russian life that reminded me several times of his fellow citizen Svetlana Alexievich’s nonfiction.’
‘There is sprightly, funny satire here and, beneath it, a surprising vein of poignancy.’
‘An ambitious first novel. It is to Vodolazkin’s credit that he pulls it off, creating a substantial, beguiling work that engages the reader on several levels, encompassing a detective story, historical events and even a little romance.’
‘More than a beautifully written coming-of-age story...one of the finest novels I have read in years.’
‘Third-person narration, circular structure, and archetypal characters lend this beautifully written literary mystery the feel of a modern fable. [We] recommend Vodolazkin’s slowly unfolding story to readers who prefer detailed research, artfully layered descriptions, and character epiphanies to thrills.’
‘A very unique blend of literary genres... I became captivated by this Russian tale with all of its stories within a story. This is a true Russian novel.’
'Solovyov's and Larionov's careers are interwoven so deftly that the novel can be enjoyed as part academic satire, part historical romp... Solovyov and Larionov contains some hilarious character sketches and set pieces, from academic jousting for precedence to conflicts over property in a communal apartment.'
‘Award-winning author Vodolazkin seamlessly weaves together the lives of his two heroes... [but] this coming-of-age story offers the reader a much richer experience than mere biography.’
‘I couldn't put it down.’