‘Vodolazkin’s grip on this narrative is iron-tight... We should expect nothing less from an author whose previous novel, Laurus, was a barnstorming thriller about medieval virtue.’
From the award-winning author of LaurusEugene Vodolazkin
MY HEAD SPINS. I’M LYING IN A BED. WHERE AM I? WHO AM I?
A man wakes up in hospital. He has no idea who he is or how he came to be there. The doctor tells him his name, but he doesn’t remember it. He remembers nothing.
As memories slowly resurface, he begins to build a picture of his former life. Russia in the early twentieth century, the turbulence of the revolution, the aftermath. But how can this be possible when the pills beside his bed are dated 1999?
In the deft hands of Eugene Vodolazkin, author of the multi award-winning Laurus, The Aviator paints a vivid, panoramic picture of life in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century, richly evoking the sights, sounds and political turmoil of those days. Reminiscent of the great works of Russian literature, and shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize, it cements Vodolazkin’s position as the rising star of Russia’s literary scene.
‘A fascinating, science fiction-tinged chronicle of a century in Russia.’
‘An unabashed, panoramic view of the landscape of human consciousness... Draped in thoroughly Russian trappings, The Aviator speaks to common experience while soaring into realms that enfold the human drama below.’
‘Engaging... Those familiar with twentieth-century Russian history will delight in the swirl of memories that emerge over the course of the narrative.’
‘Crisply focused, rich in sensory detail... The arc of the narrative is as simple and clever as a philosopher’s parable. But this is also a deeply emotional book...a quietly radical novel, animated by the spirit of Dmitry Likhachev, an academic who knew what it was to suffer the blows of history first-hand.’
‘Love, faith, and a quest for atonement are the driving themes of an epic, prizewinning Russian novel that, while set in the medieval era, takes a contemporary look at the meaning of time.... With flavors of Umberto Eco and The Canterbury Tales, this affecting, idiosyncratic novel ... is an impressive achievement.’
‘Evocative and enigmatic...despite this book’s gentle love story or its murder mystery or its sf flourishes, it is, in many ways, a quintessentially Russian novel, as vivid and probing as they come.’
‘Vodolazkin amazes again with his exceptional mastery of language.’
‘A brilliant, thought-provoking read.’
‘Vodolazkin’s second novel to be translated into English is stylistically different from its brightly filigreed, 15th century-set predecessor, Laurus, but preserves that novel’s sweep and passion for history...the writing, never portentous, blows like fine, dry snow across the pages. Great reading for all audiences.’
‘A playful mockery of historic and scientific hubris that is at the same time an earnest critique of both the Soviet terror and contemporary life.’