The Anonymous Novel

Sensing the Future Torments

By Alessandro Barbero

Translator: Allan Cameron

Format: Paperback

Set in Gorbachev's Russia, The Anonymous Novel is a complex and compelling story of many varied characters dealing with the problems of change, coming to terms with the past and fretting about the future. Barbero manages that typically Italian trick of combining both humour and profundity.

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Vagabond Voices

Founded in 2008 and based in Glasgow, Vagabond Voices is an independent publisher that is both Scottish and fervently European in its aims. Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages. Our library reflects our aims to promote literary ambition and innovative writers, and to challenge readers.

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Set in Gorbachev's Russia, The Anonymous Novel is a complex and compelling story of many varied characters dealing with the problems of change, coming to terms with the past and fretting about the future. Barbero manages that typically Italian trick of combining both humour and profundity, and his exceptional storytelling skill are even more clearly displayed than in this, his finest novel. The murder of Pashayev, a leading Muslim cleric in Azerbaijan, triggers a series of events. This is not a murder mystery, as the reader knows who the culprit is from the very beginning, whilst the other characters, including the investigating judge, never do, but there is nevertheless a tension - suspense even - that holds the reader, who is in any case fascinated but the breadth of the intellectual argument, the wit and the observation of human nature. Vitali Vitaliev has described this book as "a literary miracle - unique, witty and gripping. It reads like Bulgakov's prose somewhat modernised or even a careful and sensitive translation of one of the great Russian classics. It is stunningly authentic, and I cannot believe that the author and translator are NOT Russian...A book to savour and consume slowly.


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Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Vagabond Voices
Publication Date 1 Mar 2010
ISBN 9780956056047
Number of Pages 460

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Press Reviews

"In the depiction of these changing times, Barbero's political intelligence is apparent. So, however, is his skill as a novelist, for he contrives to integrate the socio-political analysis into his story of imagined characters. It never obtrudes itself; yet you can't ignore or forget it... If you have any feeling for Russia or for the art of the novel, read this one. You will find it an enriching experience." - The Scotsman "He writes in a bright and breezy, satirical styles ... which leads the reader to believe that some Russian master had been leaning over his shoulder, guiding his hand." - The Herald

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