Siberia 1919. In the outer reaches of a country recently torn apart by civil war lives a small Christian sect and its enigmatic leader, Balashov. Stationed nearby is a regiment of Czech soldiers, desperate to get home but on the losing side in the recent conflict. Into this isolated community trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia's northernmost gulag. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before the regiment's megalomaniac commander. But the stranger's arrival has also caught the attention of others, including Anna, a beautiful young war widow. And when the local shaman lies dead, suspicion and terror engulf the little town.More
Winner of the Ondaatje prize, 2006
Winner of the Scottish Arts Council, Book of the Year Award, 2006."This original, literary page-turner succeeds both with its credible psychological detail and in its grandeur and sweep." (Publishers Weekly)
"Meek's novel deftly explores the erotic undercurrent of revolutionary violence....Remarkable...richly informed and imagined." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Inviting comparison with Greene, Conrad, and Dostoyevsky, this is stunning, masterful fiction." (Booklist)
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