Laurus's travels take him from the Middle Ages to the Plague of 1771, where as a holy fool he displays miraculous healing powers, to the political upheavals of the late 20th century. At each transformative stage of his journey, he becomes more revered by the church and the people, until he decides, one day, to return to his home village to lead the life of a monastic hermit - not realizing that it is here that he will face his most difficult trial yet.
Laurus is a remarkably rich novel about the eternal themes of love, loss, self-sacrifice, and faith, from one of Russia's most exciting and critically acclaimed novelists.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By T Kus, UK on 10-05-18
An exceptional novel and a great performance
This book about a medieval Russian healer hardly sounds enticing but the scope of this story transcends times and places. It has exceptional lyrical qualities which come across very well both in the translation and the audio narration. The main character is full of warmth and empathy with almost saintly yet deeply humane features. Those he encounters are equally well drawn and memorable and I found myself hooked both to the Kindle and the audio version in an attempt to find out what happened next. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time and I can only recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great story told in an unusual way.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Yixiao on 27-11-17
buy a hard copy as well!
read, re-read, doesn't matter you are religious or not but definitely helps if you know a thing or two about Russian Orthodoxy much like Brothers Karamazov. When you know nothing about Russia's spiritual heritage, books like this are still AAA grade reading material. If you are sympathetic to Orthodox spirituality, then the reading experience would be stratospherically enhanced- an altogether tear inducing, core shaking experience.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Adam Shields on 17-07-18
Hard to describe, but pick it up
I do not often just say, go buy a book, but if you like the mix of books that I tend to review, just go and buy the book. Laurus is a modern Russian novel, wonderfully translated to English. Vodolazkin, the author, is a midevil scholar who has recreated the alien nature of the midevil Russian world wonderfully.
I really have a hard time trying to figure out how to describe Laurus. It is about an ancient Christian healer. So it is sort of Christian fiction. But it is by a Russian so it does not fit into any of the traditional modern christian novel categories. Laurus takes Christianity very seriously, but using what I can only describe as magical realism to give structure to the healing and mysticism of the Russian Orthodox Christianity that is illustrated so well here. In some ways Laurus reads more like a book of ancient Christian devotional literature as much as it read like a novel.
Laurus opens with a boy, Arseny, trained by Christopher to be a healer. The book then follows that boy as through four acts of his life, each with a different name. There is trauma, healing, spiritual wisdom, magic (and by that I don’t mean spells, but the magical and beautiful reality of faith and real life.)
I mostly listened to this as an audiobook, although I have it both as audio and kindle books. I may have more thoughts about it when I read it again. Right now I am still basking in the glow of a book enjoyed. But this is a book that deserves to be read again and I will.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful