In a remote Siberian village, amid a lawless, unforgiving landscape, lives Anna Petrovna, a beautiful, willfully self-reliant widowed mother. A mystical, separatist Christian sect, a stranded regiment of restless Czech soldiers, and an eerie local shaman live nearby, all struggling against the elements and great social upheaval to maintain a fragile coexistence. Out of the woods trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia's northernmost prison camp, with a terrifyingly outlandish story to tell about his journey. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before the Czech regiment's megalomaniac, Captain Matula. But the stranger's appearance has caught the attention of others, including Anna Petrovna's. This stranger, his bizarre storyif it is to be believedand the apparent murder of the local shaman quickly become a flashpoint for this village: temperatures rise, alliances shift, and betrayals emerge. Written with a commanding historical authority and remarkable grace, The People's Act of Love is an epic of desire and sacrifice that leaves the reader utterly mesmerized until the very final
Set in a time of great social upheaval, warfare, and terrorism, and against a stark, lawless Siberia at the end of the Russian Revolution, The People's Act of Love portrays the fragile coexistence of a beautiful, independent mother raising her son alone, a megalomaniac Czech captain and his restless regiment, and a mystical separatist Christian sect. When a mysterious, charismatic stranger trudges into their snowy village with a frighteningly outlandish story to tell, its balance is shaken to the core.
"The essential public good that Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and now Cameron sell is not power stations, or trains, or hospitals. It's the public itself. it's us." In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British economy - rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing - have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners, often from overseas. In a series of brilliant portraits the award-winning novelist and journalist James Meek shows how Britain's common wealth became private, and the impact it has had on us all: from the growing shortage of housing to spiralling energy bills. Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. He shows how, as our national assets are sold, ordinary citizens are handed over to private tax-gatherers, and the greatest burden of taxes shifts to the poorest. In the end, it is not only public enterprises that have become private property, but we ourselves. Urgent, powerfully written and deeply moving, this is a passionate anatomy of the state of the nation: of what we have lost and what losing it cost us - the rent we must pay to exist on this private island.
James Meek's masterful historical novel, The People's Act of Love received accolades around the world, earning Meek comparisons to Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Conrad, and Greene. We Are Now Beginning Our Descent is a tour de force of storytelling, furthering his reputation as one of the most exciting and original young novelists writing today.Adam Kellas, a British journalist, would-be thriller novelist, and failed lover meets Astrid Walsh, a self-possessed, hard-charging reporter while the two are covering allied military operations in the Afghan mountains. After sharing one passionate night in a watchtower near a defunct airfield, Astrid disappears from Kellas's life.A year later, following a disastrous dinner party in London during which he destroys his few remaining friendships, Kellas receives a short, beseeching e-mail and hastily embarks on a trans-Atlantic journey to a small town near the Chesapeake Bay where he believes Astrid waits for him. Kellas envisions the fresh start that his new life with Astrid might offer, unaware that she may be harboring unsettling secrets of her own.A passionate, incisive novel, We Are Now Beginning Our Descent lays bare the entwined hypocrisies, foibles, and desires of our age, and is a testament to the obsessive pull of love.
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