Meanwhile, back in Siberia

     I’ve turned a corner within The People’s Act of Love and am finding it immensely enjoyable and full of sly humor.  Mutz is most intriguing, the Jewish, Czech army lieutenant who is in love with the beautiful Anna Petrovna and who is possibly freezing to death as he pursues a criminal who may be lurking in the village woods to harm Anna and others. Or not.

James Meek has written a novel that shifts and twists the reader’s allegiances and perceptions, not unlike many genre works focusing upon a murder and subsequent hunt for a killer. However, Meek’s light, mildly irreverent tone casts great readability upon a tale that could have become ponderous as a Siberian winter night. It’s almost enough to make me wonder if in some way The People’s Act of Love isn’t a subtle send-up of many overly plotted and contrived thrillers. Thankfully, I don’t know anything of them and can’t fully make the comparison. I can only guess how much finer this novel is.

     At this point in any book, I begin to anxiously search for my next read. It’s going to be London Fields by Martin Amis. I’ve heard so many good things about this and can’t wait. My eyes are also scanning the shelves for material to pack next month for travel to France and England. I have activities planned in both locales but am saving some time to loiter in the café, novel and wineglass to hand.

2 thoughts on “Meanwhile, back in Siberia

  1. The people’s act of love s wonderful is it not? Magnificent , epic, the pre rev russian novel of today. I think The brief and wondrous life of oscar wao is a must, or Angle of repose , or any nabokov or Pickwick papers…happy christmas

  2. Hi Rowan, and thanks for the suggestions. I would never have thought to associate The People’s Act of Love with the Stegner, Diaz or Dickens. And to think that it might even be an approach to Nabokov is thrilling for this uninitiated reader! Another delightful thing about the Meek is the dark humor throughout. You’re right, it is a wonderful novel.

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