A Modern Hero of Our Times
By C.V. James
Ivan Mochitsky has a comfortable life. As the official in charge of cultural exchanges with the West, he frequently travels abroad. And his wife, in her dacha outside Moscow, is apparently unaware of his mistress and daughter in the city. But as Gorbachev loses his grip on power and the order begins to disintegrate, Mochitsky lays his plans for an even more comfortable life-in Cuba. He betrays a cynical and unscrupulous opportunism and slides into art theft and arms-dealing. His newfound wealth brings him vodka, women and song. But also degradation and disease. And when this reasonable man becomes a sensual man, there is a heavy moral price to pay. Crime follows crime until Mochitsky commits the ultimate offense: murder. Writing in the great tradition of Russian novels, Vaughan James depicts the disintegration of a man-mirroring the disintegration of his country-with insight, humor and utter authenticity. The result is a novel that can stand comparison with the best of Russian literature.
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