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Tomorrow You Go Home: One Man's Harrowing Imprisonment in a Modern-Day Russian Gulagby Tig Hague
Synopses & Reviews
The haunting true story of a hardworking British businessman who became mired in the deadly, corruption-laden nightmare of Russia's current prison system — and lived to tell about it, thanks to a love affair that kept his hope alive and the efforts of family and friends in Moscow and in London.
A twenty-first-century Midnight Express, Tig Hague's powerful memoir brings to light the brutal machinations of Putin's Russia — a world where the smallest mistake can land you in a frightening, Kafka-esque system, and where those in charge turn a blind eye to the law. Tomorrow You Go Home is the story of an ordinary man on an ordinary business trip who rapidly began to wonder if he would ever have his peaceful life back again.
Departing London for Moscow in July 2003, Hague said good-bye to his girlfriend and prepared to meet with clients in a country that was supposedly undergoing radical reform. Once the plane landed, Hague realized he had left a small amount of hash in the pocket of his jeans — an oversight that would bring him face-to-face with the reality of contemporary Russian justice. He was refused a translator, denied contact with the British Embassy, and while awaiting trial was beaten by guards in prison. His $50,000 payment to lawyers was no match for fabricated evidence, and before long he was serving a lengthy sentence in a frigid labor camp, where the work nearly cost him his eyesight and ruined his health. The only saving grace were regular visits from his girlfriend, who traveled to be with him and eventually married him in the prison. Taking its title from the favorite taunt of Hague's prison guard, Tomorrow You Go Home provides a chilling glimpse into the still-desperate conditions behind the "former" Iron Curtain.
"An English junior stock broker visiting Russia for a series of business meetings in 2003 is arrested at the Moscow airport with a small bit of hash he'd forgotten in a trouser pocket. Thus begins Hague's nearly two-year journey through a Russian penal system that seems little changed from Iron Curtain days. After a brief trial, Hague is dispatched to Zone 22, a labor camp in the frigid plains of Mordovia, where he suffers from malnutrition, infections, and physical and psychological torture at the hands of brutal prison guards. Over the months, Hague learns the system and is sustained by the support of his family, girlfriend and sympathetic fellow prisoners. The rhythms of prison life are vividly presented — the fear, petty humiliations and the foul behaviors of men crammed into tight quarters. Hague draws sharp grotesques of the guards and prisoners, and does not spare the reader his own bouts of hopelessness, cowardice and venality. The book's claustrophobic tone would have benefited by more general detail about Russia and Hague's earlier life. Still, the author movingly presents his daily struggle to remain human in an inhuman environment." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Highly readable account of an innocuous business trip to Russia that resulted in a two-year stretch in jail....[A] real page-turner." Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will surely cheer Hague on as he copes in this feral world, in which minor incidents assume menacing size....Hague induces caution about traveling to Russia and gratitude for Western rule-of-law." Booklist
Hague's powerful memoir brings to light the brutal machinations of Putin's Russia — a world where the smallest mistake can lead to a frightening, corruption-laden prison system, and where those in charge turn a blind eye to the law.
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