Joseph Landes, December 8, 2011 (view all comments by Joseph Landes)
As always, there seems to be at least one runner-up Man Booker awared nominee where you say to yourself "that one could just as well have won." Snowdrops is a well-written, fast moving story about a British lawyer named Nick Platt who has worked in oil-boom Moscow for a number of years. He is the kind of lawyer who works on deals, most of them of the shadier variety where the buyers and sellers of land and property are as gaudy as they are crooked. Nick happens upon two sisters--Masha and Katya---as he is walking home through one of the well-known Moscow subway underground passages. He "saves" them from a purported robbery and then takes up with one of them in what appears(at least to him) to be a deepening relationship. Masha then engages Nick to help her aunt Tatiana with a real estate purchase which ends up going in a much different direction than imagined--at least to Nick. Anyone who has visited or lived in Moscow will no doubt appreciate the attention to detail the author puts towards describing the buldings, streets, babushkas, and the general mood of the inhabitatns of this amazing city. Through Nick Platt, the author makes you feel empathy not just for Nick himself but really for Muscovites in general and in particular the less than well-off of the city and country. An exciting and well worth read.
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alchymyst, November 19, 2011 (view all comments by alchymyst)
I thought it was a really good read. Where A. D. Miller succeeds beautifully is in creating atmosphere and setting. When he describes the winter, you can almost feel your limbs going numb from cold. It was perhaps not the most gripping story, but it was an interesting snapshot of corruption in post-Soviet Russia.
Daisywoman, September 20, 2011 (view all comments by Daisywoman)
Gangstas, Bankers, and living fast...means dying young. A fast-moving ride through the years when Baltic Sea oil gushed, money flowed with it into Russia, and life's flavors were sharp and sometimes sweet. Prize nominee in Europe.
It's a page-turner with a few jolts of insight by the narrator as to who he is based on his choices
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Things may not be what they appear, but they turn out to be exactly what readers will predict in this saggy debut about shady business deals in go-go capitalist Russia. Nick Platt, a lawyer who has traded his dull British life for pushing paper in Moscow, soon takes up with a leggy young Russian about whom he knows nothing and, at her behest, helps a babushka trade her fabulous apartment for a half-built place in the country. The deal seems like a scam, and, of course, it is, but Nick is blinded by lust and nearly always a step behind the reader. He blithely gets involved in a multimillion-dollar loan for an oil pipeline brokered by a dodgy fellow known only as 'the Cossack,' even after a key player goes missing. Most readers will not be so easily duped, and Nick's oft-repeated I-should-have seen-it-comings undercut any suspense that might remain, though there are interesting bits to be found in the travelogue-style writing about the new Russia. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by The Talented Mr. Ripley.,
An intense psychological drama that echoes sophisticated entertainments like Gorky Park and
by The Seattle Times,
"[An] assured fiction debut....[Miller] memorably captures the city's atmosphere during the glitzy, anything-goes era that succeeded Soviet Communism....Miller's uncluttered prose and feel for the city's Wild West atmosphere are pleasures."
by The Daily Mail,
"The wonderfully evoked corrupt atmosphere of modern Moscow, a dangerous mix of extreme poverty and decadent wealth, of simple old-fashioned values and unrestrained debauchery reads like Graham Greene on steroids.....Tightly written, with fascinating insider detail gained in three years as The Economist magazine's Moscow correspondent, Miller's complex, gripping debut novel is undoubtedly the real thing."
by Sunday Telegraph,
"AD Miller's engrossing debut...offers an entirely believable portrait of a man complicit in Moscow's moral freefall...Miller brilliantly showcases the city as his novel's strutting, charismatic star...rendered with intoxicating vitality. It is a bravura setting for a study in morality...disturbing and dazzling."
by Boston Globe,
"Compelling narrative voice....Andrew Miller shines in his depiction of Russian life....[and] deserves full credit for being able to transfer his knowledge to the page. He makes you see and feel the glitz, squalor, and violence of Moscow...[with] bleak beauty of his writing."
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