The elusive and unstable realities of Gorbachev's Russia prove to be fertile ground for Alessandro Barbero's great skills as a storyteller, and this masterpiece, The Anonymous Novel, is full of many varied characters and the discussion of endless themes concerning not only the Soviet Union and it final days but also, dare one say it, the human condition in any age and any country. It is very much the complete novel, doing everything a novel can and should do, and doing it in a masterly fashion. One surprising element of the book, which is also an opportunity for the author to express very subtly his admiration for Russian literature and culture, is the authenticity of the narration. The Western reader may feel that this is a sleight of hand, but Russian readers of the Italian original and the English translation can confirm its accuracy, which is based on careful historical research into journalistic and literary records, as well as some other sources. This book is a compelling read, but it is also a wonderful mix of the profound and the witty.
March 2016 : UK Paperback
March 2010 : UK Paperback