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The Unpossessed City

The Unpossessed City

(2008)
A novel by

 
In this taut, atmospheric novel by the author of The New York Times bestseller The Geographer's Library, a young American finds himself adrift in Russia amid murderous bureaucrats, Central Asian mobsters, and a conspiracy to sell Soviet bioweapons to the highest bidder.

Jim Vilatzer was going nowhere - working in his parents' restaurant, sleeping in his childhood bedroom - until he ran up gambling debts that forced him to go somewhere far away - fast. He uses his Russian-language skills (learned from his émigré grandparents) to cadge a job in Moscow finding and interviewing survivors of the Gulag. At first, he only finds that they are well hidden and leery of sharing their horrific stories, but he also discovers that he's falling in love with their homeland. He is intoxicated by Moscow's brooding, ironic atmosphere, its vast reservoir of entrepreneurial energy, its otherworldly churches and majestic subways. On any given day, petty indignities are more than offset by random acts of kindness.

Jim's taste for gambling is satisfied merely by living in a city that teems with risk and promise. So he blithely accepts a big win when a chance meeting with a lovely aspiring actress leads not only to romance but also to her grandfather, a concentration camp survivor who does actually want to share his story. Soon Jim is on a roll, scoring interviews with four other survivors in as many days, learning harrowing and fascinating things about bygone atrocities and feeling like he has finally found where he belongs.

But his apparent success has earned him the attention of Russia's Interior Ministry and the CIA. Jim has become an unwitting cog in a scheme to spirit Soviet scientists and their deadly secrets out of Russia and into the hands of the highest bidder. Pursued ruthlessly by both sides, he must flee again, this time to the lawless border country, where an economist-cum- mobster is preparing to peddle the world's most dangerous technologies to whichever terrorists can muster the cash first.

Like Donna Leon's novels of Venice or John Burdett's Bangkok series, The Unpossessed City makes of its setting an intricate, irresistible character. With taut, ingenious plotting and incisive prose, Fasman engages our most visceral fears and throws brilliant light on our most primal drives - to feel that we belong, to find love, to become better than we are.

 
Used availability for Jon Fasman's The Unpossessed City


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

October 2008 : USA Hardback
Title: The Unpossessed City: A Novel
Author(s): Jon Fasman
ISBN: 1-59420-190-0 / 978-1-59420-190-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

October 2009 : UK Paperback
Title: The Unpossessed City
Author(s): Jon Fasman
ISBN: 0-14-311615-0 / 978-0-14-311615-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

November 2008 : USA Audio CD
Title: The Unpossessed City: A Novel
Author(s): Jon Fasman, John Farrage (narrator)
ISBN: 1-59316-173-5 / 978-1-59316-173-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 2008 : UK Audio CD
Title: The Unpossessed City
Author(s): Jon Fasman
ISBN: 0-14-314359-X / 978-0-14-314359-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

September 2008 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: The Unpossessed City: A Novel
Author(s): Jon Fasman
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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