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book cover of The Commissariat of Enlightenment

The Commissariat of Enlightenment

(2003)
A novel by

 
 
Ken Kalfus's mesmerising first novel is about two events that become milestones in the history of the modern media: the death of Tolstoy and the murder of Lenin. One yound filmmaker was there. The story begins in 1910, as Leo Tolstoy lies dying in Astapovo, a railway station in provincial Russia. Members of the press from around the world have descended upon this sleepy hamlet to record his passing for a public suddenly ravenous for celebrity news. Cinema is the newcomer, and Nikolai Gribshin arrives to capture the extraordinary scene and learn how to wield his camera as a political tool. At this historic moment, he comes across two men - the scientist, Professor Vorobev, and the revolutionist, Joseph Stalin - who have radical, mysterious plans for the future. Soon they will accompany him on a long, cold march through an era of brutality and absurdity, as science struggles with superstition. Brimming with intellect, humour, and rich, inventive storytelling, THE COMMISSARIAT OF ENLIGHTENMENT is a novel of ideas that brilliantly evokes the tragi-comic world of revolutionary Russia as well as the birth of today's image-based society.

    

Praise for this book

"Wry, humane, precise and beautifully smitten with ideas." - Jonathan Franzen

"Funny, hip...smart, technically innovative...wise, moving, and profound...Kalfus is all of these at once." - David Foster Wallace


Used availability for Ken Kalfus's The Commissariat of Enlightenment

Hardback Editions

January 2003 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Commissariat of Enlightenment: A Novel
Author(s): Ken Kalfus
ISBN: 0-06-050136-7 / 978-0-06-050136-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ecco
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

February 2004 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Commissariat of Enlightenment: A Novel
Author(s): Ken Kalfus
ISBN: 0-06-050139-1 / 978-0-06-050139-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2004 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Commissariat Of Enlightenment
Author(s): Ken Kalfus
ISBN: 0-7432-3115-5 / 978-0-7432-3115-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2003 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Commissariat of Enlightenment
Author(s): Ken Kalfus
ISBN: 0-7432-3114-7 / 978-0-7432-3114-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

February 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Commissariat of Enlightenment: A Novel
Author(s): Ken Kalfus
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA