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Angels on the Head of a Pin (Hardback)
  • Angels on the Head of a Pin (Hardback)
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Angels on the Head of a Pin (Hardback)

(author)
£17.95
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 21/02/2003
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Angels on the Head of a Pin is set in Moscow in the late 1960s at a time when the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia had heralded the return to personality cuit and repression following the Khrushchev-era anti-Stalinist liberalisation. Set in a fictitious national-level Russian newspaper called Trudovaya Pravda, the story begins with the editor-in-chief, Igor Makartsev, having a heart attack on the doorstep of the Communist Party Central Committee building. What ensues is a microcosmic welter of life in the Soviet Union at a point in time that should have marked the transition, along with Dubcek's Czechoslovakia, to a more humane and reasonable regime. The appearance of a samizdat ("self-published") manuscript on the staid apparatchik editor-in-chief's desk is presumably brings on his heart attack. His conundrum is a triple one - Who put it in his office, Why it was put there, and What to do with the thing to avoid falling victim to the malevolence that the manuscript provokes. The last element of the conumdrum is solved with the help of Yakov Rappaport, the novel's central character, an overweight, aging and cynical Jewish veteran of the war and two spells in the gulag. Rappaport is - in a surreal but somehow wholly believable sense - the author of not only the obnoxious popular campaigns that the newspaper sponsors, but of every speech that ever gets made in public by the principals of the regime as well. The rampant opportunistic malevolence of the times is personified by a KGB-sponsored editor who happens to be a dead ringer for Vladimir Putin in every possible respect except - conveniently - for his age, as the President of the Russian Federation would have been an impressionable child at the time.

Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
ISBN: 9780720611700
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 930 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 44 mm

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