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The Half Life of Valery K (Hardback)Natasha Pulley (author)
Drawing inspiration from real-life events, this eerie, ingenious Cold War sci-fi thriller from the author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street follows a nuclear scientist turned prisoner in a Siberian gulag, as he starts to piece together a disturbing picture of the village where he's been sent to serve out his sentence.
The truth must come out.
In 1963, in a Siberian gulag, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair of warm boots to avoid frostbite, and the right attitude toward the small pleasures of life. But on one ordinary day, all that changes: Valery's university mentor steps in and sweeps Valery from the frozen prison camp to a mysterious unnamed town hidden within a forest so damaged it looks like the trees have rusted from within.
Here, Valery is Dr. Kolkhanov once more, and he's expected to serve out his prison term studying the effect of radiation on local animals. But as Valery begins his work, he is struck by the questions his research raises: what, exactly, is being hidden from the thousands who live in the town? And if he keeps looking for answers, will he live to serve out his sentence?
Based on real events in a surreal Soviet city, and told with bestselling author Natasha Pulley's inimitable style, The Half Life of Valery K is a sweeping historical adventure.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 384
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'Pulley adds to her impressive oeuvre with another exquisite novel. Many of the author's trademarks are on display here: a finely-drawn period setting, a vein of dark humour, a plot blending historical fact and fiction, and a protagonist seeking to do the right thing in the face of a brutal political machine. An illuminating and immersive historical tale' - Vaseem Khan
'Wildly inventive, full of eeriness and magic, and fiendishly intricate plots' - The Times on The Lost Future of Pepperharrow
'An awe-inspiring feat of imagination and passion' - Catriona Ward on The Kingdoms
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“Pulley turns a seriously depressing subject into a fascinating page-turner”
If someone said that you'd be reading a book about a nuclear plant disaster, worse than Chernobyl then I'd say, I'd probably give it a miss in the current climate. However, I am so very glad to have... More
“Beautifully written and impeccably researched”
I recently became a huge fan of Natasha Pulley after reading her debut, the Watchmaker of Filigree Street, earlier this year. I absolutely adore her writing, it always pulls you in and the way she explores the human... More
“Best book of 2022”
At this point, Natasha Pulley could publish her shopping list and I'd rave about it, so I think it's fair to say I went in ready to be swept off my feet. It's her first one that has no magic at all to... More
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