The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Paperback)
  • The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Paperback)
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The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 304 Pages
Published: 05/04/2018
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'The funniest book I've read in a long time: its deadpan, dry humour and its accumulation of absurdities will leave you rolling on your floor with laughter' The Times

She thought she was a lover of the great classics of Russian literature - until she met the superfans...

Roaming from Tashkent to San Francisco, this is the true story of one budding writer's strange encounters with the fanatics who are devoted - absurdly! melancholically! ecstatically! - to the Russian classics. Combining fresh readings of the great Russians from Tolstoy to Dostoevsky with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence, The Possessed is comic, humane, charming, poignant and full of an infectious love for literature.

'Dazzlingly good... Very bookish, very clever and very funny... A preposterously engaging volume' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph

'The highest compliment you can pay such a book is that it sends you back to the original authors refreshed. I can go one higher - I found myself simply wanting to read more from Elif Batuman' Evening Standard

'An intoxicating mix of travel memoir, autobiography, literary criticism and philosophy... Charming and hilarious' Daily Telegraph

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781783784516
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 215 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Wildly original, creatively rambling... the funniest book I've read in a long time: its deadpan, dry humour and its accumulation of absurdities will leave you rolling on your floor with laughter - The Times

Dazzlingly good ... very bookish, very clever and very funny ... [The Possessed is] a preposterously engaging volume - Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph

The highest compliment you can pay such a book is that it sends you back to the original authors refreshed. I can go one higher - I found myself simply wanting to read more from Elif Batuman - Evening Standard

An intoxicating mix of travel memoir, autobiography, literary criticism and philosophy... charming and hilarious - Daily Telegraph

Deeply clever and very funny - Guardian

Elif Batuman seems at home in that borderland between tragedy and comedy the great Russian writers colonised. The Possessed is insightful, poignant and very funny - James Meek

Wise and delightfully funny - Rachel Polonsky

Charming, complex and life-enhancing - Sarah Bakewell, Sunday Times

Hilarious, wide-ranging, erudite, and memorable - New York Times Book Review

Odd and oddly profound ... she's the kind of reader who sends you back to your bookshelves with a sublime buzz in your head. You want to feel what she's feeling. It's tempting to keep quoting her book forever - New York Times

A vividly engaging travelogue-cum-memoir ... Batuman is an astute observer with a terrific sense of humour and immense bravado - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Batuman's refreshingly unlikely memoir recounts how she decided to devote her life to studying the great Russian novelists ... the result is the funniest book you're ever likely to read about Russian fiction - Robert Collins, Sunday Times

The Possessed weaves anecdotes and literary criticism around Batuman's tales of her adventures in America, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Russia ... In some complicated way, this is a book about the relationship between art and life. But it's also a simple book about the relationship between art and life. Or, rather, it's a complicated book about the simple relationship between the two. In the end, all memoirs tend to end up as a defence of something. Batuman's is a defence of reading as a form of living - Ian Sansom, Guardian

An eccentric, funny and always perceptive account of the authors long time immersion in the classics of Russian literature - Observer

I loved Batuman's quirky and perceptive account of her passion for Russian literature ... A move away from objective criticism towards the personal and what books actually mean to people, it is hugely appealing - Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald

Told in nimble and often funny prose - Guardian

Batuman's very different sentimental education is a wryly brilliant portrait of herself as a young Turkish intellectual emerging among American and Uzbek Russianists and rogues - Selected by Fiona Sampson as a book of the year, New Statesman

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