I have wanted to read this book for some time. However, The hype that surrounded it made me hesitate. But, It's constant appearance on award lists encouraged me to finally dig it off the to be read shelves and read it.
enjoyability 1 star I was pleasantly surprised. For once, the book lived up to the hype. It was an interesting, disturbing and emotive read.
Accessibility 1 star
This is a relatively new book and therefore it's available in most formats. The E book (Kindle version) was good quality.
world building 1 star
The world of this book is a believable one. You are instantly immersed in the dingy, corrupt, future world, that will be South Africa.
language 1 star
The language mirrors the narrators character well, being grungy (street) enough to be believable, and of place, while still managing to be understandable.
This book is beautifully presented and I love the cover. The typeface is very accessible. Looking at Amazon, I found that this book is available in all formats (excepting audio). So, it gets a good mark for accessibility. I give it 5/5.
It is difficult to discuss the language of this book. Since, it is in translation. But, whoever deserves the credit, this book is beautifully written. The descriptions put you in the world and is heartbreakingly beautiful. The structure of the book time hops between the siege of Leningrad and today's Russia/France. The two main characters are: an ageing Russian write, who is living in France, going through a mid-life crisis and who returns to Russia to recreate a youthful love affair; and a elderly man who survived the siege of Leningrad and now sits quietly in a flat which he no longer owns. The scenes in the siege are heart breaking. This book encourages you to think about the themes of history and loss - For story and writing -5/5.