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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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The Gardener from Ochakov

by Andrey Kurkov, translated by Amanada Love Darragh - £8.99  Vintage (2014)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780099571872 | ISBN 10: 0099571870

When Igor accidentally travels back to 1957, he finds out that the past isn't as rosy as it seems. In fact it's positively dangerous.
 
Igor is confident his old Soviet policemanís uniform will be the best costume at the party. But he hasnít gone far before he realises something is wrong. The streets are unusually dark and empty, and the only person to emerge from the shadows runs away from him in terror.
 
After a perplexing conversation with the terrified man, who turns out to be a wine smuggler, and on recovering from the resulting hangover, Igor comes to an unbelievable conclusion: he has found his way back to 1957 Kiev. And it isnít the innocent era his mother and her friends have so sentimentally described.
 
As he travels between centuries, his life becomes more and more complicated. The unusual gardener who lives in his motherís shed keeps disappearing, his best friend has blackmailed the wrong people, and Igor has fallen in love with a married woman in a time before he was born. With his motherís disapproval at his absences growing, and his adventures in each time frame starting to catch up with him, Igor has to survive the past if he wants any kind of future.

(Price & availability last checked: January 2015)

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In booklists: Writers by Surname - K, Historical Fiction, World Fiction - Ukraine,
In categories: Fiction, History & Biography, World - Europe,

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