In his latest novel, Julian Barnes, author of Talking It Over and A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, trains his laser-bright prose on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Stoyo Petkanov, the deposed Party leader, is placed on trial for crimes that range from corruption to political murder. Petkanov's guilt -- and the righteousness of his opponents -- would seem to be self-evident. But, as brilliantly imagined by Barnes, the trial of this cunning and unrepentant dictator illuminates the shadowy frontier between the rusted myths of the Communist past and a capitalist future in which everything is up for grabs.
Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories, and three collections of journalism. In addition to the Booker Prize, his other honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London.
"Barnes's novels have a mesmeric charm and an air of dangerous simplicity .... [He is] an exceptionally accomplished and ingenious stylist." -- The New York Review of Books
"Gripping ... Barnes relates this compelling story with his usual narrative brio, sketching his characters with the broad, colorful strokes of a mythic allegory." -- The New York Times
"Barnes is a dazzling mind in mercurial flight." -- Philadelphia Inquirer