The Lying Year

Overview

Mikhail was fired for blowing a deal with the Italians and throwing an unauthorized office party that got him arrested, so he can’t believe his luck when his former boss offers him easy money and the Land Rover of his dreams for the simple job of teaching the boss’s son, teenager Sergei, how to “be a man.”

Of course, Sergei’s not the Internet-obsessed recluse his father believes, and Mikhail can’t help but fall for Sergei’s beautiful secret girlfriend, Marina, himself. Mikhail ...

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Overview

Mikhail was fired for blowing a deal with the Italians and throwing an unauthorized office party that got him arrested, so he can’t believe his luck when his former boss offers him easy money and the Land Rover of his dreams for the simple job of teaching the boss’s son, teenager Sergei, how to “be a man.”

Of course, Sergei’s not the Internet-obsessed recluse his father believes, and Mikhail can’t help but fall for Sergei’s beautiful secret girlfriend, Marina, himself. Mikhail finds himself lying to his boss about Sergei’s activities, lying to Marina about Sergei’s identity, and lying to Sergei about his love for Marina. To keep it all in motion, Mikhail must acquaint himself with the tall tales and half-truths spun by those around him, raising the stakes to criminal proportions…

When Mikhail finds himself held hostage at gunpoint, he finally realizes he’s in way over his head.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Gelasimov’s novel, recently laid-off Mikhail, 23, agrees to supplement his drinking, fighting, and womanizing, with a job: teaching his boss’s loner son, Sergei, to be a man, spying on the kid (whose father worries he’s gay or involved with a sect) and reporting his findings. Cash in hand, Mikhail heads to the Petrovitch house, where Sergei, it turns out, is simply lovesick for Marina, a prostitute he visits regularly. While Petrovitch grooms Sergei for leadership at his struggling company, Mikhail coaches him on his relationship with Marina and her young son, Misha, but Mikhail slowly falls for her himself. Lies unfurl: Sergei lies to Marina; Mikhail lies to everyone; and Petrovitch’s patronage of Mikhail is revealed. When Petrovitch takes everyone to Italy, the truth finally makes its (violent) appearance. Gelasimov (Thirst) shifts perspectives among characters, reinforcing the sense of truth as an illusion, and writes clipped dialogue and brisk prose that play up the characters’ delusions of grandeur. A playful premise and clear artifice entertain at first, but wear thin as the stakes rise. As much as Mikhail might think that his life is a Russian gangster film, it’s not; he’s living in a stark modern world, with a lot of what passes for manhood, but the real thing in short supply. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455880157
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrei Gelasimov was born in Irkutsk in 1965 and studied foreign languages at Yakutsk State University and directing at the Moscow Theater Institute. His first novel, Thirst, garnered the Apollon-Grigoriev Award and was nominated for the Belkin Prize; upon publication in English the Telegraph hailed it as “a haven of both comedy and horror.” Two further novels are forthcoming in English: The Gods of the Steppe, winner of the 2009 Russian National Bestseller award, and Rachel, winner of the Booker Student Prize.
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