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All That Is Solid Melts into Air is a gripping end-of-empire novel, charting the collapse of the Soviet Union through the focalpoint of the Chernobyl disaster. Part historical epic, part love story, it recalls The English Patient in its mix of emotional intimacy and sweeping landscape.
In a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old piano prodigy practices silently for fear of disturbing the neighbors.
In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, trying to hide her dissident past.
In the hospital, a leading surgeon buries himself deep in his work to avoid facing his failed marriage.
And in a rural village in the Ukraine, a teenage boy wakes up to a sky of the deepest crimson. In the fields, the ears of the cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened.
Now their lives will change forever.
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is an astonishing end-of-empire novel by a major new talent.
|Product dimensions:||7.80(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Darragh McKeon was born in 1979 and grew up in the midlands of Ireland. He has worked as a theater director and lives in New York. This is his first novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved reading this book. It is well written and has wonderful characters.
This book has a powerful message about but understated in the telling. These characters and these places will stay with me.
The place? Soviet Russia. The setting? The aftermath of Chernobyl. The players? Grigory, a Russian surgeon throwing himself into work in order to forget the memories of his past. Maria, the doctor's rebellious past. Alina, Maria's sister and a single mother to a prodigy trying to make ends meet. Yevgeni, the unwilling prodigy. Steadfast Grigory met and fell in love with headstrong, rebellious Maria in a bleak, cold world where every move is scrutinized and every thought is regulated. Maria finds herself trapped and ends up breaking Grigory's heart in a misguided attempt to save him. Grigory throws himself into work to avoid thinking about the loneliness that awaits at home. Disaster strikes in Chernobyl and Grigory heads west to volunteers his services. He finds incompetence at every turn. The bureaucrats in charge are too scared to admit government fault in the Chernobyl disaster and so are perfectly content to allow people to die as a result. When Grigory tries to question them, he finds himself in a precarious position. Since leaving Grigory, Maria, meanwhile, has been keeping her head down working in a factory and living with her sister, Alina, and nephew, Yevgeni. Maria puts in her time at a factory and places all her hopes into Yevgeni and his prodigious piano playing talent. All Yevgeni wants to do is play piano but, even at 9 years of age, understands the ways of the corrupt world and the need to please the people in charge of the neighborhood. Soon, he must make a decision between pursuing his dreams and playing the political games. I adored the characters - their heartbreak, their decisions, their experiences. Each had a distinct way of coping witht he world they live in. Highly recommended.
Great historical reaf
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