Babayaga: A Novel

Babayaga: A Novel

by Toby Barlow
4.5 4

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Babayaga: A Novel by Toby Barlow

By the author of Sharp Teeth, a novel of love, spies, and witches in 1950s Paris—and a cop turned into a flea

Will is a young American ad executive in Paris. Except his agency is a front for the CIA. It's 1959 and the cold war is going strong. But Will doesn't think he's a warrior—he's just a good-hearted Detroit ad guy who can't seem to figure out Parisian girls.
Zoya is a beautiful young woman wandering les boulevards, sad-eyed, coming off a bad breakup. In fact, she impaled her ex on a spike. Zoya, it turns out, has been a beautiful young woman for hundreds of years; she and her far more traditionally witchy-looking companion, Elga, have been thriving unnoticed in the bloody froth of Europe's wars.
Inspector Vidot is a hardworking Paris police detective who cherishes quiet nights at home. But when he follows a lead from a grisly murder to the abode of an ugly old woman, he finds himself turned into a flea.
Oliver is a patrician, fun-loving American who has come to France to start a literary journal with the help of friends in D.C. who ask a few favors in return. He's in well over his head, but it's nothing that a cocktail can't fix. Right?
Add a few chance encounters, a chorus of some more angry witches, a strung-out jazzman or two, a weaponized LSD program, and a cache of rifles buried in the Bois de Bologne—and that's a novel! But while Toby Barlow's Babayaga may start as just a joyful romp though the City of Light, it quickly grows into a daring, moving exploration of love, mortality, and responsibility.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374709594
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 129,543
File size: 819 KB

About the Author

Toby Barlow is the author of Sharp Teeth. He lives in Detroit.

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Babayaga: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Aelphie More than 1 year ago
This wasn't the dark, mysterious novel I thought it might be when I read the title. But, the blurbs clued me in to that before I purchased. I found Babayaga to be a light, humorous read about Russian witches who live for a Very Long Time. It is set in Paris in the 50's and the word "expat" is used to describe the two fellows from the American Midwest - one slightly disillusioned and the other goes with the flow with a cocktail in his hand. One of the best aspects is the flea's eye view of the narrative... an irrepressibly jovial policeman is turned into a flea and he rides around on animals and people, full of optimism that is mildly threatened with despair over his situation. I enjoyed every minute that I was reading this book. I very much recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read. Some character's story arcs are funner than others, but it kept me entertained.
Anonymous 21 days ago
Funny, sad, crazy plot twists. What's not to love?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best reads that I've had in a long while. Combining intrigue (CIA style) and witchery, the story follows the extraordinary adventures of an ad man, ancient Russian witches and a French detective that ponders the meaning of his existence when he is transformed into a flea. The author does a superb job in bringing Paris of the 50's to life Highly recommended.