Set in the early days of the Russian Revolution, Tarabas tells the story of Nicholas Tarabas, a young revolutionary, shamefully dispatched from St Petersburg to New York by his outraged family. During a visit to Coney Island's amusement park, the deeply superstitious Tarabas learns from a gypsy that it is his destiny to be both a murderer and a saint and, following a fight with a local cafe owner, he flees back to Russia as war with Austria is declared. Following his rapid promotion to army Captain, Tarabas gains a fearful reputation amongst his soldiers and the local villagers, until a miraculous discovery unleashes a chain of events that see him undergo a final, dramatic transformation. It is Roth's special gift that, in Tarabas's fulfilling of his tragic destiny, the larger movements of history find their perfect expression in the fate of one man.
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(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Granta Books
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
In 1914 Nicholas Tarabas was a student in St Petersburg. A youth of unfocused passions and shallow morality he finds himself joining a revolutionary society that is later implicated in an attempt on the governor's life. His cool and formal father, glad to be rid of him, arranges for Nicholas to emigrate to America. There a gypsy predicts he'll be both a murderer and a saint. Tarabas casually accepts his fate and beats up a cafe owner. When he hears that Russia has declared war on Austria he hurries back to fight for the homeland he rejected and uncovers a miracle. Roth is a masterly storyteller and in his hands the tale of Tarabas becomes more than the history of a dysfunctional family but the chronicle of a nation. Roth's simple prose has a power beyond the words on the page. With apparent ease he creates characters that rise above their archetypes to become unpredictable and moving. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Joseph Roth
Joseph Roth (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austrian Empire. He wrote thirteen novels, including Job and The Radetzky March. Much of his work has been published in English by Granta Books.