Excerpt from God Lives In St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

God Lives In St. Petersburg

and Other Stories

By Tom Bissell

God Lives In St. Petersburg
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Jan 2005,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2006,
    224 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"How do you feel?" Donk asked Graves now.

Graves, still sitting on the bumper, flashed his ruined teeth. The dirty wind had given his eyes a teary under-rim. "How do I look?"

"Fading. We need to get you somewhere."

Graves looked down, angrily blinking away his eyes' moisture. "Where are we, anyway?"

"About an hour outside Kunduz."

"That's another hour from Mazar?"

"Roughly."

Graves glanced around, but the dunes were too high to see anything but the road and the road was too straight to reveal anything but the dunes. "Not far enough, I imagine."

"Probably not."

"We could hitch. Someone is bound to be along."

"Someone is. Who is the problem."

"You don't think the poor devils would use roads, for God's sake, do you? This far north? They'd be bombed within minutes."

"I have no idea."

With shiatsu delicacy, Graves massaged his face with his fingertips. A bright bracelet of untanned flesh encircled his wrist. Graves's watch, too, had been stolen. His hands fell into his lap, then, and he sighed. "I hope you're not worried, Duncan."

Donk decided not to remind Graves, for what would have been the fortieth time, that he preferred to be called Donk. The nickname--a diminutive form of donkey--dated to one of the boyhood camping trips he and his father and older brother Jason used to take every year in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. If he had never especially liked the name, he had come to understand himself through its drab prism. donk st. pierre was stamped in raised black type upon his ivory business card; it was the name above which his photographs were published. People often mistook his work for that of some Flemish eccentric. When colleagues first met him, something Donk called The Moment inescapably came to pass. Faced not with a tall, spectral, chain-smoking European but a short, overweight Midwesterner with frizzy black hair and childlishly small hands, their smiles faded, their eyes crumpled, and a discreet little sound died just past their glottis.

"I'm not worried," Donk said. "I'll be even less worried when we figure out where we're going."

Graves stared at Donk as though weighing him in some crucial balance. "You seemed rather jittery in Pyanj. Wasn't sure you'd be up to this."

Excerpted from God Lives in St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell, pages 3 to 12. From the short story titled 'Death Defier'. Copyright © 2005 by Tom Bissell. Excerpted by permission of Pantheon, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

Hell hath no fury.... like a woman scorned

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.