Excerpt from Legends by Robert Littell, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Legends

A Novel of Dissimulation

by Robert Littell

Legends
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 386 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The Oligarkh shook his head. "Trust me, Kristyna—he will be warmer in the ground if the hole is covered with snow."

"He is the same as a son to me," the woman sobbed, her voice fading to a cracked whimper. "We must not bury him before he has had his lunch."

Still on her knees, the woman, shuddering with sobs, started to crawl through the dirt toward the crater. In the back of the Mercedes, the Oligarkh gestured with a finger. The driver sprang from behind the wheel and, pressing the palm of his hand to the woman's mouth, half carried, half dragged her back to the car and folded her body into the back seat. Before the door slammed shut she could be heard sobbing: "And if it does not snow, what then?"
Oligarkh watched the scene unfold through its tinted glass. The two paratroopers took a grip on the prisoner's arms and lifted him into the crater and set him down on his side, curled up in a fetal position in the round hole. Then they began covering the crater with the thick planks, kicking the ends into the ground so that the tops of the planks were flush with the dirt road. When that was done they dragged a section of metal webbing over the planks. All the while nobody spoke. On the slope the workers, puffing on cigarettes, looked away or stared at their feet.

When the paratroopers finished covering the crater, they backed off to admire their handiwork. One of them waved to the driver of a truck. He climbed behind the wheel and backed up to the crater and worked the lever that elevated the flatbed to spill tarmacadam onto the road. Several workers came over and spread the macadam with long rakes until a thick glistening coating covered the wooden planks and they were no longer visible. They stepped away and the paratroopers signaled for the steamroller. Black fume billowed from its exhaust pipe as the rusty machine lumbered to the edge of the crater. When the driver seemed to hesitate, the horn of the Mercedes sounded and one of the bodyguards standing nearby pumped an arm in irritation. "It is not as if we have all day," he shouted above the bedlam of the steamroller's engine. The driver threw it into gear and started across the crater, packing down the tarmacadam. When he reached the other side, he backed over it again and then swung out of the cab to inspect the newly paved patch of highway. Suddenly, he tore off his improvised face mask and, bending, vomited on his shoes. Barely making a sound, the Mercedes backed and filled and swung past the chase car and started up the dirt spur toward the sprawling wooden dacha at the edge of the village of Prigorodnaia, soon to be connected to the Moscow-Petersburg highway—and the world—by a ribbon of macadam with a freshly painted white stripe down the middle.

Excerpted from Legends by Robert Littell. Copyright 2005 by Robert Littell. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing. 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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.