BookBrowse Reviews God Lives In St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell

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 by Tom Bissell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2006, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Chilling stories of a region ravaged by war, exile and neglect. Short Stories

Comment: Six stories set in Central Asia, one of them a Pushcart Prize winner, written with deadpan irony and packing quite a punch: Bissell's stories journey through Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to some of the most deeply foreign places on earth, with each story told through the eyes of Westerners - such as two journalists stranded in wartime Afghanistan, a missionary struggling with his faith, or a female scientist investigating the Aral Sea - a particularly moving story (see the sidebar for more about the Aral Sea).

Publishers Weekly gives the collection a starred review saying 'Bissell never flinches as he looks straight into the starved hearts of his characters. In these chilling stories of a region ravaged by war, exile and neglect, desperation drives men and women to do the otherwise unthinkable, and no one is quite forgiven for their transgressions.'

Interesting fact: 'Stan' is an ancient Farsi/Persian word meaning 'country'/'land of'. In other words Afganistan is the land of the Afghans, Kurdistan is the land of the Kurds, etc. The exception to this is Pakistan, formed in 1947. Pakistan is an acronym based on the countries who formed it: Panjab, Afghania, Kashmir (PAK). Different sources contradict each other with regard to whether the remaining letters represent countries, and if so which. According to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, the word was coined by Cambridge (UK) student and Muslim nationalist, Choudhary Rahmat Ali, in 1933, and is an acronym of Punjab, Afghan, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan (providing the tan); the 'i' being an addition to make the word sound more natural in English. In Persian, pak also means pure, so Parkistan can also be translated as 'the land of the pure'.

This review was originally published in February 2005, and has been updated for the January 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

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.