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Not what I expected
I was actually a bit disappointed in this book. I think it’s likely that from the jacket description that I was expecting a historical fiction book that explored the turn-of-the-century life and death of Lazarus Averbuch. It seems as if there’s a really nice skeleton of a tale here that could have been fleshed out. The author instead chose to write mostly about Vladimir Blik, a character much like himself, tying that character’s experiences back to parallel those of Averbuch. Averbuch’s tale isn’t expanded beyond the facts of the case. When one is expecting a certain type of novel but finds that it has morphed into something completely different, it can often lead the reader to feel less than satisfied with the result. The saving grace here is that the writing is absolutely marvelous, if somewhat self-indulgent. I plan to give this book another shot in a year or so, with the properly adjusted expectations.