cover image Fellow Travelers

Fellow Travelers

Alex Beam / Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0

This anecdotal first novel recounting the experiences of an American in Moscow is set apart by the author's first-hand knowledge of, and obvious affection for, Russia and its people. Young, droll and lonely Nick Perkins is a reporter for a slick New York magazine whenworse luckhe finds himself sentenced to a year in the Moscow bureau. The colorful group of people he comes to know and with whom he discovers a cautious camaraderie infuse the narrative with vivid immediacy. Thanks to the beautiful British spy who welcomes Nick's all-American advances and the ebullient pair Lilya and Andrei who adopt Nick for dacha weekends and homebrewed spirit, Russia becomes an accessible, inviting and even enchanting place to him. But these idyllic events are balanced by affecting accounts Nick hears of war victims and exiles whose lives have been profoundly affected by the totalitarian regime. Both entertaining and pointed, the novel can be enjoyed for its humor and narrative drive as well as for its memorable portraits of those who have suffered at the hands of a grim and spirit-breaking political system. (October 19)