The Buddha’s Return
A millionaire is killed. A golden statuette of a Buddha goes missing. A penniless student, who is afflicted by dream-like fits, is arrested and accused of murder.
Slipping between the menacing dream world of the student’s fevered imagination, and the dark back alleys of the Paris underworld, The Buddha’s Return is part detective novel, part philosophical thriller, and part love story.
In typically crisp, unfussy prose, Gazdanov’s delicately balanced novel is an irresistibly hypnotic masterpiece from one of Russia’s most talented emigre writers.
Gaito Gazdanov (1903-1971) joined the White Army aged just sixteen and fought in the Russian Civil War. Exiled in Paris from the 1920s onwards, he eventually became a nocturnal taxi-driver and quickly gained prominence on the literary scene as a novelist, essayist, critic and short-story writer, and was greatly admired by Maxim Gorky, among others. His 1949 novel The Spectre of Alexander Wolf was published by Pushkin Press to great acclaim in 2013.
The Gazdanov revival... is nothing short of a literary event... Gazdanov's thrillers offer a truly original vision, distinguished by profound existential and metaphysical concerns, a peculiar sense of humour, and enchanting prose, which Bryan Karetnyk has once again reproduced with impeccable grace TLS He has his own utterly distinctive voice... Pushkin Press is to be congratulated on reviving an author who is as relevant now as ever Spectator Eccentric... exciting... an offbeat appeal and flashes of black humour... a fascinating writer -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times Praise for The Spectre of Alexander Wolf: 'A masterpiece... it will stay with you for the rest of your life' Guardian; 'Mesmerising' Antony Beevor; 'Devastatingly atmospheric' Irish Times; 'Irresistible' Daily Mail; 'As if the roman policier has been filtered through Dostoevsky... just waiting to be discovered by a filmmaker' TLS Gadzanov is a modernist master -- Mary O'Donoghue Irish Times I would eagerly recommend... Bryan Karetnyk's sensitive re-translation of the Russian emigre novelist Gaito Gazdanov's 'metaphysical thriller' -- Boris Dralyuk Pen Atlas An excellent novel by any standard, and especially remarkable for joining the philosophical underpinnings of the Russians with the intrigue of a French thriller Publishers Weekly, starred review A deliciously dark and complex tale concerning mistaken identities, moral ambiguities and deep-set yearnings... thanks to Gazdanov's mesmerizing prose and Bryan Karetnyk's fluid translation the novel feels just as fresh and exciting 65 years on -- Malcolm Forbes Star Tribune Gazdanov's prose is both crisp and elegant...gripping...meaty and fun. Lit Hub
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