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The Industry of Souls

by Martin Booth

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2205123,589 (4.13)27
"The Industry of Souls" is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970s, he finds he has no reason to return to the West -- he has become Russian in everything but birth.Now, on the day of his 80th birthday, Russia has changed. Communism has evaporated. In the aftermath, information has come to light that Alex is still alive. This moving story weaves together the events of Alex's life, exploring this momentous day, his harrowing past in the camp and his life in the village. It ends with his having to make a personal choice, perhaps for the first time in his life, and the climax is shattering.… (more)
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» See also 27 mentions

English (4)  Danish (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
The size of a walnut against the size of the world. Ultimately, the prize is one of possession.

This is a stunning example of understatement. Oh so British. A Gulag tale lacking in hair-ripping, but rife in a vale of tears. This prompted an interest in Booth, one which died on the vine. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
One of my favorite books. I enjoyed the philosophical question that it poses about destiny in the life of an individual. I have read a couple of Martin Booth's novels and enjoyed them both. ( )
  joefreiburger | Jul 3, 2016 |
A British man is mistakenly arrested and sentenced to life in a Siberian gulag. A beautiful story of the wonders of life and its odd ups and downs. Terribly under-appreciated. ( )
  Perednia | Oct 7, 2011 |
This novel tells the story of an old englishman, once a spy, a gulag prisoner for a quarter century, now living in a small village somewhere in Russia. Enjoyable, although not exactly a great book... ( )
  FPdC | May 25, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
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"The Industry of Souls" is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970s, he finds he has no reason to return to the West -- he has become Russian in everything but birth.Now, on the day of his 80th birthday, Russia has changed. Communism has evaporated. In the aftermath, information has come to light that Alex is still alive. This moving story weaves together the events of Alex's life, exploring this momentous day, his harrowing past in the camp and his life in the village. It ends with his having to make a personal choice, perhaps for the first time in his life, and the climax is shattering.

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