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Translated into two dozen languages

‘Historical fiction that transcends the genre - as intense as a thriller, imagined on an epic scale’

The Times

‘A thriller of sorts... It's also a traditional Russian philosophical novel... It's a war novel, too, earthy and bloody, graced with a wry dispassion and memorably dry-eyed visions of destruction...there's a love story as well... But none of these comparisons, much less an inventory of genres, quite captures this novel's propulsive force. It is all of these things at once, gracefully interweaving philosophy and bleak comedy, period detail and the roar of artillery... This reviewer envies anyone who picks it up and enjoys the continual rations of delight this novel has to deal out.’

San Francisco Chronicle

Winner of the Ondaatje prize, longlisted for the Booker prize

‘The best and most original book that I have read for years’

Louis de Bernières

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‘A truly great novel’

Irvine Welsh