Recommended by bookseller Karin Scherer:
'This wonderfully quirky and beautifully written book has at its heart Shostakovich whom Julian Barnes describes as his “hero”. Many other big Russian figures put in an appearance but it would be doing the book a great injustice to describe it in such narrow terms. Art and power collide. It is about human compromise, human cowardice and human courage. Julian Barnes’s first novel sine the Man-Booker winning “The Sense of an Ending” is the work of a master and genius.'