Tag Archive | Eugene Vodolazkin

Brisbane by Eugene Vodolazkin

An Ethereal Beauty

Brisbane by Eugene Vodolazkin (translated by Marian Schwartz) is an epic contemporary novel that drew me in from the start.

It is a novel that focuses on a life in both relatively present day and the 1970’s moving forwards.

Brisbane is also a celebration of the arts – Gleb is a musician but he also loves words, exploring their impact in the novel. He is conflicted between the Russian and the Ukrainian in him.

The main character has a mixed relationship with his father, also a musician, who seems to enjoy putting his son down. Gleb strives to make his father proud.

In contrast there is a loving relationship with his grandfather who sustains and encourages Gleb. He also introduces him to God. Religion was not encouraged in Soviet Russia as a communist country, when Gleb was growing up. Gleb dreads having the dilemma as to whether to acknowledge his faith or to deny it. Gleb finds comfort in knowing God.

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