Can we ever really understand the present without first understanding the past?
From the winner of the 2019 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Prize, and the author of the multi-award winning Laurus, comes a sweeping novel that takes readers on a fascinating journey through one of the most momentous periods in Russian history.
What really happened to General Larionov of the Imperial Russian Army, who somehow avoided execution by the Bolsheviks? He lived out his long life in Yalta leaving behind a vast heritage of undiscovered memoirs. In modern day Russia, a young student is determined to find out the truth.
Solovyov and Larionov is a ground-breaking and gripping literary detective novel from one of Russia's greatest contemporary writers.
‘[A] wry and whimsically humorous historical detective story.’
– Times Literary Supplement
‘Absorbing, darkly witty, history-soaked pages for literary and historical fiction fans.’
– Library Journal: Reading Around The World: 12 Top Spring Titles for the Library Market
‘Vodolazkin has produced a romanticized hero's quest that affirms the "indivisibility and harmony" of history and personal fate. In the face of overwhelming death tolls, he insists on making space for mythology.’
– Wall Street Journal
‘Simply cannot be ignored... A smart and often humorous account of contemporary Russian life that reminded me several times of his fellow citizen Svetlana Alexievich’s nonfiction.’
‘There is sprightly, funny satire here and, beneath it, a surprising vein of poignancy.’
‘An ambitious first novel. It is to Vodolazkin’s credit that he pulls it off, creating a substantial, beguiling work that engages the reader on several levels, encompassing a detective story, historical events and even a little romance.’
– The Herald, Scotland
‘More than a beautifully written coming-of-age story...one of the finest novels I have read in years.’
– World Literature Today
‘Third-person narration, circular structure, and archetypal characters lend this beautifully written literary mystery the feel of a modern fable. [We] recommend Vodolazkin’s slowly unfolding story to readers who prefer detailed research, artfully layered descriptions, and character epiphanies to thrills.’
‘A very unique blend of literary genres... I became captivated by this Russian tale with all of its stories within a story. This is a true Russian novel.’
– Marjorie’s World of Books
‘Award-winning author Vodolazkin seamlessly weaves together the lives of his two heroes... [but] this coming-of-age story offers the reader a much richer experience than mere biography.’
– Historical Novel Society
‘I couldn't put it down.’
– A Bookish Type blog
‘Vodolazkin is one of the most interesting contemporary writers.’
– Russia Beyond, '5 great Russian books for your summer reading list'
‘I found Solovyov and Larionov to be just as good a book as The Aviator in its beautiful writing, its thought-provoking narrative and its wonderfully atmospheric sense of place and time. I can see that I'm going to be pondering on it for quite some time to come...’