Laurus

Laurus

Book - 2015
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Devastated by the death of his beloved in childbirth, a late-15th-century Russian village healer embarks on a journey of redemption that brings him face-to-face with a host of eccentric characters and legendary creatures from bizarre medieval bestiaries.
Publisher: London, England : Oneworld Publications, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781780747552
1780747551
Branch Call Number: FIC VODOLAZKIN, E.
Characteristics: xii, 365 pages : map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Hayden, Lisa C. - Translator

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dennismmiller
Nov 13, 2018

Laurus is a beautiful, subtle novel set in a vividly recreated Medieval Russia. It tells the story of Arseny, called Rukinets and Ustin and Amvrosy and Laurus, a doctor, a penitent, a pilgrim, and a hermit, not successively but progressively, as he and his world are poisoned by sin and healed by grace.

In her introduction, translator Hayden candidly discusses the difficulties of bringing Vodolazkin's deliberately inconsistent use of archaic language into English - without being able to experience the original, it seems that she has done an excellent job, reinforcing the story's intimations of the relationship between time and eternity, the living and the dead. This is only one of many profound themes in this marvel of a novel - richly imaginative, empathetic without being sentimental, historically authentic and yet timeless.

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smgifford
Sep 19, 2016

This book is beautiful, simple, and yet staggering in its scope. Set in medieval Russia, along with a journey to Jerusalem, we follow the life of a remarkable "holy fool," as he sets out to find redemption and healing, not only for himself, but for everyone around him. Living in a post-modern, post-traditional faith-type of world, I found this book heartbreaking, believable in its simplicity and language. This will be one to reread in years to come, which is, of course, the test of a good book.

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