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20 November 2018

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King of Odessa

by Robert A. Rosenstone

The conceit of this new novel is that it is a recently discovered and long-alluded-to lost work of Isaac Babel, written in the summer of 1936, during his last visit to his hometown of Odessa. It is a daring undertaking, and Rosenstone largely pulls it off (only at times giving his narrator a bit much knowledge of contemporary events), delivering a romping and imaginative firsthand (and, yes, Babel-esque) view of life in the brutal chaos that was Russia of the 1930s.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Sept/Oct 2007