• "the extraordinary record of six years spent by a Polish journalist on the Solovetski Islands the book evokes a Russia in miniature. By turns poetic, learned, pretentious, harshly evocative, it creates its own dense, surreal world, which tells more about the inner nature of Russia than a library of others."

    Colin Thubron, Sunday Telegraph
  • "by turns grouchy and lyrical, [Wilk] draws out the essence of the Solovetski islands in Russia s far north and, in the process, provides unique insight into the country itself."

    Caroline Gascoigne, The Sunday Times