• Stories as keen and bright as a scalpel... Courage shines from every angle of this profoundly human collection by the greatest of modern Russian writers

    Sunday Times
  • A marvellous writer

    Michael Frayn
  • The oil lamps of his little provincial hospital seemed to him a lonely beacon which symbolised the battle between light and darkness... These straighforward yet extraordinary sketches gain their strength from also being the account of a young man's growth. One begins to see that he became a novelist not because he had material but because he was storing up passion and temperament

    V.S. Pritchett, New Statesman
  • Wryly funny and fascinating

    Sunday Times
  • Blizzards blow, wolves run loose in the forests, the doctor duels with Death, who is never satisfied

    Harpers & Queen

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