St Petersburg, 1899. Obsessive gambler Rubashov has played every game in town. Now on New Year's Eve, he finds himself on the brink of ruin, and decides to make a bid for the ultimate rush, the biggest gamble ever, to challenge the Devil to a game of poker.
Rubashov loses. His punishment is not to go straight to Hell (Hell is full and has been for years), instead he is condemned to immortality. And so begins a monumental trip through Europe, as Rubashov encounters some of the twentieth century's most notorious characters.
A gloriously inventive historical adventure
Sensational... Vallgren has a superb talent for pastiche, and makes witty and convincing cameos of the infamous and the great
Hugely entertaining, witty and thoughtful, this is a future cult classic
Frame[s] the everyday with an almost medieval fascination with the grotesque and the macabre... proof, in this case, that the devil has all the good stories
There are some nicely observed episodes here... disturbing metaphors that offer brilliant, brief illuminations of his brutal subject matter