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A Simple Soul by [Babenko, Vadim]
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A Simple Soul Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I read this one from cover to cover in one sitting without wanting to be disturbed for anything, so I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys a good story with a lot happening, and twists that end in a path you did not expect." --Kathryn Bennett, Readers' Favorite 

"One of the striking features of the Russian language is its richness and this is particularly in evidence when presenting different shades of human feelings as love, sadness, tenderness, happiness, humor and revenge. It is this richness that Vadim Babenko has translated into English with his novel A Simple Soul....I can't say enough about Babenko's amazing power of description especially with his splendidly depicted characters." --Norman Goldman, Bookpleasures.com 

About the Author

Vadim Babenko left two "dream" jobs - cutting-edge scientist and high-flying entrepreneur - in order to pursue his lifelong goal to write full-time. Born in the Soviet Union, he earned master's and doctoral degrees from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology, Russia's equivalent to MIT. As a scientist at the Soviet Academy of Sciences he became a recognized leader in the area of artificial intelligence. Then he moved to the U.S. and co-founded a high-tech company just outside of Washington, D.C. The business soon skyrocketed, and the next ambitious goal, an IPO on the stock exchange, was realized. But at this peak of success, Vadim dropped everything to set out on the path of a writer and has never looked back. He moved to Europe and, during the next eight years, published five books, including two novels, The Black Pelican and A Simple Soul, which were nominated for Russia's most prestigious literary awards. His third novel, Semmant, initially written in Russian and then translated with the author's active participation, is published exclusively in English.

Find out more at vadimbabenko.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 673 KB
  • Print Length: 406 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ergo Sum Publishing; 1 edition (May 22, 2013)
  • Publication Date: May 22, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D2C6MR8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,485,301 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Vadim Babenko has written a quintessentially Russian novel in A SIMPLE SOUL and nothing could be as welcome a return to the magic of the great Russian novelists who more than any other group of writers have been able to plumb to the kaleidoscopic explorations of human feelings of love, sadness, happiness, sadness, revenge and yes, even humor. Think Gogol, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and ...Babenko. We of course must rely on the gifts of translator Christopher Lovelace who joins the ranks for those translators from the past who have brought Russian literature to the English speaking countries. But the tone and scope and manner of writing of this novel must indeed be of Babenko's nature.

Babenko has created two primary characters, the young and beautiful Elizaveta living a semi-reclusive life in Moscow and Timofey who lives in Sivoldaisk. Other characters important to the story are sculpted but it is the tale of these two that focus the book. Elizaveta has been receiving flowers from an unknown source, mysterious phone calls, and is even being stalked. Timofey, who was a boyfriend and classmate of Elizaveta, moved away after saving the life of an unconscious man who lay helplessly outside a bus stop. Apparently, the man he saved is a member of the Russian underworld and was grateful that Timofey came to his rescue. When the patrón returns to his native Sivoldaisk, he takes Timofey along with him as his personal aide. During the ensuing years Timofey leads a successful life with a poignant exception: as Timofey states `disaster, like good fortune, came out of nowhere' and in this case in the form of the patrón's daughter, Maya, who obsesses over Timofey and is determined to marry him.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is my first Babenko experience and I'll be a lifetime fan.

This book is so richly abundant in emotion that it will keep you engrossed for every moment it's in your possession. This is an examination of the human spirit, strength, determination, will, and a shocking portrayal of what true love can look like. It's ugly, emotional and sometimes filled with a deceit that it scars everyone in it's path.

I really identified with the passionate and often tragic fight for happiness and love .. and think that Babenko is genius among Russian authors for weaving such an intricate tale that makes the eventual ending just as satisfying as the moments that get you there.

You will finish this book and understand that the choices we make in life are always about love and a search for fulfillment and happiness even if they don't seem like it.. This was a wonderful heart read for me.
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A Simple Soul by Vadim Babenko is a thriller set in Moscow, Russia. The protagonist in the story, Elizaveta, has grown tired of her lovers. She finds them boring or too complacent. In the end, all of her relationships have fallen apart. After leaving her current lover’s apartment one morning, she gets the eerie feeling she is being watched. She tries to ignore it and goes about her day only to discover that a beautiful bouquet of flowers has been left for her at her office. Rumors fly as the gossip train pulls out of the station at her work, but Elizaveta tries to just go about her daily business. Little does she know that a man from her past has sent the flowers, and that eerie feeling from earlier was actually the truth because a private investigator has been following her. The man who sent the PI was Timofey, is a former lover and has a new need for Elizaveta. Timofey has gotten in with the wrong people and now he needs to create a fake marriage to try and get himself out of a dangerous predicament. His only hope is that Elizaveta still has feelings for him, or at least is willing to go along with the lie until Timofey can get away.
A Simple Soul takes the reader into the love life of two individuals who left a rocky relationship seven years ago and now try to rekindle the flame based on a lie. The story reads very well and is written clearly with excellent editing. The downsides, if you could call them that, is the slow build up at the beginning of the novel and the challenge of keeping the names straight. At times, formal names as well as nicknames are used for the same character and it becomes a challenge to sort through. However, the slow build at the beginning gives excellent character development the names become clear after they are used several times.
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If you ever want to learn the true skills of an author from reading a single novel, look no further than “A Simple Soul.” From the depth of the plot to the emotional complexity of the characters, it would appear as if author Vadim Babenko has familiarized himself with the greats of Russian literature who have lived before him. In fact, the plot is so deep and the characters so complex that they could not be adequately explained in the book description. While the book description does a fair job at introducing the story between Elizaveta and Timofey, this only gives you a peek at a third of the major characters.

Other major characters include Alexander, who also shares a romantic connection to Elizaveta. Then there is Nikolai, an expert on family trees and crests, and his friend Andrei. Finally, there is Frank, the one American protagonist in the story. Some of their lives intertwine more than others, and they do not all necessarily share as much importance to the story as Elizaveta and Timofey. Nonetheless, their stories are interesting and they add a lot of flavor to the book (much like Septimus added flavor to Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” despite sharing little of the main plot). The book just wouldn’t be as complete without them.

It should be stated that this book really is akin to great Russian literature. This means that there are epic scene descriptions, lots of expositional dialogue, and a few tangents on the book’s themes as well as other ideas worthy of discussion. Those who are not in the mood for a particularly intellectual reading experience may not get the most from what this book has to offer. This book has a soul, but it is anything but simple. However, those who are open to such a reading experience will find a home with this book. This is modern literature worthy of a more classical era. You don’t come by that too often.
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