BOOK REVIEW: Eastbound Maylis de Kerangal

EastboundEastbound by Maylis de Kerangal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Release of Paperback Edition: February 7, 2023

This novella is translated from French but set in Russia. The story is short and simple, yet evocative. It’s about the attempt of its two main characters to conduct very different plans of escape. Aliocha is a soldier who’s traveling by train to a remote assignment in the East when he decides to desert. Aliocha’s desertion plan ends up hinging on the assistance of a foreign woman, Hélène, a French woman who – as it happens – is fleeing a failed relationship. For whatever reason, but perhaps because she knows the intense need to break free, Hélène decides to shelter Aliocha in her cabin until he can make clean getaway.

This is a quick but intense read. The lack of common language between the two escapees makes for an austere telling, one that adds to the emotional tone of the story. I recommend it for readers of literature in translation.


View all my reviews

3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Eastbound Maylis de Kerangal

    • It’s Post-Soviet based on references to Putin and a cell phone, but that’s still like the last 20 years. The writing is fairly sparse so there aren’t a lot of clues. While this translation is new, as far as I know the original language text has been out a few years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh 🙂 See that makes a difference if you factor in aircraft and technology being able to be used in the hunt for them. Can drastically change the flavor of the story if the writer thought to include them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.