The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
By Tom Rachman
The stunning second novel from the author of international bestseller The Imperfectionists.
WHO IS TOOLY ZYLBERBERG?
9-year-old Tooly is living in Bangkok, largely left to her own devices, when she is spirited away by a seductive group of outsiders who take her from city to city across the globe.
At 20, she is wandering the streets of Manhattan with a scribbled-on map, living with a ping-pong-playing, avocado-loving Russian émigré called Humphrey and scamming strangers for her shadowy protector, Venn.
Now, aged 31, she runs a second-hand bookshop on the Welsh borders and has found a kind of peace with her strange upbringing - until she gets a message from an old flame asking her to come back to New York to see her dying father.
Tooly has spent so much of her life becoming what others want her to be, she has lost all sense of herself. Warm, hilarious, moving and fizzing with intelligence, THE RISE AND FALL OF GREAT POWERS is a masterpiece about the search for identity, the people who rise into and fall out of our lives, and how to figure out what home means.
Tom Rachman was born in London in 1974 and grew up in Vancouver. His first novel, The Imperfectionists, was an international bestseller, published in more than 20 languages. Both novels so far have been feted by critics, who compared him to Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh and Anton Chekhov. He lives in London. www.tomrachman.com
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- Publication date:
09 Apr 2015
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The way the three stories mesh is a wonderful thing - suspense and intrigue in equal measure. Every so often it reminded me of Donna Tartt. — Evening Standard
One of the paciest, easiest to read novels you could imagine... mesmerising: a thorough work-out for the head and heart that targets cognitive muscles you never knew you had. — The Times
Some novels are such good company that you don't want them to end; Tom Rachman knows this, and has pulled off the feat of writing one. — Sunday Telegraph
The detail is never overdone, the language is quirky and the novel's structure is beautifully managed. — The Lady
Ingenious... Mr. Rachman needs only a few well-drawn characters to fill a large canvas and an impressive swath of history. — New York Times
A bookshop-lover's book, and beautiful prose-lover's book, and read-it-all-in-one-weekend book. — The New Republic
Even with all the flights of fancy and exotic locales, the characters in it are beautifully human . . . After his much acclaimed 2010 debut, The Imperfectionists, Rachman uses this follow-up to prove he's a writer to watch. — avclub.com
Sprawling, ambitious. — New York Magazine