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'Thomas Keneally is one of the historical novel's most expert practitioners, and his new book sees him back on the form that produced Schindler's Ark. Giles Foden, Guardian

'Thomas Keneally is one of the historical novel's most expert practitioners, and his new book sees him back on the form that produced Schindler's Ark. Giles Foden, Guardian

Artem Samsurov, a charismatic protege of Lenin and an ardent socialist, reaches sanctuary in Australia after escaping his Siberian labour camp and making a long, perilous journey via Japan. But Brisbane in 1911 turns out not to be quite the workers' paradise he was expecting, or the bickering local Russian emigres a model of brotherhood.

As Artem helps organise a strike and gets dangerously entangled in the death of another exile, he discovers that corruption, repression and injustice are almost as prevalent in Brisbane as at home. Yet he finds fellow spirits in a fiery old suffragette and a distractingly attractive married woman, who undermines his belief that a revolutionary cannot spare the time for relationships. When the revolution dawns and he returns to Russia, will his ideals hold true?

Based on a true story, The People's Train brings the past alive and makes it resonate in the present. With all the empathy and storytelling skills that he brought to bear in Schindler's Ark, Tom Keneally takes us to the heart of the Russian Revolution through the dramatic life of an unknown, inspiring figure. Like Schindler, Samsurov was no saint, but he was an individual who played a vital role in world-changing events.

Reviews

Praise for The Widow and Her Hero

FICTION JUDGING PANEL COMMENTS FROM PRIME MINISTERS LITERARY AWARDS 2008

In the fifth decade of his career, Tom Keneally’s powers of renewal and his unflagging appetite for story-telling distinguish his latest novel, The Widow and Her Hero. He turns to his favoured historical period - the Second World War, where a number of his works are set - and in particular to the commando raids against Japenese shipping in Singapore in 1943 and 1944. This master class fiction work is an interrogation of the nature of heroism, perhaps unproblematic for men in action, but of deep ambivalence for the women left behind.

Praise for THE TYRANT’S NOVEL:

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781741667455

    July 1, 2010

    Vintage Australia

    416 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781864714975

    May 1, 2010

    Random House Australia

    416 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Awards and Recognition

  • Commonwealth Writer's Prize
    2010
    Shortlisted
    Commonwealth Writer's Prize
  • Miles Franklin Literary Award
    2010
    Longlisted
    Miles Franklin Literary Award