by Stephen Tall on January 6, 2012
You can always remember where you were when you read a really good book. And so it is with Snowdrops, which I read on a flight back from Moscow, transfixed by the headily oppressive atmosphere AD Miller conjures of a city that is simultaneously authoritarian and corrupt, yet breathtakingly vital and entrepreneurial.
This is the first person story of Nicholas, an amiable Englishman-abroad corporate laywer, who finds himself hooked on Moscow — its grubby underworld and opulent high-life — and drawn, gradually but ever more deeply, into personal and professional frauds with deadly consequences.
But the plot (which is at times relayed a little heavy-handedly) isn’t the point — this is a book which shows how morality too easily takes a backseat in a lawless country, and betrayal becomes a mundane necessity. But it is also a panegyric to a nation and a people whose resilience and exuberance bursts through each and every page.