Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of The People’s Act of Love by James Meek

Review of The People’s Act of Love by James Meek

There’s something rather cold about this book. It’s set in Siberia. It ought to be really interesting, concerning, as it does, a group of Czech soldiers trapped in post-Revolutionary Russia and living in a town populated by a strange and rather sad Christian sect; but it’s actually rather dull. The text is competent but leaden; the characters are well-drawn but distant and strangely lacking in motivation. Perhaps the biggest problem with this book is its structure – Meek would have done better to start at the beginning and devote equal amounts of page space to the protagonists. As it is, the novel feels lop-sided – a sensation accentuated by a couple of overly-lengthy flashbacks that fill out the backstory. From the author’s note at the end of the book, it seems that the novel was conceived as an exploration of the (real) sect, but even that wasn’t fully realised and I couldn’t tell you anything but the most basic facts about it (which I won’t because, in the unlikely event that you choose to read The People’s Act of Love, it would spoil it for you).

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Categories: Literature, Reviews
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