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DBC Pierre’s second novel charts the unlikely meeting between East and West that follows Ludmila Derev’s appearance on a Russian brides website. Determined to save her family from starvation in the face of marauding Gnez troops, Ludmila’s journey into the world and womanhood is an odyssey of sour wit, even sourer vodka, and a Soviet tractor probably running on goat’s piss.
Thousands of miles to the West, the Heath twins are separated after 33 years conjoined at the abdomen. Released for the first time from an institution rumoured to have been founded for an illegitimate child of Charles II, they are suddenly plunged into a round-the-clock world churning with opportunity, rowdy with the chatter of freedom, democracy, self-empowerment and sex.
A wild and raucous picaresque dripping with flavours of British bacon and nasty Russian vodka, Ludmila’s Broken English is a tale of tango-ing twins on a journey into the unknown. A ride so outrageously improbable it just may happen, DBC Pierre’s second novel confirms his place in the ranks of today’s most original storytellers.
Not many novels out there will make you fall in love with their heroines - There's Anna Karenina at one end and at the other Bao Ninh's The Sorrows of War and Hana Lewis in Ondaatje's English Patient. I'll add our Ludmila Ivanovna to the list now. She is utterly decent, utterly human. Brilliant and thoroughly serious, I love the book.
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