First Sentence: It happened in the middle of wartime, on a station platform as flat and dusty as the endless plain surrounding it.
Back of the book:
In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return.
Quotes from the book:
It had all begun, very precisely, he told his mind, on the morning of the 28th of January 1936, at Arkhangelsk railway station. No, his mind responded, nothing begins just like that, on a certain date at a certain place. It all began in many places, and at many times, some even before you were born, in foreign countries, and in the minds of others.
‘And yet a triad put together by three not very clean vodka glasses and their contents was a sound that rang clear of the noise of time, and would outlive everyone and everything. And perhaps, finally, this was all that mattered.’
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Last Sentence: And perhaps, finally, this was all that mattered.