Sunday, 7 September 2014

Book review : The Dead Lake - Hamid Ismailov

Travelling by train across the barren landscapes of the Kazakh steppes, the narrator encounters an angry young man - Yerzhan, a 27-year-old man trapped in the body of a 12-year-old boy since swimming in the forbidden Dead Lake in the atomic testing zone during the Cold War. As the train trundles along the tracks, the tragic story unfolds, sounding like a traditional, almost mythological, bard's tale, full of overlapping layers of colourful characters, personal tragedies, battles with nature ...

In terms of plot, nothing much happens but it has a timeless universality that makes it reach out to you whenever and wherever you are reading it. It's a fairytalesque but poignant read with chilling references to the after effects of the nuclear tests.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £12

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Peirene Press Ltd (27 Feb 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1908670142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908670144
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1 cm

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Book review : UFOs Above PA and Midwest UFOs and Beyond


  1. Fascinating book. I have never heard of this author or book. I'd like to read it, though it is out of my comfort zone, I guess

  2. Might try & get this book from my local library. Sounds fascinating.