Once Upon the River Love
In the Immense Virgin Pine Forests of Siberia, where the snows of winter are vast and endless, sits the little village of Svetlaya. In the early years of the century the village had been larger, more prosperous, but time and the pendulum of history had reduced it by the 1970s to no more than a cluster of izbas.
But for three young men - the handsome young Alyosha, the crippled Utkin, and the older, dashing Samurai - little is needed to construct their own special universe. Despite the harshness of the environment and their meager resources, the three adolescents form a tight band of friendship and dream of another life, a world of passion and love. The warm lights of the Transsiberian train passing through give them fleeting glimpses of that other world. And when they learn one day that a Western film is being shown at the Red October Theatre in the closest real city, Nerlug, twenty miles away on the mighty Amur River, they trek for hours on snow shoes to see it. Through that film, starring the French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo and replete with gorgeous women whom he succeeds in seducing one after the other with consummate ease, the boys' lives are changed forever. Over the next several months they travel seventeen times to see their hero. And when that film is replaced by another that is equally daring and seductive, their obsession only grows.
Written from the perspective of twenty years after these youthful events, Once Upon the River Love follows the destinies of these three young idealists up to the present day, to the boardwalks of Brighton Beach and the jungles of Central America.
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ONCE UPON THE RIVER LOVEUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
A 1994 novel by the Russian-born author whose Dreams of My Russian Summers (written, as was this, in French) was rapturously reviewed when it appeared here in translation last year. The adolescence of ... Read full review
Once upon the River LoveUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
The second book by Makine to be released here in as many years, this delicate, beautifully rendered little work reads like a precursor to the magisterial Dreams of My Russian Summers (LJ 7/97). Once ... Read full review