A ‘painfully honest account’ of modern Russia

In The Spectator this week, Viv Groskop reviews Mud and Stars (Jonathan Cape), in which Sara Wheeler travels through Russia with the writers of the Golden Age — from Pushkin to Tolstoy — as her guides. It is, she says, “a painfully honest account, rose-tinted spectacles firmly placed to one side, and there is something compelling about Wheeler’s darkly passionate tone… It’s a complicated, bleak romance that mirrors the love-hate relationship many of the great writers had with their own country and people.”

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