Solo

Solo

Book - 2010
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Houghton
A kaleidoscopic novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred-year-old man from Bulgaria.

With an imaginative audacity and lyrical brilliance that puts him in the company of David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, Rana Dasgupta paints a portrait of a century though the story of a hundred-year-old blind Bulgarian man in a first novel that announces the arrival of an exhilarating new voice in fiction.

In the first movement of Solo we meet Ulrich, the son of a railroad engineer, who has two great passions: the violin and chemistry. Denied the first by his father, he leaves for the Berlin of Einstein and Fritz Haber to study the latter. His studies are cut short when his father’s fortune evaporates, and he must return to Sofia to look after his parents. He never leaves Bulgaria again. Except in his daydreams—and it is those dreams we enter in the volatile second half of the book. In a radical leap from past to present, from life lived to life imagined, Dasgupta follows Ulrich’s fantasy children, born of communism but making their way into a post-communist world of celebrity and violence.

Intertwining science and heartbreak, the old world and the new, the real and imagined, Solo is a virtuoso work.

“Utterly unforgettable in its humanity.” —The Guardian


Baker & Taylor
A 100-year-old blind Bulgarian looks back on a long life marked by fantasies about what could have been, from a dashed ambition to play the violin and interrupted scientific studies to idyllic children and the end of Communism. By the author of the award-nominated Tokyo.

Baker
& Taylor

A one-hundred-year-old blind Bulgarian looks back on a long life marked by fantasies about what could have been, from a dashed ambition to play the violin and interrupted scientific studies to idyllic children and the end of Communism.

Publisher: Boston [Mass.] : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780547397085
0547397089
Branch Call Number: Fiction Dasgupta
Characteristics: 339, [4] p. ; 24 cm

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Winnipeg1
Jun 30, 2013

One of the best novels I've read in years! Highly recommended.

u
uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

This tells the story of a blind chemist in Sofia, Bulgaria who reimagines his life. It is a little unusual, not bad, not great.

s
smilegirl24
Jul 12, 2012

With the story of one man, the author has managed to tell the story of an entire century. Centered around the country of Bulgaria, this novel follows Ulrich through his entire life; love, loss, and lament. The first half of the book tells just the "facts" of Ulrich's past. The second half draws the reader into the mind of Ulrich as we follow his daydreams. A wonderful book.

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