Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Dancer By Colum McCann - Book Review

April 21, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

What a terrific book this is. It tells the story of the Russian Tatar dancer Rudolf Nureyev. He was purportedly born on a train, rumbling down the trans Siberian railroad, and somehow that encapsulates his wandering life.

The story opens with the boy Rudi entertaining the mentally and physically scarred troops returning from the Nazi front. His father returns too, a political officer who takes a mighty dim view of his son's chosen career path, something that dogs Rudi's progress at every turn.

Yet he is not to be denied and slowly eases his way up the greasy rungs, and he is not beyond the occasional dirty trick to help him on his way. He is quickly marked out as a rebellious character and is subsequently carefully watched. But not carefully enough it seems, for he manages to defect in Paris from under the noses of the KGB officers. Rudi is on his way, hurtling toward the hedonistic lifestyle of New York, London and Paris.

Personally I found the passages set within the Soviet Union of far greater interest than those in the West. The book moved me to tears on several occasions; such is the power of Mister McCann's writing. It often comes across as a biography, but as he is at pains to point out, this is a work of fiction. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that, though it never once detracts from the enjoyment it offers.

The book is written in the first person and some people have found that irritating because that first person often changes with every chapter, and sometimes on every page. It is a device that keeps the reader on their toes, yet is does not hinder the writing, or the enjoyment.

It does not matter if you have little or no interest in ballet or dance, or the Soviet Union, or the Cold War, or the Sixties, or World War II, or homosexuality, for this book has the power to grip the reader whatever their interests.

I have just taken a peak at Amazon's ranking for this title. Amazingly it was 486,350! If that is true there is no justice in the world because this is the best book I have read this year. The work in hardback form can be bought for the cost of the postage alone, and that is ridiculous.

Do yourself a favour and read this book, heck, go one step further, treat yourself, and buy a copy. The book and the writer deserve it, and so do you.

David Carter's new novel "The Fish Catcher" tells the story of a group of children evacuated from London during World War II to escape the blitz bombing. It turns into a murder mystery and has been well reviewed. You can check out the first chapter on David's website at

The book is available in hard copy or by instant download, and can be ordered in any bookshop quoting ISBN 978 - 1847539304

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:





Soviet Union


Book Reviews


The Sixties




Margot Fonteyn


The Kirov

Finding and collecting vintage comic books for fun and profit is something that is interesting, but can be difficult. With so many places to look, narrowing down the options can be painstaking, until

By: Jorge Orduna l Book Reviews > Comics Humor l July 07, 2012 lViews: 286

Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted

By: Cy Hilterman l Book Reviews > Mysteries Thrillers l July 06, 2012 lViews: 278

"Look Me In The Eye, If You Dare!" Okay, all of You "Internet Millionaire Moguls," I want some answers, and I want them now.

By: Travis L Perkins l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 310

Crush it is a great "How to" book on using social media and being real with yourself on what you do. Gary is very passionate about what he does. The key to his success is blending who he is with what

By: Joe Mosed l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 547

My resolution this year was to knuckle down and do something to bring in some new clients for my practice, so I was pleased to see that Internet Marketing Bible for Accountants looked like it might

By: Karen K Jefferson l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 295

When promoting your business online, are you using internet marketing? If you have yet to spread your branches into the online world, you ought to consider doing so.

By: Joyce McNeill Christopher l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 281

Michael Baldwin is a successful professional dancer who has it all - a great career, a long-term relationship with his lover David, and a brand new lake view house they built together on Lake

By: Irene Watsonl Book Reviews > Dancel March 10, 2012 lViews: 189

Ballroom Dancing describes partner dances, performed socially or competitively, with prescribed specific movements. It evokes a sense of mystique and elegance if performed socially and of energy and

By: Mico Jonathan Ellisonl Book Reviews > Dancel August 14, 2010 lViews: 169

So, you want to be a dancer do you? Wow, there is so much you must know to perform with the best, and only you will know if you are up for the test. Maybe you could use some inspiration that might

By: Lance Winslowl Book Reviews > Dancel October 07, 2008 lViews: 186

When I first purchased this book I thought that it would be something fun to share with my students. I collect all things related to dance, knicknacks, posters, DVDs...hence books.

By: Tina Thorogoodl Book Reviews > Dancel September 08, 2008 lViews: 166

Author Deborah Vogel has written many books for the student ballet dancer. Most of them have to do with anatomy, and solving the conflicts between ballet's anatomical farfetchedness and the

By: Dianne M. Buxtonl Book Reviews > Dancel July 16, 2008 lViews: 189

When you think of Ballroom dancing, you generally think of flowing gowns and dark tuxedos. You also think of beautiful, willowy, women and tall, dark, handsome men waltzing their way around the

By: Charly Leethaml Book Reviews > Dancel May 29, 2008 lViews: 199