My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A sharp insight into the world of Russian spies during the Tsar's rule, the book delves into the different personas that make up the Security Department of the police during those turbulent times.
The first half of the book defines and builds up the character of Yevsey Klimkov the protagonist who almost till the end of the book seems to be crawling in fright all over the place due to a severe case of low self esteem.
The latter half of the book depicts the birth of civil unrest and birth of the Revolution and its effect on the populace at large and the evolution of Yevsey Klimkov into a man who learns to believe in people and happiness.
This book was begun by Maxim Gorky in 1907, soon after the unsuccessful armed rebellion on Bloody Sunday, with which he was closely involved. Hence at times it is more like a documentation of history and distorted personalities affected by the fluctuating circumstances of the period.
A good read nevertheless to peep into those times when liberty was not even a dream.
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