Carole Angier

Saeva Indignato

Human Love


Sceptre 249pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Andreï Makine is a great writer. I had only one bemusement – it wasn’t even a reservation – about his books: they always seemed to tell the same story. In Human Love he has broken away from that story. I wish I could salute his achievement, but something has gone wrong. I think Makine (like Anita Brookner, or Jean Rhys) may be a great teller of only one tale.

That tale, in Le Testament Français and other novels, is of a Russian boy with a French history, recounted through vivid images of the Siberian landscape and a few intense relationships. Human Love is the story of an African, Elias Almeida, whose experience of his mother’s poverty and death turns him into a professional revolutionary. It is also about Elias’s love for Anna, a Russian girl he meets during his training in Moscow; and above all about the conflict between this personal love and devotion to a political cause.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the best aspects of Kaufmann’s book is its optimism' Here's @BurlM11's review of @epkaufm's Whiteshift. ,
    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,