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IT'S TIME (Russian Edition) [Russian] [Paperback]

Pavel Kostin , Max Bollinger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

12 Oct 2011
Set on the shores of the Baltic Sea, on rooftops lit with mesmerizing orange sunset and in the darkest corners of urban night. We find real characters there with depth and ideas searching for direction in their fragile lives and learning to express their ideas through art. From up on the roof, you can see everything. You can see life scurrying below you, and see it with a calm objectivity. No prejudices, no assumptions. That's what Max, the compelling narrator does: even when he is not sitting on a rooftop, he looks at life with intelligent curiosity, amiable openness and good-humoured equanimity. Max is not only a great companion for the reader - a calm presence at the centre of events - but the perfect lens through which to see a hidden world. Through Max we meet a succession of intriguing characters-artists and dreamers with their own unique perspectives on life and formulas for happiness: Viktor, the photographer who finds beauty in the mundane; inscrutable Tanya, whose mystery attracts Max as much as her smile; Pyos, an artist who lost ability to see people around him and lives in a disappearing tower; Oksana, forever entangled in spontaneous and dangerous affairs; Gray, connoisseur of street-art and magic. And, at the centre of it all, the enigmatic Lady F, who appears out of nowhere to give Max little bits of comfort and advice. Her clairvoyant yet cryptic intimations lead Max, and us, through a procession of coincidences, adventures, and miraculous escapes. Who is she? Guardian angel, Lady Luck, hallucination? Whoever she is, her wry and wise interchanges with Max are one of the novel's real pleasures. Whispers of magic get louder and louder, but, thanks to Kostin's clear and sober prose, with its amused detachment and adroit lyrical touches, we never stray into the world of fantasy or stock-in-trade magic realism. Pavel's latest novel is more than just a product of his own imagination. According to his introduction, the book is written on the walls of his home city, Kaliningrad, by the city itself and by the street-artists living there. His new heroes are extraordinary young romantics, using their art to express ideas, not unlike our home grown talent in London including Banksy, Ben Eine, Cityzen Kane, C215, Roa. These characters are secretive. They live in their own world with their own philosophy and outlook on life. But how does one become such urban romantic? We see a freedom seeking artist in Pavel's new novel, we see his journey, his adventures, his dilemmas and his choices. What would you choose? The comfort of daily routine or the free spirit of art? For Pavel's characters this becomes a question of life and death.

Product details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Urban Romantics; 1st edition (12 Oct 2011)
  • Language: Russian
  • ISBN-10: 1907832211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907832215
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.1 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,930,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pavel Kostin is a contemporary romantic writer with passion for magical and mystical side of life. His heroes are mysterious, often secretive, unusual and yet ordinary young people who want to understand the world around them. They are often artists and romantics at heart and this unites them in their eternal search for truth, freedom, love and friendship.

Product Description


This book is about new generation of young people, about new ideas, that everything is possible if one has faith. Very emotional soulful, and sincere. Read it in one go. The ending both shocked and inspired, made me want to live and explore life. Spirituality of the book brings memories of Haruki Murakami, but I disagree with the final choice of the lead character. - Yevgeni Topunov, Cambridge, UK

Pavel Kostin represents new life in Russia's celebrated literary tradition. His style is imaginative, gripping, original and lyrical. Unburdened by the Soviet baggage, there is an intriguing freshness in the raw innocence of Pavel's prose. - The Telegraph, London

I love this book because, although it is the story of certain unusual individuals living unusual lives, it illuminates all the existence of all of us. Thanks to Kostin's gift for characterisation, we really believe the conversations and musings of this cast of outsiders. They, like Pavel, and like me, are fascinated by the city, and the way we all interact with it. Kostin hymns the urban landscape and the young people that refuse to just exist in it, but live in it, by it, and through it. We see them, and their lives, and their art (which accompanies the text) and we see the way their art elevates their lives. From up on the rooftop, we can see everything, and it is beautiful. - James Rann, London, UK

Pavel Kostin's style is very romantic, there is no cynicism or vulgarity there. His lone, freedom seeking heroes reject consumerism and modern society's other dogmas. There is such unique elegance in Pavel's writing. Very admirable to see such qualities in a contemporary writer who just turned twenty five. - Roxanita, Barcelona, Spain

Pavel writes about modern day Don Quixote heroes, who don't need windmills to fight, they have their own ideas... But I won't be spoiling the fun for you, read for yourself and find out. I highly recommend, especially to young romantics. - Ivan Oreshkin, Russia

A beautifully, lyrically crafted novel. If one could combine the contradictory ideas of a soul s torments and the joy of life in one book this would be the book. Coming from a young author, it was so refreshing to discover no cynicism or crude language so common to the young generation nowadays. It was a joy to read. You felt extraordinary compassion for the protagonist in his tormented quest, you rejoiced in his optimism, you were bound to feel what he felt. Just look at his description of waves coming to shore (my humble translation the book is in Russian): 'The ubiquitous arrival of waves, one after another. It s so calming, if you look at it. But the point is not this subtle murmur of waves. It s the fact that after this wave there will be another, and then another. And so forever. It never fails to calm me. Forever. Do my problems even have a meaning compared to this word...' But don t get me wrong it s not just a descriptive novel of rumination: there is a plot here skilfully designed and not resolved until the very end.- Irene Rudra, Texas, USA --urban-romantics.com

About the Author

Pavel Kostin is a hopeless romantic whose inspiration comes from simplest things: a glass of cool spring water on a hot summer day or sunset gradually turning urban landscape into a kingdom of orange and purple shadows, concealing in the darker corners the unknown, mystical, and philosophical. Born in Kaliningrad, Pavel is one of Russia's youngest Debut Prize writers, a uniquely fresh voice and style in Russian post-Soviet literary landscape.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaliningrad Sunset 1 Feb 2012
At first I thought Pavel Kostin's "It's Time" was going to be a 21st Century Catcher in the Rye set in Russia, but then it sets off into the summer sunset of the naval port's docklands. If you are learning Russian like me, this is a nice way to do it - because the book is full of powerful descriptive passages, bustling dialogues between original characters and the odd diatribe about the nature of life and art. This makes reading a pleasure, even if you depend on a dictionary a lot of the time.

I like the way Kostin's main character stays positive against a backdrop of decaying industrial sprawl - I don't know why this strikes me as a non-commercial version of 80's punk, but it does just that and I thought it very refreshing.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressions of life, art, reality, magic 31 Dec 2011
By Natalie - Published on Amazon.com
This whole novel is about bursting out against a role, against the expectations laid out for us and against surroundings we've grown too comfortable in. That theme has been done before, of course, many times, the rebellion of youth against society, the need for immediacy and a return to our simple desires. But the way Kostin portrays this really struck a chord with me. Kostin often returns to his opening scene of the protagonist on the roof, watching the sunset and the horizon and the city. You begin to match it with Max's character: he is not crazy, he's just that sort of his person, that's what he does. Only later on in the novel are we forcibly brought back to that beginning and realize that there is in fact an underlying thread of urgency, an unanswered question, that Max takes it upon himself to discover, and that premeditated all of this.

Much of the book is a succession of impressions, of ruminations on life, on art, on reality, on our surroundings. The protagonist, Max, is reminiscent of a Fitzgerald-type narrator, pulled in every which way and wandering through the conflict of the story. Toward the end of the novel though we get struck with a realization, one which I didn't see coming probably more because I was absorbed in the protagonist's impressions and less because it wasn't predictable.

This was a surprisingly beautiful story, very surreal. As only my second or third foray into Russian literature I am sure I missed some of the subtler points of the language but at the same time I was deeply impressed by the mood that surrounds it, the simple language combined with deep meaning, the motifs of friendship, love, everyday magic, and probably one of the biggest things - that of the consequences of adulthood, of finding oneself. To read about themes that so wholly resonate with me in a language not my own made me feel uplifted as much as the tale itself. The quote on the back is certainly right: "You want to live after reading this."
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