- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
- Format: Hardback | 383 pages
- Dimensions: 150mm x 211mm x 36mm | 544g
- Publication date: 6 August 2013
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0374107874
- ISBN 13: 9780374107871
- Sales rank: 474,104
By the author of "Sharp Teeth," a novel of love, spies, and witches in 1950s Paris--and a cop turned into a flea Will is a young American ad executive in Paris. Except his agency is a front for the CIA. It's 1959 and the cold war is going strong. But Will doesn't think he's a warrior--he's just a good-hearted Detroit ad guy who can't seem to figure out Parisian girls. Zoya is a beautiful young woman wandering "les boulevards, "sad-eyed, coming off a bad breakup. In fact, she impaled her ex on a spike. Zoya, it turns out, has been a beautiful young woman for hundreds of years; she and her far more traditionally witchy-looking companion, Elga, have been thriving unnoticed in the bloody froth of Europe's wars. Inspector Vidot is a hardworking Paris police detective who cherishes quiet nights at home. But when he follows a lead from a grisly murder to the abode of an ugly old woman, he finds himself turned into a flea. Oliver is a patrician, fun-loving American who has come to France to start a literary journal with the help of friends in D.C. who ask a few favors in return. He's in well over his head, but it's nothing that a cocktail can't fix. Right? Add a few chance encounters, a chorus of some more angry witches, a strung-out jazzman or two, a weaponized LSD program, and a cache of rifles buried in the Bois de Bologne--and "that's" a novel! But while Toby Barlow's "Babayaga "may start as just a joyful romp though the City of Light, it quickly grows into a daring, moving exploration of love, mortality, and responsibility.
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Toby Barlow is the author of "Sharp Teeth." He lives in Detroit.
"This supernatural-spy-thriller-romance-history is one of the most entertaining books you'll read [this season]--or decade."--"San Francisco Chronicle ""Tolkien meets Graham Greene meets Anne Rice in this wild, surrealistic caper."--"New York" magazine "A fun brew of witches, CIA spies, and fraught romance....Barlow casts a magical spell."--People "Barlow is adept at combining unexpected genres....When Barlow began writing fiction, he has said, he was 'blessed by Plimpton's spirit of making the impossible possible.' This book continues in that tradition: It's an absurd hybrid that winds up as a bewitching caper novel."--"Los Angeles Times ""Toby Barlow is a warlock. "Babayaga" is his potion. Drink up."--Robin Sloan, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"