3.91 (3,407 ratings by Goodreads)
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Stunning, bestselling novel based on the real life of Rudolf Nureyev from an acclaimed author.This novel opens on a battlefield: trudging back from the front through a ravaged and icy wasteland, their horses dying around them, their own hunger rendering them almost savage, the Russian soldiers are exhausted as they reach the city of Ufa, desperate for food and shelter. They find both, and then music and dance. And there, spinning unafraid among them, dancing for the soldiers and anyone else who'll watch him, is one small pale boy, Rudolf. This is Colum McCann's dancer: Rudolf, a prodigy at six years old, who became the greatest dancer of the century, who redefined dance, rewrote his own life, and died of AIDS before anyone knew he had it. This is an extraordinary life transformed into extraordinary fiction by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. One kind of masculine grace is perfectly matched to another in Colum McCann's beautiful and daring new novel.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 26mm | 300g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 0753817047
  • 9780753817049
  • 84,580

Review quote

this is a brilliant portrait of an artist who could soar heavenwards on clay feet. * SUNDAY INDEPENDENT * a truly extraordinary novel * FAST FORWARD * 'it's a strikingly original one (book), and as apparently effortless as one of Fonteyn's pirouettes or Nureyev's leaps into space. -- Arminta Wallace * THE IRISH TIMES * McCann's remarkable novel...... McCann's prose - nimble, lyrical and wispy - does full justice to the tragic story of a dancer who was the glory of his generation * THE SUNDAY TIMES * 'a mesmerising novel' * THE OBSERVER * McCann's fictionalised biography of ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev met with wide critical acclaim on its January publication and its availability in paperback will open up this remarkable story to a new audience' * HEAT * 'Whether describing the Russian stepppe or New York's bathhouses, McCann's versatility is breathtaking.' -- Elena Seymenliyska * THE GUARDIAN * McCann has achieved a tour de force in his re-imagined life of Rudolf Nureyev..... McCann spins a verbal rhapsody out of Nureyev's passions and longings, by turns soulful, flamboyant, in your face. -- Brian Hennigan * THE HERALD * 'DANCER overflows with vibrant detail and evocative description.....McCann's books has a tremendous amount of life and energy.' * THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY * 'The theme of towering celebrity and its attendant vacuity is very well done.' -- Chris Power * THE TIMES *
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About Colum McCann

Colum McCann was born in Dublin in 1965. His fiction has won numerous international awards including the Rooney Prize, the Ireland Fund of Monaco Princess Grace Memorial Award, a Pushcart Prize, and Esquire magazine's Writer of the Year award in 2003. In 2005 he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film. He was recently inducted into the Hennessy Hall of Fame in Dublin. His work has been published in twenty-six languages. He has travelled widely and is based in New York, where he lives with his wife and children.
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Review Text

'The theme of towering celebrity and its attendant vacuity is very well done.' Chris Power THE TIMES
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Rating details

3,407 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 28% (969)
4 43% (1,449)
3 22% (765)
2 5% (177)
1 1% (47)

Our customer reviews

Why would anyone waste time writing a 'novel' about a person they obviously despised? This is a sad and horrible book, focusing on all the worst aspects of Nureyev's character. He was no angel, but he didn't deserve this kind of vilification. To call it 'fiction' and then introduce so many 'real' people is a nonsense. There were few redeeming features in this book, and I suspect it will upset many fans of Nureyev around the world. Award winning? Only for one of the most spiteful books I have ever more
by Valerie Brown
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