The Industry of Souls

The Industry of Souls The remarkably powerful and critically acclaimed novel that was chosen as A New York Times Notable Book of and shortlisted for The Booker PrizeThe Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayl

  • Title: The Industry of Souls
  • Author: Martin Booth
  • ISBN: 9780312267537
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • The remarkably powerful and critically acclaimed novel that was chosen as A New York Times Notable Book of 1999 and shortlisted for The Booker PrizeThe Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950 s Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970 s, he finds he has no reason to return to the WThe remarkably powerful and critically acclaimed novel that was chosen as A New York Times Notable Book of 1999 and shortlisted for The Booker PrizeThe Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950 s Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970 s, he finds he has no reason to return to the West he has become Russian in everything but birth Now, on the day of his 80th birthday, Russia has changed Communism has evaporated In the aftermath, information has come to light that Alex is still alive This moving story weaves together the events of Alex s life, exploring this momentous day, his harrowing past in the camp and his life in the village And it ends with his having to make a personal choice, perhaps for the first time in his life, and the climax is shattering.

    • ✓ The Industry of Souls || ☆ PDF Read by ✓ Martin Booth
      341 Martin Booth
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      Posted by:Martin Booth
      Published :2019-02-11T12:34:54+00:00

    About “Martin Booth

    • Martin Booth

      Martin Booth was a prolific British novelist and poet He also worked as a teacher and screenwriter, and was the founder of the Sceptre Press.

    122 thoughts on “The Industry of Souls

    • This is the book I always mention when asked for my favourite book, it's been many years since I read it and so I'm re-reading it to see whether my perception has changed.Stunning, brilliant, still love it as much today as I ever did. It deserves to be read by all.


    • “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. And, if the years have taught me anything, it is a wisdom of sorts.”Despite its ominous subject The Industry of Souls is an exceptionally warmhearted novel.“We cannot escape it and must come to accept it. Men fight for nations and squirrels fight for nuts. There is little difference between the two. It is only a matter of dimension. The size of a walnut against the size of the world. U [...]


    • The size of a walnut against the size of the world. Ultimately, the prize is one of possession.This is a stunning example of understatement. Oh so British. A Gulag tale lacking in hair-ripping, but rife in a vale of tears. This prompted an interest in Booth, one which died on the vine.


    • Just when you were about to give up on contemporary fiction, your attention is grabbed by a book like this. Written by a British novelist and shortlisted for the Booker in 1998 when it was up against Booker stalwarts McEwan and Barnes ('Amsterdam' (which eventually won) and 'England, England), Patrick McCabe's 'Breakfast on Pluto', and Magnus Mills 'Restraint of Beasts' . This is the story of Alexander Allanovich Bayliss who whilst working as a scrap metal buyer in Russian is seized for spying a [...]



    • It's been a while since i hated to see the end of a book, but Industry of Souls engendered that feeling. As I rounded the final bend, each word became a step toward the inevitable ending. Like the protagonist, old Shurik, reading this novel was a tour on foot around his city of life. Here is the tale of a man of ethics and acceptance who changed a small town in rural Russia after 25 years of hard labor in a Communist post WW2 gulag/mine somewhere in Siberia. He was a young Englishman captured an [...]


    • Booth has created a world I never imagined. On his 80th birthday the main character, an Englishman living in a Russian village, thinks back over his years in the gulag and what has transpired since. I found the comradery in the gulag surprising--the kindness and love the men felt for one another--and the man himself endearing and unforgettable. Highly recommended.



    • The deeper I got into the story, the more I liked it. A story of a man's soul and how he arrived "home" after 20 years in a Russian gulag camp. Also a story of survival and what defines family. To sum it up with paraphrasing from the book, "to forgive but not forget" is a good way to survive life.


    • A Story of a Man who miraculously finds Freedom & FriendshipThis was an interesting book that I bought because it was clipped out of almost winning the coveted Booker Prize. It was an interesting story that I think would make a wonderful film. The whole idea of being wrongfully accused of being a British agent and arrested by the Russian KGB and sentenced to 25 years of hard labor is a painful thought. However, this British character grows on you as you feel his pain and suffering while he w [...]


    • A very "book club worthy" book. So much to mull over and discuss! This is the story of an Englishman who was sentenced to 25 years of hard labor in the "gulag" - a Soviet work camp - in the 1950s. He was eventually freed in the 1970s, and rather than returning to England and what remained of his family, he journeyed to a small Russian village to deliver a message to the daughter of one of his friends in the gulag. He ends up becoming a beloved member of the community. The great part of the story [...]


    • Editorial Review: The Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950's. Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970's, he finds he has no reason to return to the West--he has become Russian in everything but birth COMMENTS: My only fault with this novel is that it lacks thrust. If there was a "shattering climax" (as noted in the editorial review), I missed it. Nevertheless, Booth's writing is excellent, and the sto [...]


    • The story of an Englishman sent to the gulag by Soviets claiming he was a spy, this book follows the reminiscences of the protagonist and his experience with six others as they endure their sentences. The book paints a portrait of a small town in Russia where, following his term, the protagonist has come to live. Despite the trials the Soviets have put him through, the protagonist maintains a warm sense of humanity, perhaps a little too sunny and the fact that most of his comrades and fellow vil [...]


    • I'm not sure why recommended this so insistently, but it was interesting and not something I would have come across otherwise. I had to get it on interlibrary loan! Essentially, Alexander has a pretty nice time in the gulag, then hangs out with a nice family in a little town in Russia until he gets to a ripe old age. The book is about choice and the lack thereof, but most of the pages are taken up with descriptions of his time in the gulag (very cold and lots of heavy lifting, but he made great [...]


    • This book endures as one of my favourite modern novels. I read it because it made the shortlist for the Booker Prize (it was unjustly beaten by Ian McEwan's Amsterdam). The story has a wonderfully interleaved narrative between a time in the present where the main character is an old man, his time in the Russian prison (he is a Brit who was falsely accused of being a spy and spent 25 years in Siberia), and his recent past living with the daughter of his friend from prison. It is beautifully writt [...]


    • It's one day late in the life of an Englishman who spent 25 years (unjustly) in a Siberian gulag, then settles in the Russian village that was home to one of his workmates. Alternating chapters situate him in the life of that village & recall his life in the gulag. At the end he has to decide whether to remain in the village or return to England. It's a book I should have liked but never really connected with. For some reason with this book I'm inclined to blame myself. The author's intentio [...]


    • The Industry of Souls is a book that will leave its mark with you in so many ways. It’s a story of endurance, love, beauty, pain and hardship. The main character Shurik is an inspiration and seemed to find inner resources with compassion and unity for his friends in the harsh uncompromising reality of the Gulag. I was in tears near the end of the book, and was left drained of emotion. This story is one of survival against the odds and how from a lost black bleak place, love can blossom. This i [...]


    • This poignant story is about an Englishman wrongfully sentenced to 25 years labor in the gulag. He survives working in deplorable conditions in a coal mine. The socialization of these slave laborers is part of the story. Upon the completion of his sentence, he becomes a school teacher in a small, rural Russian community and makes a significant impact on the villagers and students. This is a wonderfully insightful tale about relationships, survival, and human goodness.


    • Book Club.A victim of the Cold War, the English hero spends many years in a work camp - a gulag- in Siberia or North Russia. The story begins 20 years after he is released as on his 80th birthday he walks slowly around the Russian village which has adopted him, and reminisces about his imprisonment and his life in this small village which is full of warm and loving people who are grateful to him for his many years as a schoolmaster and mentor.Has a great ending.


    • It was a bearable read, but not particularly well researched and often quite cliché. I get the impression that the author didn't actually know much about the Gulag system. If I was told to write a book about living in forced labour camps in general I might have come up with a similar book without thinking too hard. It would have been nice if there were insights into how people were taken to the gulags and more thought on what life was actually like in that system.


    • " I was in command, the captain of my soul. Where I voyaged from that moment on was entirely up to me. My hand, and no one else’s, was on the tiller. I had the maps and, although I may have been ignorant of where the reefs and shallows were, I had at least stars to steer by and a compass: and those stars were not Polaris and Cassiopeia, Alderamin and Capella in the constellation of Auriga "


    • Hmmm. Well that explains it. I *loved* this book, having found it in a clearance section of our local Half-Price Books store, not knowing anything about it except that it looked quite interesting. Well, just discovered it had been short-listed for the Book Prize in 1998.Well worth reading; eloquent and haunting.


    • what an amazing story. This made me so wary about how someone could completely disappear and be subject to such incredible hardship. The gradual change to the integral character of the principal character takes him to a point of no return where his values and morals and sense of self no longer belong to the life from which he has come.


    • This was really good. The storyline was a good mix of present & past. The idea that just because bad things happen to a person, it doesn't have to ruin their life. I was really moved by the resilience of Shurik & the acceptance of his adopted family/village.


    • One of my all-time favoritesTaking the reader into the Soviet gulag, the book surprises with humor, beauty, and sadness. The Industry of Souls is sure to leave its thumbprint on your soul as it has on mine.


    • One to have on your shelves to re-read, share with friends and remember for all time. The writing is exquisite, the plot gripping, and the ending brought me to tears. This is not a spoiler, it is just a perfect ending; inevitable. I am now on a quest to read many more of his books.


    • While I enjoyed the book, I get frustrated when authors heavily hint at but refuse to reveal bits of information until really far into the book. The author did that, but then the information that was revealed turned out to not be very interesting or surprising. It was good but not unusual.


    • Truly a lovely book. It's the story of an Englishman sentenced to hard labor in the Soviet gulag. He's now released, living in a small Russian town, and celebrating his 80th birthday. As he walks the town reminiscing about his life there he also flashes back to his work in Soviet mines.




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