Author(s): David Bezmozgis
The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis is a searing novel about a man whose principles are tested to the utmost extremes. "Impressive...alive to how reversals of fortune change individuals." (Sunday Times). In a small crumbling resort in the Crimea, two men meet after many years apart. Kotler has fled Jerusalem with his young lover after taking a decision which has now cost him everything. Yet the other, Vladimir, would rather discuss the distant past: a long time ago, Kotler was betrayed and imprisoned - and now there must be a reckoning. With the world on his trail, Kotler would like nothing better than to hide. However, the consequences of decisions old and new return to haunt him..."Gripping from the outset. Brilliant." (Tom Rob Smith). "Compelling, rich, comic, profound." (Financial Times). "Brave and ambitious." (Independent). "Very impressive. As gripping as a political thriller, but probes issues of loyalty and betrayal more deeply than most thrillers ever aspire to do." (James Wood, New Yorker, Books of the Year). David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973 and emigrated with his parents to Toronto in 1980.
His first novel, The Free World, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His collection Natasha and Other Stories was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Commonwealth Writers' Regional Prize for First Book. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.
Gripping from the outset, as tightly structured as an intense theatrical experience, this is brilliant writing. Kotler - uncompromising and comprised - is a fascinating, provocative figure -- Tom Rob Smith A work of high moral seriousness dispatched with a gripping elegance ... Bezmozgis's story of fallen saints and redeemed outcasts is, to put it plainly, the work of a great writer -- Joshua Ferris, author of 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour' Just when we think we've arrived at the heart of the story's moral complexity, Bezmozgis cuts again and lays bare yet another layer ... one of the foremost writers of his generation -- Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk A compelling tale of reckoning. Bezmozgis is a smart, taut writer ... His sentences make interesting turns; his dialogue bites; and he brings alive pre-revolutionary Crimea, with its glum post-Soviet citizens and purple Yalta onions for sale by the roadside Financial Times A moral thriller ... Bezmozgis is a magician -- Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Lazarus Project Taut, fierce, forensically insightful ... explores the frictions between goodness and kindness, public and private virtue, forgiveness and forgetting. Compulsive and profound -- A D Miller, author of Snowdrops Brilliant, deft depictions of love, of memory, of compassion - and, ultimately, despite its title, of loyalty -- Edith Pearlman, author of Binocular Vision A taut, slim book with a stately tone that makes it feel much larger ... For [a] lively topical discussion of what it means to live a moral life, The Betrayers is just what the doctor ordered Prospect An impressive novel ... Bezmozgis explores the dynamics of mercy, guilt and repentence Sunday Times A vivid novel ... raising questions of integrity, compromise, identity and forgiveness Guardian A brave and ambitious novel ... The Betrayers suggests that Bezmozgis may potentially be one of the most important writers of his generation Independent Compelling. Bezmozgis's deft plotting, atmospheric scene-setting and limpid style remain assured. Each page is a gem Economist Ambitious. Bezmozgis is a fine writer Telegraph An impressive novel ... In unadorned prose, Bezmozgis explores the dynamics of mercy, guilt and repentence Sunday Times Absolutely gripping. Bezmozgis deftly explores themes of fidelity and morality Mail on Sunday