ALL THAT GLITTERS (Zhizn' Udalas')

  • Novel
  • 2008
  • 384 pp
  • Publishers: Eksmo, Moscow

A high-pitched criminal drama from the celebrated author of the prison novel that stirred up the Russian literary scene, Do Time, Get Time.

The life of wine-merchant Matvei Matveev is no less ordinary than the life of anyone who started a business in early nineties in Russia. A safe flat, a smart wife, and a nice job seem to be all he has, and all he needs.

But the business is not doing as well as it seems; in fact, it’s a mess. Matvei’s only employee is a percussionist who plays in a band called Los Anormales every Saturday. His ex-partner is a banker, ultimate workaholic, exploiter, and a person heartless enough to refuse credit to Matvei when he desperately needs it.

Still, Matvei’s life is no less ordinary than anyone’s. Until…he dies. Or at least that is what he thinks has happened. After he disappears, his wife Marina hires police captain Svinets to find her husband.  Meanwhile, Matvei, hidden in the basement of a country house, is forced to recollect the episodes of his life that brought him to this condition.

Masterfully, with wit and compassion, Rubanov creates an entire gallery of psychological portraits of Russians in the 1990s.  Bold entrepreneurs and their wives, corrupt politicians, drug-users, criminals and cops—their jealousies and revenge are the pivot of this terrifying and convincing plot, in which there is death even after death.

  • Nominated for the National Bestseller Prize 2007
  • Translation rights on the first novel DO TIME, GET TIME sold to UK, Poland, Bulgaria

Praise for the author:

“His writing is an amazing combination of self-respect, European skepticism, reasonable patriotism, shocking experience, dramatic pitch and linguistic competence”.

«He's got an excellent, natural and precise style, a rare gift to delicately twist the plot, enviable ability to move between the plot and the digressions elegantly, and - above all – he captures and fixes the details like no other».