Artem Samsurov reaches sanctuary in Australia after escaping his Siberian labour camp and making a perilous journey via Japan. But Brisbane in 1911 turns out not to be the workers' paradise he was expecting, or the bickering local Russian emigres a model of brotherhood. When the revolution dawns and he returns to Russia, will his ideals hold true?
Artem Samsurov, a charismatic protege of Lenin and an ardent socialist, reaches sanctuary in Australia after escaping his Siberian labour camp and making a long, perilous journey via Japan. But Brisbane in 1911 turns out not to be quite the workers' paradise he was expecting, or the bickering local Russian emigres a model of brotherhood. As Artem helps organise a strike and gets dangerously entangled in the death of another exile, he discovers that corruption, repression and injustice are almost as prevalent in Brisbane as at home. Yet he finds fellow spirits in a fiery old suffragette and a distractingly attractive married woman, who undermines his belief that a revolutionary cannot spare the time for relationships. When the revolution dawns and he returns to Russia, will his ideals hold true? Based on a true story, The People's Train brings the past alive and makes it resonate in the present. Tom Keneally takes us to the heart of the Russian Revolution through the dramatic life of an unknown, inspiring figure.
Thomas Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark, later made into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler's List. He has written ten works of non-fiction, including his recent memoir Searching for Schindler, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel, and 28 works of fiction, including The Widow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany's Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award.
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