Edmund Gordon

  • Dead Souls

    The insanity of ideology—including religious fundamentalism—is the subject of James Meek’s best-selling 2005 novel The People’s Act of Love. Set in 1919 in a desolate corner of Siberia, the story coheres around a battalion of Czech soldiers waiting patiently for the Red Army to come and finish them off. It features a sect of Christian fanatics who seek entrance to paradise through self-castration, and a revolutionary so confident of his own importance to the cause that, to keep himself going on a long journey, he takes one of his comrades with him for food. The goriness of these acts isn’t the