This fascinating novel is easy to admire . . . [it] captures [the] horror [of Stalin’s 1930s Russia] and yet maintains an undercurrent of absurdist humor. . . . Levitt’s powerful narrative variously suggests Chaplin’s Great Dictator, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Voltaire’s Candide, Heller’s Catch-22 and Brecht’s Mother Courage, but remains an entirely original, entirely remarkable work of the imagination.

—The Washington Post