Bissell, Tom. God lives in St. Petersburg, stories.

Author:Theiss, Nola
Position:Young adult review - Brief article - Book review

BISSELL, Tom. God lives in St. Petersburg, stories. Random House, Vintage, 212p. c2005. 1-4000-7542-4. $13.95. A

These stories set in Central Asia and Russia are really about Americans--scientists, missionaries, Peace Corps volunteers, sons of ambassadors and journalists. The stark surroundings in the stories are described with wit and caustic humor, and are used to isolate the characters in such foreign settings that their Americanism stands out in stark relief, in a none too flattering way. In these six stories, the reader meets a selection of misguided young people whose true nature is put to the test in difficult circumstances they chose for themselves. For example, in one story, a young man has no life other than that of a parasite on his parents' wealth and position. When he befriends a young missionary, his debauchery leads to disaster for everyone connected to him. A scientist studying the Aral Sea is kidnapped by a man who forces the...

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