The Death of the Perfect Sentence

The Death of the Perfect Sentence


by Rein Raud
translated by Matthew Hyde

Pages: 168
ISBN: 978-1-908251-70-1
Dimensions: 210 x 140 x 12 mm
Publication: 21 June 2017 (Available now)
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This thoughtful spy novel cum love story is set mainly in Estonia during the dying days of the Soviet Union, but also in Russia, Finland and Sweden. A group of young pro-independence dissidents devise an elaborate scheme for smuggling copies of KGB files out of the country, and their fates become entangled, through family and romantic ties, with the security services never far behind them.

Through multiple viewpoints the author evokes the curious minutiae of everyday life, offers wry observations on the period through personal experience, and asks universal questions about how interpersonal relationships are affected when caught up in momentous historical changes.

This sometimes wistful examination of how the Estonian Republic was reborn after a long and stultifying hiatus speaks also of the courage and complex chemistry of those who pushed against a regime whose then weakness could not have been known to them.


"Rein Raud is already known for having written a number of highly varied and multi-layered novels, and his latest work is no exception. It is above all a first-rate work of fiction, but it also provides a view into Estonia’s recent history which is witty and thought-provoking, leaving the reader not knowing whether to laugh or cry. The novel’s main ingredients, which include the KGB, Western spies, and Soviet dissidents, guarantee an addictive reading experience, and looming above all else is the central question of how to build a new society in conditions where the main legacy of the old one was the destruction of interpersonal trust." – Peeter Helme, Estonian Literature Centre

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