Babayaga

By Toby Barlow
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374107871, 400pp.)

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List
“Moving from ancient Russia to the dawn of the New World, stretching into an endless future, but mainly rushing madly around postwar Paris, Babayaga covers a lot of ground. Vengeful witches hunt, charm, and wage battle. Evil scientists hatch sinister plans. A dashing spy runs a crew of outcast mercenaries. A good-hearted police inspector stays on his case, even in the form of a flea! And hapless Will, ad man/CIA informant, is caught in the whirlwind, which just might be the best thing that's ever happened to him. Babayaga crackles with an electric energy driven by its hilariously inventive plot, clever prose, and outrageously eccentric cast of characters.”
-- Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers, Marietta, GA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2013 Indie Next List


Description

By the author of Sharp Teeth, a novel of love, spies, and witches in 1950s Paris—and a cop turned into a flea

Will is a young American ad executive in Paris. Except his agency is a front for the CIA. It’s 1959 and the cold war is going strong. But Will doesn’t think he’s a warrior—he’s just a good-hearted Detroit ad guy who can’t seem to figure out Parisian girls.
     Zoya is a beautiful young woman wandering les boulevards, sad-eyed, coming off a bad breakup. In fact, she impaled her ex on a spike. Zoya, it turns out, has been a beautiful young woman for hundreds of years; she and her far more traditionally witchy-looking companion, Elga, have been thriving unnoticed in the bloody froth of Europe’s wars.
     Inspector Vidot is a hardworking Paris police detective who cherishes quiet nights at home. But when he follows a lead from a grisly murder to the abode of an ugly old woman, he finds himself turned into a flea.
     Oliver is a patrician, fun-loving American who has come to France to start a literary journal with the help of friends in D.C. who ask a few favors in return. He’s in well over his head, but it’s nothing that a cocktail can’t fix. Right? 
     Add a few chance encounters, a chorus of some more angry witches, a strung-out jazzman or two, a weaponized LSD program, and a cache of rifles buried in the Bois de Bologne—and that’s a novel! But while Toby Barlow’s Babayaga may start as just a joyful romp though the City of Light, it quickly grows into a daring, moving exploration of love, mortality, and responsibility.




About the Author

Toby Barlow is the author of Sharp Teeth. He lives in Detroit.




Praise For Babayaga

“This supernatural-spy-thriller-romance-history is one of the most entertaining books you’ll read [this season]—or decade.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Tolkien meets Graham Greene meets Anne Rice in this wild, surrealistic caper.”—New York magazine

“A fun brew of witches, CIA spies, and fraught romance....Barlow casts a magical spell.”—People

“Barlow is adept at combining unexpected genres....When Barlow began writing fiction, he has said, he was ‘blessed by Plimpton’s spirit of making the impossible possible.’ This book continues in that tradition: It’s an absurd hybrid that winds up as a bewitching caper novel.”—Los Angeles Times

“Toby Barlow is a warlock. Babayaga is his potion. Drink up.”—Robin Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

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