The Industry of Souls
by Martin Booth
The Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. Presumed dead ... Show synopsis The Industry of Souls is the story of Alexander Bayliss, a British citizen arrested for spying in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s. Presumed dead by the British Government, he survives 20 years in a Soviet Labour Camp. Eventually freed from the gulag in the 1970s he finds that has no reason to return to the West - he has become Russian in everything but birth. He finds his way to the home of his best friend at the Camp - Kirill - who he had to kill with his bare hands. He is taken in by Kirill's daughter and eventually becomes a local schoolmaster - much loved by all the village. Now on his 80th birthday Russia is changed. Communism has evaporated. In the aftermath his existence has come to light and a nephew is coming to visit him from England. The story moves from this day to his past in the camp and his life in the village. And it ends with him having to make a choice, perhaps for the first time in his life ...This is a power and dramatic novel that spans fifty years of Soviet history, capturing the repression and fear of the Stalinist period and the enthusiasm and sense of bewilderment that followed the eventual end of Communist rule.