We Are Now Beginning Our Descent

By James Meek
295 pages. Cannongate. $24.

James Meek’s previous novel, “The People’s Act of Love,” was set in the extremity of the Russian Revolution and was one of the best-reviewed books of 2006, according to Metacritic, an online compiler of criticism. Mr. Meek’s new novel follows Adam Kellas, a British novelist and war correspondent, who finds himself among the international press corps covering the post-Sept. 11 invasion of Afghanistan: “In the clothes they wore, the things they carried and their actions, the journalists were explicitly transient. The Brits played soldier-explorers; the Americans doubled up as missionaries and prospectors. The French were buccaneering scientists,” he notes. Kellas is increasingly tired of his own role, and when he falls in love with the enigmatic and unpredictable American magazine writer Astrid Walsh, he thinks she may offer a way out. But when he pursues her to the United States, he discovers she has secrets of her own.

Source : The New York Times


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