THE PETERSBURG-CANNES EXPRESS by Hans Koning

THE PETERSBURG-CANNES EXPRESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unlike the Orient, there's no congestion in the corridors, just a single sweet romance in the wagon.lit, and a quixotic if frail story of two youthful revolutionaries from Russia at the turn of the century. Even if occasional ideas of a larger dedication, along with a few aphorisms, spiral up in the air, this is much more of a diversion than Death of a Schoolboy (1973). It takes place on and off the locomotive from Petersburg to Cannes when Anna and idealistic Andrew Tolcheff, a journalist, go to retrieve Sophia, a classmate of Anna's who had shot a judge in Cannes and been sentenced to only one year. Undersecretary of the Interior Draskovich is to return her to Russia for a stiffer penalty and Anna and Andrew are to see that he doesn't. They make his life wretched as they remove his personal belongings in Genoa, as Andrew poses as his assistant in Cannes and appropriates his mail, and ultimately they secure Sophia's release before they part -- on a note of triste regret. The year is 1900 and you can doubt if some of the more contemporary remarks made here were made then -- but Koning improvises gently on the heels of his sentimental, soft-boiled revolutionaries.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich