Ludmila’s Broken English by DBC Pierre

Ivan would occasionally leer over his shoulder, motion the duty-free bag, and cock a thumb into his mouth. Then he’d laugh. The twins would nod, chuckle, and raise their eyebrows. Blair’s rose optimistically, to show Bunny they were in congenial hands. In a whispered exchange, he even said Ivan’s gestures were a fine example of how strangers made friends across cultural and linguistic divides – that affable people everywhere fashioned jokes from whatever situation was to hand, and made them a point of reference for all future bonhomie. The brothers could expect more nudges, winks, and drinking of thumbs in the hours ahead.

I bought this book from the bargain section at Chapters but I plan to donate it to the library’s used book sale because it’s not worth keeping. There are a few moments like the one above that shine a brilliant but short-lived light onto the common experiences of being human, but everything in between is stumbling through the dark.



On a Tuesday in May, in terror-struck London, Blair and Bunny Heath become the first adult conjoined twins ever successfully separated. Later that year, in the war-torn Caucasus, Ludmila Derev accidentally kills her grandfather. By December, Ludmila and the twins find themselves trudging together through a snow field, staring down the barrel of a rebel’s gun.

Ludmila has set out on a journey west to save her family from starvation and marauding Gnez troops. The Heath twins have been released from a newly privatized institution rumored to have been founded for an illegitimate royal baby. They are plunged into a round-the-clock world churning with opportunity and rowdy with the chatter of freedom, self-empowerment, and sex. Dangerous cocktails and a Russian brides website throw these unforgettable characters together with explosive results.