This is ultimately a story about being in possession of your own life. Zoroastrian myth, Sufism, Communism and Freud are woven together to create a work of psychological and philosophical complexity, with the hero, Chagataev, in the role of a 20th-century Moses.

Andrey Platonov was born near Voronezh in 1899. From 1918 he published articles in the thick Moscow journals before becoming a war correspondent during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45. He died in 1946 and it was not until the 1980s that his great novels The Foundation Pit and Chevengur were finally published in Russia.