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The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell

The Breaking of Eggs

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Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2010.

The Desmond Elliott Prize is an annual award for a first novel written in English and published in the UK. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the prize is named after the literary agent and publisher, Desmond Elliott. Click here to find out more.

March 2010 Editor's Choice.

An incredibly moving story of a man whose whole life is turned around as he finds everything he had always believed in crumbling around him. Funny, sad and thoroughly absorbing.

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Dear Reader,

How often do you come across a novel that hooks you from the first page, or indeed, the first line? Well, this is what happened when I was sent The Breaking of Eggs – I was hooked and immediately realised I had something very special in my hands. It’s not often that an editor has the luxury of reading opening lines and then taking off home to read the rest of the book, but that’s what I did, and for the rest of that day and into the night I followed the journey of Feliks Zhukowski.

It’s an engrossing and compelling story about the rebirth of a life; an epic insight into the mind of man who for many years believed certain things to be true only to discover every single conviction he held was wrong.

Feliks is a man who is a slave to order and routine…and politics. These politics inform his every action, almost his every thought. But what happens when he finds out that the world is not so in thrall to his beliefs and has moved on? Feliks, whether he likes it or not, also has to move on. The Breaking of Eggs is about Feliks’s reactions to the crumbling empire of his belief system and how this lonely and sympathetic man attempts to turn around his life.

As well as being a fantastic and redemptive read, this novel contains such wisdom that I defy anyone to read about it and not ponder their own pasts and question, maybe, whether they might not try and view certain things from a different perspective.

I loved this book so much I pre-empted world rights. We have sold translation rights around the world including Penguin in America. Turn the page and discover how people in-house reacted to this novel.

Happy reading. I hope you love this book and I would honestly value your feedback.

With best wishes,

Arzu Tahsin
Editorial Director
Weidenfeld & Nicolson

If you like Jim Powell you might also like to read books by Paul Torday and Marina Lewycka.


The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell

'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs' The apologists of Josef Stalin

Feliks Zhukovski, a Pole in Paris, is a hangover from another age - a man who chose politics over people and ideas over love. His life's work is a travel guide to the old Eastern bloc; his personal life a series of failures. Unfortunately for Feliks, it's 1991.

Communism has collapsed, East Germany isn't the economic miracle he wants it to be, and at 61, his travel-writing days are numbered. Feliks makes the shock decision to sell his guide to an American firm, and sets in motion a life-changing chain of events. He will meet a brother he hasn't seen in fifty years, learn the horrifying truth about the mother he thought abandoned him, and get a second chance with a long-lost love.

But after fifty years of misunderstandings and delusions, can he start his life afresh? From the boulevards of Paris to the ghettos of wartime Poland, via Midwest America and the Berlin Wall, THE BREAKING OF EGGS chronicles the extraordinary journey of a lonely man who discovers it needn't have been so. As thought-provoking as it is moving, the novel casts an unflinching gaze on the human cost of a century of wars, in a voice that never loses its humour or uplifting power.

About the Author

Jim Powell

Jim Powell was born in London in 1949 and was educated at Cambridge. His first career was in advertising, becoming Managing Director of a major London agency. He then started a pottery, producing hand-painted tableware for leading stores. He was previously active in politics, contesting the 1987 Election and collaborating with former Foreign Secretary Francis Pym on his book The Politics of Consent. He lives in Northamptonshire.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th March 2010


Jim Powell

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson




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