Fall of a Cosmonaut Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Fall of a Cosmonaut

My favorite Updike, “The Centaur” evokes the majesty of mythology as the author
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parallels the story of Chiron, the wisest and best of the centaurs, who gives up his
immortality, after being wounded, on behalf of Prometheus. Down to earth, Updike's story
is that of a high school teacher (“Chiron”) and his teenage son (“Prometheus) and the
parallel, symbolic story grows from there. Some knowledge of Greek mythology certainly
helps in following the story line (but is not mandatory), as Updike captures the poignancy
of this sacrifice, of their relationships, of their successes and failure.   

ALL READERS Reviews: posted Sept. 14, 2000

“Islands in the Stream” by Ernest Hemingway

12 Published posthumously, “Islands in the Stream” may not be Ernest Hemingway's
best work, but it is a book that is well worth reading, whether one is a Hemingway fan or
not. Naturally, it is heavily autobiographical, disguised just enough to classify the work as
fiction. The book is divided into three parts, the first gives us a description of Thomas
Hudson, the painter, in the 1930s, living on the island of Bimini in the Atlantic off the coast
of Florida. Hudson fishes, paints, fishes some more, but the highlight of the year is when
his three sons come for a visit. Hemingway's classical gift of description is at his best here
(especially the deep sea fishing episodes). Part two occurs a few years later in Cuba and
much of this section is set in a bar in Havana where we meet some of Hemingway's
unforgettable characters. The last part is a bit later, when Hudson is hunting down the
survivors of a German submarine. The book reflects what is best in Heminway's writing.

ALL READERS Reviews: posted Sept. 19, 2000
The fall of the Iron Curtain has brought about many changes to the daily lives of the
Russian citizens--many of these changes not good! In this Inspector Rostnikov series,
author Stuart Kaminsky mirrors these changes with an excitement that is not only
compelling but mesmerizing! In “Fall of a Cosmonaut,” the latest of the series,
a Cosmonaut's last recorded message from high aboard the Mir space station was that
Inpector Rostnikov must be contacted if something went wrong. Something did go wrong,
and the cosmonaut Vladovka is missing. No one knows if he is dead, kidnapped, or just
disappeared on his own. The Russian government, understandably, is concerned because
he possesses valuable secrets! As usual, Kaminsky has more than one story going on at the
same time, all interrelated, of course. One such sub-plot deals with a movie director
working on the life of Tolstoy; another involves the research at a paranomal center, where
the director is found murdered. It takes the skill, the intellect, the presence of Rostnikov
and his crew to sort out all these problems. Kaminsky's latest is a great read!
The review of this Book prepared by Bill Hobbs

Chapter Analysis of Fall of a Cosmonaut

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Plot & Themes

Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   criminal's rise in a crime organization Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   government investigator Age:    -   40's-50's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Eastern Europe

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Fall of a Cosmonaut

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