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Publisher's Summary

Us Conductors is the story of the man who created the most magical musical instrument in the world, the theremin. It's a tale of electricity and espionage, jazz and kung-fu, Harlem and Siberia, and the way even doomed love can keep you alive.

Locked in a cabin aboard a ship bearing him back to Russia and away from the love of his life, Lev Sergeyvich Termen begins to type his story: a tale of electricity, romance, and the invention of the world's strangest instrument, the theremin. He recollects his early years as a scientist forging breakthroughs during the Bolshevik Revolution and his decade as a Manhattan celebrity and reluctant Soviet spy. Against the backdrop of Prohibition and the 1929 crash, Termen spends his days in his workshop, devising inventions, and his nights in Harlem clubs, jostling with famous bandleaders and falling in love with the young violinist Clara Reisenberg. When the boat reaches his homeland, Termen finds it is not the Russia he remembers. He is imprisoned in the Gulag system, sent first to a Siberian work camp and then to a secret laboratory. In the face of all this, his love for Clara remains constant, passing through the ether like the theremin's song. Steeped in beauty, wonder, and looping heartbreak, Sean Michaels' debut novel explores the lies we tell, the truths we imagine, and the lengths we go to survive.

©2014 Sean Michaels (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Us Conductors

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MEF
  • 2020-05-18

Perhaps not the topic for me.

I struggled to finish it. Not sure if it is the reader or the writer.

1 person found this helpful

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Zzzzz!

I really didn't mind sleeping through most of this one! In fact it was a very good lullaby.

1 person found this helpful

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What a journey.

I was transported through time and space into a story that was believable in its own unbelievable nature. The narrator could not have done a better job - stellar performance, not just reading to me.

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A Fine Book

A very unique story at times harrowing told by a brilliant sensitive man. it held my attention throughout.

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Alright story

Narrator was good, story line interesting. Ending was a bit anti climatic. Listened to it while building my deck.

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A great book

I really enjoyed the story. Finished the book in two days. I didn’t like the narrative in the beginning. Felt like a machine reading it but i got used to it.

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Interesting Character Study

I do not know too much about the Stallinist regime used to be. This book gives a pretty good insight into how it used to be. Also what comes next in Termans life is not easily predictable. That keeps you going. Needed some perseverance for me to get through the book. It is a long one. 😊 Seemed to close out in a rush. Overall was pretty good.

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Very very interesting

Awesome writing, intriguing to listen to!! I will listen to this book again, it fills in spots around history we know

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Fascinating.

A love story, a grisly exposure of the horrors of Stalinist Russia, a loving evocation of New York between the wars. But above all a gripping character study. So good you wish Michaels could have given us the rest of Lev’s life.

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Worth reading

Interesting story, lead me to research the subject. It is well read with excellent intonation.