High-quality intellectual! Yes, I mean you! You are thinking: What is Rise & Fall of Great Powers? Is history book? No! Is book for give big muscles? No, no! (After read this book, you still contain only small muscles. Sorry.) It is NOVEL about entire of world in last quarter-century, from end of Cold War, to up and down of America power, to tech revolution of today. But mostly, is novel about my favourite person, Tooly Zylberberg, and secrets of her life. I am careful now - danger I say too much. I give only bit more: Tooly is bookseller in countryside of Wales. Always, she is reading. But one story she never understand: story of her past. When she is girl, strange items happen. She is taken away, around Asia, Europe, America, for many years with mystery persons. Why for? I cannot say on back of book! One of mystery persons is me, Humphrey, old man from Russia who cheats in Ping-Pong and eats avocados. There is Sarah, who drives us crazy, and not in good way. Also, there is Duncan and Fogg and potbelly pig. And there is Venn, who is most mystery person of all. The boy who write this book, his name is Tom Rachman. Maybe you hear of his first novel, The Imperfectionists? Bestseller book, publish in many language. Rise & Fall is very beauty follow-up. When you read it, you visit late Eighties, also Year 2000, also today; you see Bangkok, you see Brooklyn, you see bordertowns - also many places that are not begin with letter 'B'. What novel this is! Not for trivial beings, but I don't worry: just to look at you, I can tell you have very large brain. So, what you wait? Spanning three decades and criss-crossing the globe, THE RISE AND FALL OF GREAT POWERS is the story of Tooly Zylberberg and how she got to a second-hand bookshop in Wales via the streets of Manhattan and downtown Bangkok. This novel, dazzling in its scope and inventiveness, is peopled by an extraordinary array of unforgettable characters, from Humphrey the chess-playing Russian emigre to Venn, Tooly's shadowy protector.