He works tirelessly to perfect a prose style that is full of romantic illusions, expressionist vision of reality, hallucinatory realism, and metaphysical sense and is seemingly grotesque.
We are two conjoined twins who were born at the crossroads of two social worldviews. Now it is already unreal to find out who gave us names. It certainly wasn’t our parents because they haven’t been in our life since its very beginning. Anyhow, whoever filled in the documents, had a lot of fun naming us Hope and Faith or, on the contrary, sympathized.
At birth, we were all but discarded, brutality suffering both physically and mentally, which made us feel like we were something superfluous – just a strange whim, kink of nature, deviation that doesn’t seem to exist but is encountered every day. And, at the same time, we were lucky enough to gain the ability to show people something worthwhile – the unity and harmony of two different persons, very different, what encourages to move towards the pure state, which is the awareness that we all form part of one whole.
Nevertheless, I still dream of me being alone – footloose and fancy-free. Somewhere at the bottom of my heart, the waters of my soul remain calm and peaceful, clear as crystal, but there comes a time when they surge forward like the frantic rush of a crowd, sweeping away everything in their path, or vice versa, I’ll be lucky to find people capable of listening, understanding, or at least trying to. And it’s not a threat, it’s simply fact.
Anyhow, what is around the corner is not only always immediately visible. It might be a long-awaited opportunity to never share the innermost essence with each other, cherishing and protecting our selfness, or imaginary liberation, which will turn into self-coldness and loneliness, when one’s soul felt squeezed in the vice grip of emptiness… Well, only time and books (hopefully including this One-Two) will show us the way and will put everything in its place.
For several years I have been collecting the records from heroes of the book. But I could not find everyone, and not everyone agreed to talk to me; I had to figure out many facts. This novel is in no way a confession about how hard it is and how long it takes to write a book and how little truth remains in the end, neither is it a book of complaints. This is just a chance to be sincere with myself, but most of all, it’s a great chance to be sincere with you; not everybody is that happy. For more than fifteen years I have been hesitating to publish this story. I kept writing and rewriting, forgetting and finding my way back to forget again. But now, I believe the right time has come. I hope this book is for you.
GOLD WINNER, 2017 INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS (IPPYS) for EUROPE – BEST REGIONAL FICTION
GOLD WINNER of the INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD CONTEST Readers' Favorite in the Cultural Fiction category 2017
WINNER of the 2017 MILLENNIUM BOOK AWARD
WINNER of the 2018 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS in the MULTICULTURAL FICTION CATEGORY
2018 BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD FINALIST
The 2018 IAN Book of the Year Award Finalist in the First Novel, and Literary/General Fiction categories
WHERE TO BUY
"Eliseev, a native Russian, injects a uniquely Russian way of viewing language, influenced by a culture and context far different from that of the average Brit or American. I love books written by authors of different countries whose native language isn't necessarily English for just that reason. I believe Eliseev’s One-Two has the potential to become a classic of modern historical fiction. Highly recommended." J. Aislynn d'Merricksson, Manhattan Book Review
"Beautifully written, extraordinarily powerful, One-Two proves a rare gem of a read and is recommended without reservation." Book Viral
"Thought provoking and well-executed - book clubs will rejoice!" The BookLife Prize by Publishers Weekly
"One-Two is very highly recommended as a powerful literary and social commentary piece that's hard to put down." Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
"As I read One-Two, I was reminded once again why I've gravitated towards the great Russian authors throughout my adult life. And reading One-Two,I felt again in the presence of greatness, a word that's often trivialized yet so apt here. I delighted in the glimpses of Gogol's humor present in the nicknames and descriptive imagery that flourish throughout this work: the strange little man who seems like a flat pumpkin, and the supervisor, CompassLegs, who enslaves the twins." Jack Magnus, Readers' Favorite
"An original, painful tale of youthful isolation." Kirkus Reviews
"It's heart-breaking to think of children being denied even their ownnames..." Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers
"This is a genius novel, a psychological literary drama that shall pull at all your heartstrings. But don't let that detract you from enjoying it as there are beautiful moments within, all the way to such a realistic ending, I actually felt like clapping my hands at the end of it and raising a glass of kosher whiskey. "
Mark Benjamin, Literary Flits
"This book is brilliantly written, although at times, it begs for relief from the agony of those marginalized in society. Eliseev raises Dostoevsky's lingering question in a unique manner: What is the value of life for those who cannot live within society?" Shelby Londyn-Heath, Surf's Up Writers Bookshelves
"Igor Eliseev has a deceptive and seemingly simple writing style not usually used for such works that nevertheless manages to weave an intricate tapestry of narrative and engaging dialogue with skill that makes it a pleasure to read. His portrayal of Faith and Hope is vivid and stark without descending into the darkness of morbid minds." Stefan Vucak
One-Two is "a highly original book which I can thoroughly recommend."
John, The Modern Novel
Innovative style breaks the rules to create a deeply moving story.
Anyone checking out the beginning of this book could be surprised by the unorthodox style, at least as far as contemporary novels in English…. The narrator's language seems to be a kind of an avant-garde theatrical portrayal of the author's imagination of rarefied thoughts of the stronger of the twin girls. If I look at it that way, also perhaps realizing there may be drastic differences in the Russian way of speaking, I find it to be a brilliant performance unlike anything I've ever seen. It's an innovative literary style that takes chances, and I feel, succeeds.
Tantra Bensko the author of “Glossolalia: Psychological Suspense”
This Kafkaesque tale by Igor Eliseev revolves around two protagonists who are joined at the hip…. There are touches here of Marcus Zuzack’s ‘Book Thief’ in the way that Eliseev cleverly and quite beautifully uses language and tone of voice. On one level, one might see this book as a metaphor for the transformation of the Soviet Union. But ultimately, this is a lyrical and beautifully descriptive work of fiction about the human condition, and its closing pages are both poignant and heartbreaking.
Alex Pearl the author of “Sleeping with the Blackbirds”
One-Two is the tale of conjoined twin sisters Faith and Hope and tells of their struggle for survival and acceptance in a cold and detached world. I have to say this is such a beautifully crafted book. The language is so fluid and poetic, and some of the phraseology is simply magical.
Dr J A Kahn the author of “Self Defense Against Vampires”
I enjoyed this literary masterpiece by a Russian author writing in English. One-Two is a tragic drama which though slow-moving, is entrancing with its prose and deep insights. I do believe that reading this book once is definitely not enough, and I see myself reading it a few more times in my lifetime. Thank you, Igor Eliseev, in giving the world this amazing and extraordinary tale!
Mark Benjamin the author of “A Change of Heart (The Royal Blood Chronicles)”
One-Two is quite a moving and inspiring tale. Eliseev does a very good job getting the reader to almost feel the twins’ pain and suffering and you can’t help empathizing with them.
T Williams the author of “Between Two Fires”
An interesting, sardonically laced tale about conjoined twins. This book, One-Two, was truly something I enjoyed reading! I appreciated the different viewpoints and events it provided in a world where being different is often viewed with skepticism and occasional acceptance from others who are also different… I tip my hat to the author, Igor Eliseev, in writing this story and crafting such a unique gem.
Edmund Mahon the author of “Nothing Happens All the Time: Homicides Truly Know How to Interrupt a Good Meal!”
One-Two is a punch sequence in boxing, a description of a binary star system, a basic element of computerization, a symbolic dance depicting the relationship of self (or of countries – USSR and US) and simply a name given to two conjoined twins, together, Faith and Hope, as one.
Ronald Paul Speakes the author of “Pale Saint Judas (A Swan-Knight Novel)”
Reading this story made me sad and moved by their emotions. I enjoyed the unexpected ending and I couldn't hope for a better one. Also I truly felt that the author wrote it with care, to gather all of these meaningful advices for the reader.
May G the author of “The Womb”
This book is a masterpiece and I have to say this, the author is a genius indeed… This book is a thought provoking and insightful read; one of its kind. Faith and Hope not only take the reader through a dark tunnel of reality, but also show that there is light at the end of the tunnel with their strong will.... When I finished the book, I was literally applauding the author in my head. The ending was totally unexpected and very poignant.
Viswa Sampreethi the author of “5 in the game of 4”
From the beginning I have never read any work by a Russian author. At this point I have had my eyes opened. I will be reading more works by Russian authors. Igor’s writing style was different from western writers. It was not bad. It was just different. Different in a good way. It was refreshing to read.
Larry King the author of “Zombie World Dominance: The Destruction Begins”
When I finished reading One-Two I had to catch-up my breath after this unbelievable psychological drama where the misery had no end… The author squeezed his mind for a long time to describe the part of human nature that can not be described, and he did a marvelous job by finding the right words.
Burbuqe Raufi the author of “Dr. Mind”
An engaging novel seen through the eyes of a conjoined twin, entirely addressed to her other half. Ignore writes a dark story that pulls the reader in on every page. Penetrated by a 'Les Miserables' desperation, this story has a Tolstoy feel.
Christine Benedict the author of “Anonymous”
The struggle of Faith and Hope is a struggle to persevere against great odds. It is a story of life told in a unique and compelling. An excellent read by a talent writer!
George Hiegel the author of “Blowing Smoke”
Wow! What an inspiring and moving story! One-Two is an amazing story of conjoined twins, Faith and Hope who because of their condition are seen as freaks… This story not only opens your mind and heart to these two characters but it fills you with compassion for mankind in general and the differences that makes us unique.
C. M. Krishackon the author of poetry book titled “Life Poetry”
"One-Two" is not an ordinary novel but a literary masterpiece based on a fixed, universal human nature. Since its inception, the reader gets a taste of the original yet extraordinary genial plot and writing style of Mr. Eliseev. In my opinion, this book should be read in every corner of the world, because it raises awareness and understanding of fundamental human rights and generates respect for others and conveys skills for creating and maintaining cultures of peace.
Sacha Lanvin Baumann the author of “Born This Way: Friends, Colleagues, and Coworkers Recall Gia Carangi, the Supermodel Who Defined an Era”