"A kaleidoscope of colour, billed as an alphabet, and narrated by the nameless 'N' - a writer who lives in the foothills of the Himalayas - Red introduces us first to N's friend, Zach." "In St. Petersburg for a music festival, Zach encounters the red-headed Aline in the Matisse Room at the Hermitage and is immediately bewitched. The A-Z chase that follows leads to India, but no sooner do the principals arrive than other characters appear between the sheets, among them five blackshorts, a gang of soot-smudged, grease-smeared cat burglars; a girl who tends pigs, and wants to keep her man; a gipsy of the pole-vaulter caste, one of the gang, whose wants are few - a stolen picture, a box of paints and a woman - but fateful." "A burning corpse, a thief in the night, a moment of dawning realization: leading the reader on a dazzling, dizzying dance through the alphabet, and weaving a vivid, vibrant tapestry as rich as anything painted by Matisse, Red is at once a love story and a story about the love of art, about life imitating art, about the end of love - and the end of life."--Jacket.