Helen Dunmore on a miraculous novel.
Showing of 44 next show all Grossman's "Life and Fate" is a classic. His depiction of the internal thoughts, attitudes and contradictions inside every human mind during a time of incredible historical turmoil is absolute genius.
The pure truth that pours forth from every page is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit under incredible odds and its absolute destruction under totalitarianism, bureaucracy and sycophancy of whatever stripe.
Particularly moving are the letter from Viktor Shtrum's mother and another section where he describes in great detail the process through which tortured souls arriving on a train get taken through the stages of the gas chamber.
Despite the emptiness one feels upon reading the thoughts of these minds so readily extinguished in this great conflict, there is a sense of great lessons for humanity's future tied up within their stories. Quite simply this is an exquisite masterpiece of Russian literature and World War Two historical fiction.
Not having been printed in English until and written inthis work, like the beautiful human spirit that so eagerly presents itself in the pages of this tome, has an irrepressible nature that will continue to inspire those who take the time to listen to its historical lessons.
The prose style is spare yet luminous. Many have mentioned Chekhov as model for the writing style, and that feels right to me.
There are some truly haunting scenes in this book. But it's the constant juxtaposition of the tragic and the comic, the grand and the banal, that gives this novel its true heft. But having read a few things about Grossman made me put this book high on my reading list.
He was hugely praised as a war correspondent during Second World War, and yet his "Life and Fate" was censured and prohibited for a while.
I was interested to know why. And of course, it becomes clear right away: Being a true war correspondent, Grossman describes war scenes with sober objectivity, like from an aside sometimes, some lines read like newspaper print at times.
But when it comes to his characters, he changes and is more involved, much more "there" with them. As I was reading the book, one of the first thoughts was - too many characters!
Hard to keep up with all of them! I still think that - even though I read the book in Russian. But it becomes understandable along the way - Grossman wanted to cram all he knows, all his own experiences, the momentous importance of Stalingrad in deciding the war, the Holocaust, and so much more in this giant of a book.
Shtrum's story autobiographical can be a book in itself - the torture of his life under Soviet regime is palpable, as probably was Grossman's own life at times. I am still dazed after the experience of reading this novel. Especially when I think that Vasily Grossman was writing it while I was still a carefree youngster growing up in Kiev, Ukraine, with no idea that such an important in its substance work of literature was being created.
But if you want a really fine review of it an amazingly comprehensive one! There are similarities in both style and in content. The sheer scope of both books is grand, and take place during a failed invasion of Russia.
Both have much more to them than military activities, and have rich casts of characters. Grossman occasionally folds in actual historical figures, generals and heads of state from each side, just as Tolstoy did. Where the novels differ mainly is in tone. There is a terrible sense of claustrophobia to this work — no place is safe when one little slip of the tongue can get you arrested and sent away.
Like Grossman, Shtrum is attracted to the wife of his friend, and he loses his mother to the Holocaust when his own wife rebuffs his attempts to have her come and live with them.
Like Grossman, he suffers from social awkwardness and self-doubt, wants most of all to be honest, but finds himself struggling between his conscience and the crushing power of the totalitarian State.
One could say that Tolstoy is to Pierre as Grossman is to Viktor, and these characters represent the feel to the overall novel. Pierre is optimistic, philanthropic, philosophical; Viktor intelligent, wracked by guilt and angst, and weighed down by the darkness of the time period.
He recognizes the heartbreaking moments in life and the pathos of a situation, and often ends his relatively short chapters in ways that arouse feeling.The author, Hans Fallada (or Rudolf Ditzen to give him his real name) is said to have written the book in just 24 days in post war East Berlin, having been handed a Gestapo file detailing the central case by a friend who became a government minister.
So I wanted to have political leadership, sporting leadership and a novel to demonstrate moral leadership: I have chosen a German novel variously translated as Alone in Berlin or Every Man Dies Alone, and it’s by Hans Fallada.
All about The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander.
LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada (jayne_charles) jayne_charles: the mind-numbing-struggle this family faces against a totalitarian regime that refuses to acknowledge its sins, is a universal one.
/5(34). ‘I lived the same life as everyone else, the life of ordinary people, the masses.’ Sitting in a prison cell in the autumn of , Hans Fallada sums up his life under the National Socialist dictatorship, the time of ‘inward emigration’.
Google and the World Brain Trailer by Polar Star Films. The story of the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet. In Google began to scan millions of books in an effort to create a giant global library, containing every book in existence.
A Review of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, a Book by Oliver Sacks. words. 1 page. words. 2 pages. The Lives of People in a Totalitarian Regime in the Book Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. 1, words. 4 pages.