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Cinematic: “Reckoning” (Spoiler)
Although the first half, the novel For a Just Cause , written during the rule of Joseph Stalin and first published in , expresses loyalty to the regime, Life and Fate sharply criticises Stalinism. Vasily Grossman, a Russian Jew, became a correspondent for the Soviet military paper Krasnaya Zvezda , having volunteered and been rejected for military service in He spent approximately 1, days on the front lines, roughly three of the four years of the conflict between the Germans and Soviets.
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Interweaving a transfixing account of the battle of Stalingrad with the story of a single middle-class family, the Shaposhnikovs, scattered by fortune from Germany to Siberia, Vasily Grossman fashions an immense, intricately detailed tapestry depicting a time of almost unimaginable horror and even stranger hope. Life and Fate juxtaposes bedrooms and snipers' nests, scientific laboratories and the Gulag, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of characters ranging from a boy on his way to the gas chambers to Hitler and Stalin themselves. This novel of unsparing realism and visionary moral intensity is one of the supreme achievements of modern Russian literature. Table of Contents:. Rate this book - very good good not so good poor very poor. Life And Fate. Grossman Vasily.
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Like a handful of other people a decade ago, I felt that I held a samizdat ; no one else I knew had ever heard of it. Grossman was a Soviet Jewish journalist who covered the battle of Stalingrad and the liberation of the Treblinka extermination camp. After the war he wrote this epic novel. Life and Fate is a Soviet War and Peace, in which every aspect of society radiates out from the central characters, Viktor Shtrum and his wife Lyudmila. Dozens more interlinked people endure the war and its impact on ordinary and important lives, including those of Stalin and Hitler. The novel is long, pages in the Harvill edition, with a huge cast of characters that makes for a formidable challenge. Grossman was not a natural stylist — he wrote in journalistic prose; there is little lyricism.