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And Quiet Flows the Don (Vintage International) [Paperback]

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov , Stephen Garry
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 1989 Vintage International
The first episode in Mikhail Sholokhov's portrayal of life in a Cossack village, 1910-20. In it he juxtaposes the character of Gregor, a proud and rebellious peasant farmer, against that of Misha, an obedient Party man. The author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1965.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 554 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; Reissue edition (1 Dec 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679725210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679725213
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Various modern Russian novelists have been hailed as successors to Tolstoy, Dostolevsky, and Turgenieff, but in the opinion of this reader here is the first one who merits the distinction, and who at the same time is modern, original and universal enough in appeal to catch the imagination of the American reading public. This is a great book. Not a book for instant success - not a flash in the pan - but a book that will repay your personal attention, and that is certain to find a growing market. Here for the first time, one seems to come to grips with the Cossack of peace and war, of revolution and civil strife, half-barbarian, half-civilized. It is a story that comes from within, that has that note of authority, of authenticity. A book to sell to the public that read avidly Sergeant Grisha and The Peasants. The publishers are planning strong backing. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This is volume 3 of a five volume set. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Russian epic 15 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, a sweeping, panoramic novel in the great tradition of Tolstoy.
Nobel prize winning Sholokhov takes as his theme not the Napoleonic campaign in Russia but the Cossacks of the Don region running up to, and through, WW1 then the Russian Civil War. The novel's main protagonist is Cossack Gregor Melekhov but we are inroduced to many characters and follow their progress - or usually, this being Russian, lack of of it - as Russia lurches to wars which will change her forever. The quiet, rural lifestyle of the Don Cossacks is to be smashed into oblivion and we view this with increasing nervousness, more so than the finely delineated characters do, who approach matters with more of a fatalistic resignation.
This novel makes the reader really know and believe in the characters and we suffer and (less often) rejoice with them. This book though is not to be thought of as depressing, just realistic in hard times.
Read also, set in later decades, Vasily Grossman's "Life and Fate" and Victor Serge's "The Case of Comrade Tulayev".
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Insight into the (Rural) Russian Psyche 18 Nov 2004
By A Customer
If you were intending to approach Sholokov's work in the same way as Hardy's, (except, perhaps, Jude The Obscure) for example, as a means of evoking a sleepy, misty rural idyll, then go no further. If however you wanted an insight into the usually short, gritty, dirty, downright hard life of the Russian peasant, then your choice will be rewarded!
That is not to say that Sholokov's images are without charm, wit, emotion and even a healthy dose of comedy - they are naturally Russian and should be read with the knowledge that the overriding view of most of the characters is fatalistic rather than anything else. The characterisations are finely drawn and evoked, in me, at least, some strong feelings.
I'm assured that the translation loses nothing of the subtlety of the original Russian with the exception of some of the humour (but then what you haven't had you don't miss!) and it thankfully lacked some of the overly stilted language of other translated works.
Overall, an enjoyable, and at times, uncomfortable and therefore thought-provoking read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good 12 July 2012
This book was recommended to me by a Russian who claimed that Sholokhov was better than Dostoevsky. Although he certainly wasn't in my opinion, this is still a very good book. He had a very interesting way of writing, and described a lot of things that aren't normally described in any books, like smells, for example. I found the main story between Grigory and Aksinja (not sure about the names in the English version) to be the most entertaining and most poignant, but there are a lot of interesting characters and a good description of scenery and "way of life". When the war started, however, the focus changed as well, and it started to drag a bit - especially since it started to follow different characters who hadn't really been properly introduced until that point, and some characters were also "forgotten", etc. I don't know how much of the whole story I actually read, because my version was in Danish and it didn't specify. The book I read was over 400 pages but I'm pretty sure there was a lot more afterwards. I would like to read the whole story in English at some point but I found it difficult to find a copy for a reasonable price, and also to know if it was the whole story. This is certainly high quality writing and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Russian literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brother against Brother... 20 April 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Mikhail Sholokhov won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1965, primarily based on the writing of this book in 1928. It is an epic novel; the story of the Don Cossacks and the impact upon them of some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th Century: the First World War, the Communist revolution in Russia which ended that country's participation in the war, and the ensuing civil war thereafter, between the "Reds" (the revolutionary forces) and the "Whites" (the forces of the old, Czarist order.) The Cossacks were the legendary warriors who had mastered the tactics of the cavalry; and, at one time or another had struck fear into most European armies. (They were also "the enforcers," who were often called upon to help quell internal dissent in Czarist Russia). Only once in the book did Sholokhov hint of their origins: they were serfs who had fled their "masters." And they settled along the Don River, one of the great ones of Russia, and with the Volga River, flows into the Black Sea. One of the most extraordinary aspects of this novel is that Sholokhov wrote it less than a decade after these cataclysmic events; that Stalin was in power, definitely an "enforcer" in is own right, with strong views of how the past should be represented; and that Sholokhov is relating the story of those who, in very large measure, fought on the side of the losing "Whites" in the Civil War (although, for sure, as the book depicts, there were numerous exceptions.)

The book starts on the Melekhov farm in the village of Tatarsk, on the Don River. During the last war with Turkey, Melekhov brought back a Turkish "wife" who genes would be passed into the family line, and there are repeated references to the family's Turkish features throughout the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Flows the Don
Purchased for my father ~ it was quoted as "Good" second hand. It was dog-earred and shabby and very disappointing ~ the previous owner had even left his name written... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Anne Dewsbury
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
I bought this for my wife, who is an avid reader of Russian literature. She says it is absolutely excellent. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. A. G. Banton
1.0 out of 5 stars warning....
Dont buy this edition if you are expecting it to contain the whole novel.It is one volume of a set of five and it is in LARGE print. Read more
Published on 18 April 2010 by Sam I am
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardy meets Trotsky
There is a great opening - a little like Thomas Hardy. The book divides into four sections - "Peace", "War", "Revolution", "Civil War". Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2009 by David Stoyle
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great novel
This is an incredible, brilliant and expansive novel. It covers events and distances on the largest of scales and yet with attention to minor events. Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2009 by Anaximander
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book
AND QUIET FLOWS THE DON is the best war novel in Soviet times, the best Mikhail Sholokhov ever wrote and one of the all time best war novels. Read more
Published on 2 Aug 2005 by Sergey Vasilev
4.0 out of 5 stars WORTH THE EFFORT
If you want a long and absorbing read for the coming winter, you should consider this epic from Sholokhov. Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Not War and Peace
Tolstoy this isn't but it reads like a 19th century novel. The Russian civil war seen from the Cossack viewpoint. Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel of the Don Cossacks at the time of the Revolution
This was the best book that I have ever read so far. Sholokhov's talent for bluntly stating the facts makes every situation all the more worthy of the feelings they provoke. Read more
Published on 30 April 1998
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