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Everything Flows (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 May 2011

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Everything Flows (Vintage Classics) + Life And Fate + A Writer At War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009951916X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099519164
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"...a richly-woven narrative of historical events and individual destinies -- a masterpiece of pain, moral outrage and gallows humour. Grossman has become recognised not only as one of the great war novelists of all time but also as one of the first and most important of witnesses to the defence of Stalingrad, the fall of Berlin, the consequences of the Holocaust"--Business Standard

"After he submitted his masterful World War II novel Life and Fate to a publisher in 1960, the KGB confiscated the manuscript, his notes and even his typewriter (the book was later smuggled out of the country and printed in 1974). But this didn't quiet Grossman, whose indictments of Stalinist Russia were at least as damning as those of George Orwell and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Understandably bitter over the suppression of his work, the author worked on Everything Flows--a shorter, but even more eviscerating, meditation on the monstrous results of the Soviet experiment--until his death from cancer in 1964. This new translation brings his searing vision to light... Fortunately, the KGB couldn't keep Grossman's books under wraps forever. His testament stands as a fitting tribute to the millions of voices that were prematurely silenced."--Drew Toal, Time Out New York

"brilliant and courageous novel...readers will find hope in the narrator's uncommon capacity to forgive and accept."--Library Journal

"Few novels confront human suffering on as massive a scale as this one....Grossman's individual by individual portrayal of anguish gives readers a heartrending glimpse of the incomprehensible. "--Publishers Weekly

"This courageous novel... is a compelling restatement of some old truths about the fundamental and ineluctable nature of freedom."--New & Noteworthy, New York Times

Book Description

Translated into English for the first time, this is a fearless epic from one of the great writers of the twentieth century

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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
I shared all this with my own people
There, where misfortune had abandoned us."
Anna Akhmatova's Requiem

If Life and Fate may rightfully be seen as Vasily Grossman's masterpiece, his Everything Flows may rightfully be seen as his testament, a requiem if you will not only for his own life but for the lives of those who lived in his time and place.

"Everything Flows" tells a simple, yet emotionally deep and politically nuanced tale. The story begins with the 1957 return to Moscow of Ivan Grigoryevich after 30 years of forced labor in the Gulag. 1957 marked the year, following Khrushchev's denunciation of the excesses of Stalin, in which the tide of prisoners returning from the Gulag reached its peak. He arrives at the Moscow flat of his cousin Nikolay. Nikolay, a scientist with less than stellar skills, has reached some measure of success at the laboratory through dint of being a survivor. The meeting in the flat is entirely unsatisfactory for both parties. Grossman paints a vivid picture of Nikolay, more than a bit jealous that Ivan's light had always shone brighter than his own prior to Ivan's arrest. Nikolay suffers from the guilt of one who was not arrested and who is painfully aware of the choices he made to keep from being arrested. It seems clear that Ivan represents a mirror into which Nikolay can see only his own hollow reflection.

Ivan leaves Moscow for his old city of Leningrad, the place where he was first arrested in 1927. By chance, he runs into the person, Pinegin, whose denunciation placed him in jail in the first place. Once again, Ivan is a mirror and Pinegin is horrified at what he is faced with, what he has buried for thirty years.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tree Bee on 6 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
In a forest of 27 chapters planted across 225 pages, Vasily Grossman fills reservoirs with essay-style discourse in between rivers of real-life, from characters sucked into the whirlpool of a post-revolutionary force that was the Soviet Union.
The opening is poignant, Ivan Grigoryevich returns home after 30 years in a gulag. His memories are strong and he relishes freedom, but he sees that Russia has lost none of the absurdities and paradoxes of communism.
Grossman constructs a narrative around this homecoming to illustrate this, and to open up the dark heart of Russia's communist legacy. He weaves his message around a complex array of characters, with the result a damning indictment of an evil regime that brutalised and murdered its own people.
Grossman skilfully utilises language, metaphors and similes that not only create strong images, but which also provoke thought and feeling. He switches viewpoint effortlessly, pulling the reader into the story with ease.
The final chapters are compelling and astonishing, as Grossman goes deeper and deeper into that black Soviet heart. We are left in no doubt who are the guilty, but despite the overall dark tone of this novel, we are left with hope for the human race.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
'Everything Flows' is the novel Vasily Grossman was still revising during his last days in hospital and is an unfinished book. However, unfinished and perhaps a little unbalanced in its structure it may be, it is still nevertheless, a work of art.

Grossman became a published writer in the 1930s and, after his mother was murdered during the German invasion in 1941, he volunteered for the army but was employed as a journalist instead, becoming one of Russia's most renowned war correspondents. Grossman witnessed some of the most appalling events of twentieth century: the siege of Leningrad, the Holocaust and the Terror Famine, and he was able to use these terrible experiences to inform his writing. Grossman gave one of the first accounts of the Nazi death camps and his account was later used as evidence in the Nuremburg Trials. He also collected documentation on the massacres of Russian and Polish Jews, but this was repressed by the Soviet authorities. Grossman became a dissident in the 1950s and wrote `For a Just Cause' - a war novel - but the sequel `Life and Fate' was so outspoken and emotively explosive that it was suppressed by the KGB.

`Everything Flows' is a much shorter novel than `Life and Fate', but the historical scope is, in some ways, no less broad. It tells the story of Ivan Grigoryevich, a fifty-year-old man who has been released from the Gulag after having been incarcerated for thirty years and of his endeavour to find a place for himself in post-Stalinist Russia. The story begins with him visiting his cousin Nikolay, a mediocre scientist, who by compromise and by the timely removal of some of his more talented colleagues, has managed to prosper.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lost John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
For those already familiar with Grossman, probably through Life And Fate, but possibly through the more recently published The Road: Short Fiction and Essays or A Writer At War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945, puffs on the dust wrapper of this volume from Anthony Beevor, Martin Amis and others referring to Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak and Tolstoy will seem unnecessary. But Harvill Secker has presumably studied its market and is aware that Grossman has not yet achieved the place he merits in the Western consciousness. This excellent edition of Everything Flows, for which we are hugely indebted to Robert Chandler and collaborators, should do much to rectify matters.

During the Khrushchev thaw following Stalin's death, Ivan Grigoryevich is released from a Siberian prison camp. He has served 29 years, not for any real crime, but because of his refusal as a young man to fall-in with a corrupt system. Despite his experience of arrest, interrogation, transportation and the camps, his moral rectitude remains unblunted.
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