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Purge [Kindle Edition]

Sofi Oksanen
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £5.27 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Deep in an Estonian forest, two women, one young, one old, are hiding.

Zara is a prostitute and a murderer, on the run from brutal captors - men who know how to punish a woman. Aliide offers refuge but not safety: she has her own criminal secrets - traitorous crimes of passion and revenge committed long ago, during the country's brutal Soviet years.

Both women have survived lives of abuse. But this time their survival depends on revealing the one thing history has taught them to keep safely hidden: the truth.

A haunting, intimate and gripping story of suspicion, betrayal and retribution against a backdrop of Soviet oppression and European war.

Product Description


A phenomenon. --Sunday Times

Powerful, passionately wrought, emotionally shattering, extraordinary. --Independent

Finland's hottest crime writer will soon be as well-known as Stieg Larsson --The Times


"A bravura work, deeply engaged with [Estonia's] knotted history, sparing but potent in its use of irony, and containing an empathic treatment of all the miserable choices Estonians faced during their periods of oppression. . . . Oksanen has crafted a stirring and humane work of art."--Jacob Silverman, "The New Republic"
"A stunner . . . ["Purge" is] a compelling look at what we do to survive."--Karen R. Long, "The Plain Dealer" (Cleveland)
""Purge" is that very rare thing, a sheer masterpiece . . . A marvel . . . I hope that everyone in the world who knows how to read, reads Purge."--Nancy Huston, author of "Fault Lines "
"Oksanen's fluid, unadorned prose gives shape to unspeakable violence and illuminates the process of remembering."--"The L Magazine "(Top 10 Books of 2010)
"A captivating book about two women with dark secrets and an underlying connection. . . . Oksanen skillfully weaves histories together to form a rich, complex nove."--Shelf Awareness (T

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 761 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V9OCU0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,422 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This superb book isn't a conventional crime novel and comparisons to Stieg Larsson should be ignored, although there is a common thread of violence against women. In fact, don't read the press reviews or the blurb at all: they are often misleading and seem to want to pigeon-hole Sofi Oksanen as the latest Scandinavian crime novelist, which she isn't, yet at least. Check out Wikipedia for her background once you have finished the book.

Think instead of a mixture of Ian McEwan's "Atonement", Robert Harris's Russian novels and Ruth Rendell in Barbara Vine mode. Yes, crime - terrible crime - is at the root of this book. Its characters are driven to it by human frailty, in particular by the dangerous power of obsessive love, and by their efforts to survive the terrible history inflicted on Estonians during the 50-odd years from the last days of their country's short-lived independence between the two World Wars, until the fall of the Soviet Union and Estonia's rebirth as a free nation.

It is the story of two women: Aliide, an ageing Estonian rural widow of peasant background, and Zara, a young woman who she finds lying injured outside her home and takes care of. Their lives are inter-twined in a way that only emerges slowly as the story develops through a long series of flashbacks. Aliide's story really forms the backbone of the book, and you sympathise with her even as you begin to suspect she has done terrible things.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it but not sure if I enjoyed it 9 Oct. 2011
By Sab
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm glad I read Purge, not sure if I enjoyed it, but will definitley go back and read it again in a couple of months.

In common with many of the reviewers I found this book alternatley gripping, frustrating, tense, boring and most stages inbetween. All the emotions of obsessive love, rivalry, jelousey, betrayal, corrpution, fear and what people will do to survive are played out against the backdrop of Estonia in the build up to the Second World war, thru the occupations of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, onto the Cold War years and finally into the post Gorbachev era. There are parts that have a '1984' feel to them.

The timeline does jump around so you must keep track of what year the characters are in.

Some quite ordinary scenes feel very drawn out while other very dramatic events are handled with just a couple of bald sentances - I had to go back and re-read them a few times to make sure I that what I thought just happened really had happened. And yes, there are a couple of quite nasty stomach churning scenes but they aren't gratuitous and they do add a lot of emotional punch.

For me, the final coda was very effective even it did jar slightly with the way the rest of the book had been written.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and thought provoking book 28 Jan. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this a harrowing read which I had to leave at times until I was ready to assimilate more. It alludes to the mass deportation of Estonians whom the Russians thought to be traitors, during the 1941-44 occupation. The story spans sixty years and darts back and forth with each chapter. It is a brutal story at times touching upon rape, torture, murder, betrayal and human trafficking. The story centres around three woman - Aliide, her sister Ingel and Ingel's grand-daughter Zara and their relationships. However it is Allide's story of survival which the reader follows throughout the book. It is a thrilling read, difficult at times due to the subject matter, but nevertheless compelling. The plot is fascinating, with many unexpected twists. It is extremely well written but attention needs to be paid to the time depicted in each chapter. It is a powerful and thought provoking book which leaves the reader shocked and disturbed. I highly recommend 'Purge' - I think it is very rare that a book such as this is written.
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109 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting story skilfully written 10 Sept. 2010
By hfffoman TOP 500 REVIEWER
I will begin with a warning: don't read the back cover and be careful when you read reviews of this book as they give away a lot. One of the things I like about the book is the way the story, and the issues it is about, unfold bit by bit in an interesting, intriguing way. If I had read the reviews by Claire1806 or Leigh Laitila or the back cover, the experience would have been spoiled.

Of course it's hard to write a review without giving anything away. Let's just say it's about the political history of Estonia and its relationship with Russia, and some social/sexual issues. Put like that it may not sound inspiring but I assure you it is. Even if you have no interest in politics and history, the things that happen in this book feel real and moving, and are presented in a personal way without a trace of preaching or theorising.

I don't like to disagree with other reviewers but some of the comments made are so wrong I have to challenge them. Someone says the book is "about a nasty woman's obsession". This is like saying Jane Austen's novels are about pretty women. No, Purge is about Aliide's life, how she was affected by the things that happened to her and around her, and how she dealt with it. She comes across as a very real believable person. The book made me interested in her. I wanted all the time to find out more.

That review also said the book was confusing, the fate of one of the characters wasn't clear, and that it was depressing. I think the reviewer must have had a bad day. The book is not hard to understand and it is presented in such a balanced way that despite the many dark events, I wasn't at all depressed.

Every chapter begins by stating the year in which it takes place and the book skips backwards or forwards dozens of times.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
no comment
Published 6 months ago by Stanley K. Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea poorly implemented.
This book caught my eye as I once worked in Estonia for six months and heard some of the tales of Soviet occupation while I was there. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Howler
2.0 out of 5 stars That's how grateful we are
Purge promises to be a tale of crime, politics and intrigue. Opening in newly independent Estonia, we have hints that a murky Soviet past is about to be unravelled. Read more
Published 6 months ago by MisterHobgoblin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this book
Published 8 months ago by Mary Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Estonian linen-washing
It's good that Estonian gets things off their chests, as they had to take a lot of punishment from the Russians. The theme is slightly depressing in the end.
Published 10 months ago by Stephen Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
An interesting plot, with satisfyingly worked characters, some unexpected turns and an appropriately gloomy atmosphere. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ged Dixon
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great book about a period of recent European history
The Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen had her first play ‘Puhdistus’ performed at the Finnish National Theatre in 2007 and, a year later, she adapted it into her third novel. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dr R
4.0 out of 5 stars Purge
Slow to get going but a gripping read. A tale spanning sixty years of iron fist rule during the cold war.
Published 14 months ago by wendy doyle
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
This is a story of two women with a criminal past but also vulnerability, against the backdrop of Estonia during and after the second world war and in present day 1990's. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J Bannion
3.0 out of 5 stars ok but does not fulfil promise
This is quite an interesting book that starts slowly but then builds to what feels gripping and then it just ends. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
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