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Sliding on the Snow Stone

Sliding on the Snow Stone [Kindle Edition]

Andy Szpuk
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

It is astonishing that anyone lived this story. It is even more astonishing that anyone survived it.

Stefan grows up in the grip of a raging famine. Stalin’s Five Year Plan brings genocide to Ukraine – millions of people starve to death. To free themselves from the daily terrors of Soviet rule, Stefan and his friends fight imaginary battles in nearby woods to defend their land. The games they play are their only escape.

‘Sliding on the Snow Stone’ is the true story of Stefan's extraordinary journey across a landscape of hunger, fear and devastating loss. With Europe on the brink of World War Two, Stefan and his family pray they'll survive in their uncertain world. They long to be free.

(In 1932-33, as part of their drive towards industrialisation, the Soviet Union demanded impossibly high requisitions of grain from rural areas in Ukraine. In a deliberate act of genocide, Ukrainian smallholdings were stripped of food, and the population began to perish, with some estimates as high as 10 million deaths, from starvation. In Ukraine, this atrocity became known as the Holodomor (death by hunger). The following years saw Soviet purges and terrors resulting in the elimination of academics and intellectuals, or of anyone who spoke out against Soviet rule. When World War Two arrived on Ukraine’s doorstep, many people viewed the Nazis as liberators – a view that was quickly proved wrong. ‘Sliding on the Snow Stone’ is Stefan’s personal account of a historical period drenched in the blood of a nation, and of his yearning for freedom).

About the Author

Andy Szpuk is a novelist and short story writer who lives with his family in Nottingham, UK.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 429 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: That Right Publishing (21 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,962 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Novelist, short story writer, memoirist, poetry. Author of 'Sliding on the Snow Stone', a historical memoir from Ukraine

Based in Nottingham, UK

Author of 'The History of Rock and Roll in 99 tweets'

A member of DIY Poets, a performance poetry collective in Nottingham

Contributor to 'Stories For Homes'

Contributor to 'A Menu of Death' by Lucy Pireel

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale... 2 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
A stark and moving biography of a Ukrainian who lived through the Holodomor or Ukrainian Holocaust where millions perished as a result of Stalin's custom-made famine and firing squads.

With amazing detail, Andy Szpuk transcribed the life of his father, born into a catastrophe he could little comprehend and his journey through unimaginable hardship which in many ways depicted the lives of many other fellow Ukrainians of that time. At times sweet, other times heartbreaking, even shocking, Sliding On The Snow Stone unveils through the eyes of a young boy, Stefan, the mindlessness and cruelty of war. As he trekked through neighbouring countries, first with his father, and later, alone, the reader experienced alongside Stefan the fear, anger and bitterness and despondency, the desperation of hunger and starvation.

The many little details captured by the author coloured the episodes and made the scenes come alive, allowing us readers to weep, groan and laugh alongside Stefan as he journeys through life. Reading this wonderful book leaves me with a profound experience, reminding me to count my blessings for what I have and the age I live in today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A privilege to read... 11 April 2012
This book is a facinating read. It is difficult to put down, as you are so eager to discover what happens next. I felt very privileged to read such a personal account. There are some lovely details. No doubt Andy's father will be so proud of his son for lovingly writing this account of his journey through life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My First Review 11 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a magnificent book where a son honours and records his father's remarkable life story as he flees the terrors of both Soviet and Nazi occupation of the Ukraine.

It opened up the brutal reality of what it is like to live in a country occupied firstly by Stalin's regime and then the Nazis. I had never heard of the Holodomor genocide. (Why is it that the Stalin's brutal policy of creating mass starvation in the Ukraine is a relatively unknown area of modern history even though millions were starved to death).

For me, this story is one of resilience. The resilience of Stefan who had to flee from his beloved Ukraine and undertake such an arduous journey. It is a celebration of the human spirit which survived intact despite all the odds. It is a story which documents great acts of kindness by people who helped Stefan on his long journey in a bleak landscape which had been ravaged by war. This is a fantastic book, well written, authentic, gripping and illuminating.

It provides a unique and terrifying insight into what it is like to be fleeing the persecution which is taking place in your country and as such it is an important book which deserves a very wide audience. Thank you Andy Szpuk for writing this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sliding on the snow stone 27 Jun 2012
By tetyana
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read this book without stopping.
I am so pleased that you have told Stefan's story...
Book written beautifully...
I think every person who reads this book can see different things in it depending on their personal experiences.

I am Ukrainian born and only 8 years ago moved to the UK. So I was looking at things from the different side of the iron curtain and I could not understand initially
why older people could not return to Ukraine or were concerned about their safety.
Being born in 1981 I felt free in the country "thanks to god".
So it was very very interesting to read.
Also thinking about my family I can now see what has happened to my grand grand dad who went to war and never came back. My grandmother who was 6 at the time when he left remembers him saying: "good bye. It is my second war and I have feeling I would not come back"
Sad stories has got to be told.
Andy thank you so much.
Book is a wonderful read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book 29 Aug 2013
By Sparks
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once in a while one is lucky to discover a book by chance that is beautifully written, carefully constructed and lovingly produced into a fusion of good literature and poetry and Andy Szpuk's Sliding on the Snow Stone has achieved this brilliantly. This is a unique book that must have been a difficult project but very well executed, especially as a first attempt. It touches on many `difficult' issues in Ukraine's recent turbulent and tragic history with compassion and empathy yet still focused on incredible detail and a strong story line. His central characters are strong and convincing, a marvellous piece of writing that I did not wish to end; I am eagerly looking forward to his next book. Sliding On The Snow Stone
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and informative 6 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the first about 60% of this book gripping and hard to put down. The plight of Ukranians under Soviet rule is something we hear little about - especially what happened in the early 1930s. We, here in the privileged and relatively safe 21st century of the West can only read, aghast; living through something like this is beyond our comprehension. Mr Szpuk's experience of the war kept me reading even when I was too tired to do so. One of my very favourite types of book is the historical event told from personal experience - this ticked all the boxes; it's well written, too.

I enjoyed the last 30% or so of the book just slightly less as I didn't really get the inclusion of long passages about things like the death of JFK and England winning the World Cup - I felt they were just included to appeal to a certain age of readers, rather than as a part of Mr Szpuk's story. However, I am sure they will appeal to many, and the book continued to be well written and very readable.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of the Ukraine, who is appalled yet fascinated by the depths of man's inhumanity to man, and who wants to know more about the second world war, from a viewpoint we rarely get to see - and anyone who likes an inspiring story of survival through the most adverse of circumstances. Thank you, Andy, for sharing this with us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey
What a journey I loved this book from start to finish. A wonderful story full of hope and despair the telling of this story is a page turner.
Published 19 days ago by Sylvia Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved this book
Superbly written story of a Ukrainian boy, his family and life through the war years and beyond to almost the present day. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alexis Byter
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and enlightening
A wonderful life story and so well told.

Such a gripping tale of struggle and then a journey so difficult it's hard to imagine anyone surviving. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wendy Ogden
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible story of courage
Being the son of a displaced Ukrainian who would not talk about his life before and during the war, I found this book both heartbreaking and informative. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sam182
4.0 out of 5 stars Very moving
This man's life story is something that anyone who thinks they have it ruff should read at least once cover to cover. Read more
Published 6 months ago by jonathan bartrop
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommend it.
Thoroughly enjoyed this. History within a personal story, spanning decades.
Would recommend this as a good solid read. I give it 4 stars.
Published 6 months ago by Helly Welly
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting descriptions of a place and time I know little about
Easy to read and interesting insight into life in the Ukraine before and during the 2nd World War. I tended to look on the Soviets as being all the same but this book put an end... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars A humbling story
This was a lovely book to read. The main character, Stefan, tells his life story from his humble beginnings in Soviet controlled Ukraine, through the war and his escape from... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Froddie
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story
Was not sure what this was going to be like but after about two minutes I was hooked. Yes, it is a tale of one man's life and hardships during the war years and beyond but it is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by neil walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and moving
I enjoyed reading about this amazing journey through life. Thanking for sharing your journey. I have an insight into eastern Europe during the war.
Published 7 months ago by Jane Ochiltree
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