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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Witness of the 20th Century, 16 Aug 2013
By 
M. Goldfarb - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everything Flows (Vintage Classics) (Kindle Edition)
This book is not a finished work. No matter. His previous novel, Life and Fate, is arguably the greatest novel of the last half of the 20th Century. He could not hope to top it.

In this book he covers some of the same ground as Solzhenitsyn - it is the story of man returning from the Gulag after 30 years to a Soviet Union transformed by Stalin's murderous rule. But unlike Solzhenitsyn he is not a scold, nor does he write from an equally intolerant world view. Grossman brings a reporter's eye to his deeply empathetic character studies. He is more understanding of the social processes that envelope people and leave them helpless to fight back against an intolerable regime.

I get more out of this author's writing than almost any other at the moment. He doesn't hit me over the head and tell me what to think - and there are passages of great beauty even as he tells tales of terror.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Everything Flows (Hardcover)
I read around 25 serious books a year, and have done so for thirty years. This book ranks in the top ten I have read.

Love and Fate is also a great book but this "unfinished" and "unbalanced" book provides an unparalleled insight into Russian history. This is tempered with profound descriptions of the simply horrific experiences that real people experienced during the 20's and 30's while naive westerners praised the great Soviet experiment. As a 'child of the 60's' I experienced the aftermath of this naivety. It is a real shame that this masterpiece written in the period 1955-1964 was only published in 1989 (in Russia), and first available in an English translation in 2010.

Robert Chandler's translation makes it readily accessible and the supporting appendices are really valuable.

It is a must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than Service, Figes or Applebaum, 2 Jan 2013
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Grossman is gradually getting more coverage ...and rightly so. This is a book that everybody should read. This dispassionate ehibition of Stalinism and the fault in Lenin which underpinned it all. I learnt more from this than anything by Robert Service or Orlando Figes. It's a compelling read - very different from Life and Fate - not a pamphlet but not a novel - or is it?. There are three sections that are just dynamite writing. The first is an illumination of guilt from all sides - as stark as a searchlight. And the other two concern Anna's description of the famine and decimation of the peasants through the process of collectivisation. This edition contains some good footnotes, a handy history line and brief notes on characters from Russian history. It is quite understandable to see why it was banned for so long with it's attack on Lenin.

It should be a 'must read' for everyone. especially all socialists.

And a special note on Chandler's translation which is superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It about says it all ..., 6 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Everything Flows (Vintage Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Humbling, chilling, fightening - we should never forget. Perhaps all people of all nations should know what was in the past in order to avoid it in the future.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everything flows by vasily grossman, 7 Nov 2011
By 
Mr. Joseph Kennet (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
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vasily grossman's book, written quite a few years ago, had been confiscated by the KGB and only one copy had been saved. Only now could it be published and translated from the original russian. It is about man and the soviet empire. about the pervading guilt and fear of the soviet man. the preordinated descent into terror, massmurder and fear which inescapably follows Lenin's will of sacrificing freedom to theory. It can only be compared to tolstoy's "war and peace" in its breath and depth.
v.g. had been a war reporter on all russian fronts during w.w.2. both his war dispatches from stalingrad during the battle and a novel based on his experience have been published in english and are very much worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything Flows is compelling reading, 1 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Everything Flows (Vintage Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Vasily Grossman invites the reader on a journey that is well worth taking. Like Life and Fate, I was drawn to the history and his very specific evocation of it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Why you will never become a communist, 11 Mar 2013
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A harrowing reminder of what it was like to live in a single party state. An even-handed account of what people do (the good and the bad) when they are terrorised in order to maintain the dictatorship. Grossman tries to explain why Russia is particularly susceptible to these pressures and provides a useful historical context for the happenings under Lenin and Stalin. However I thought the book lost a bit of momentum in the last third as it starts repeating itself a bit. However I recommend this book for anyone who is keen to get a deeper understanding of where Russia is coming from, dynamics which still influence the current political situation
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sobering, 31 Jan 2013
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I think Love and Fate is one of the great Russian novels. This, which he seems to have been writing almost simultaneously, isn't really a novel: the loose narrative follows the wanderings of a man released after 30 years in the camps, but loose is the word. What it really is is a meditation on what happened to the revolution, graphically illustrated with accounts of the great famine and the Stalinist terror; on freedom and violence and the constancy of slavery in Russian history. A rich, rich read.
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