Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary book, 5 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia (Hardcover)
This is a really first-rate book. Like no other book before, it lets the reader feel what it was like to live through the Stalin years. Based on interviews and family archives, which Figes has collected from homes across Russia, it is made up of small stories, which are beautifully woven into a tapestry of Soviet life. Some of the stories are harrowing, at times I found it hard to keep reading, but there are also tales of extraordinary courage and resilience that give the book a moral lift.

At the centre of the book is the fascinating figure of Konstantin Simonov, a writer deeply implicated in the Stalinist regime, who nonetheless is portrayed here as a sympathetic personality with many admirable qualities that were gradually lost through moral compromise. Was it possible, Figes seems to ask, be a "good Stalinist"? The Simonov sections make this book worth reading on their own.

The Whisperers is a real triumph. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, without the slightest moralizing, lecturing, or taking sides, at times it has the moral quality of Primo Levi in its recounting of human suffering and resilience. Read this book - it will make you re-examine what it means to be a human being.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.6 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £1.76
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,385,711