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Feast of Bones Hardcover – 1 Mar 1990

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Presidio Pr (Mar. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891413707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891413707
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,747,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
It's rare for a book to show the Soviet military in a sympathetic light, even rarer for that book to be written during the Cold War! The main character is Dmitri Donskoy, a Soviet paratroop officer, who fights across the globe. The book, set between 1979 and 1985, ranges from training in the USSR to the invasion of Grenada, Afghanistan for the bulk of the work, and lastly the Kremlin in Moscow. Special mention goes to the chapter headings, which are wonderously evocative and set the tone nicely.
The book's main emphasis is on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and it's so gratifying to read an American work that doesn't descend into 'evil empire' stereotypes. The Soviet military there is composed of professional troops who get on with the job, soldiers just serving out their draft, incompetents and cowards - i.e. a normal selection of humans. Cackling sadists they are not. However, nor does the book shy away from the realities of the war, including torture and massacre. The reader is left to decide for themselves how they view the characters in the light of what they do. The various actions the Soviet army undertook are described in some detail, as well as the problems with their war effort. Nocturnal ambushing, reconnaissance, and full-scale assaults all get a turn in the spotlight. Donskoy himself comes across as an ideal soldier, a mouthpiece of the author, but this never detracts from the story. His behaviour an methodology don't seem to square with the Soviet army's way of doing things, but I suspect they are meant to be contrasted.
Feast of Bones' cast is varied and memorable; shout-outs go to the mentor figure (whose name I forget, begins with a 'P') and "that shifty-looking commisar" Zharkowsky, the book's mosst ruthless individual and the most interesting (for me, at any rate).
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