Oral history of the people who “lived” through the transformation of the new Russia from the old fragments of the Soviet Union. In the West, we have vague recollections of the horrors of Stalin and his ilk, recoil in disgust from many of the actions of Putin, but we forget how completely the USSR collapsed and what an abysmal state it was in Yelstin’s time, a time when violence and death dictated the economic landscape and turned Russia into a lawless land devoid of rule of law, into a country of obscenely rich oligarchs who stole the nation’s wealth with Putin’s blessing and vast swathes of poor, beaten-down ordinary people who little more freedom than they did under the Bolsheviks.
I love Cohen’s songs; his novels and poetry, not so much. I’m currently reading a fairly good biography of him so thought I’d accompany it with this book of poetry and notes. I only found a couple to my liking, but that may be just me. I know others are smitten with his written words.
Still more fantastic atmospheric fiction by Furst as he highlights the extraordinary lengths ordinary people throughout Europe go to make it through WWII, this time focusing on a re-flagged Dutch freighter secretly working with the Allies.