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Басни за комунизма

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A wry, cutting deconstruction of the Communist empire by one of Eastern Europe's exceptional authors.

Called "a perceptive and amusing social critic, with a wonderful eye for detail" by The Washington Post, Slavenka Drakulic-a native of Croatia-has emerged as one of the most popular and respected critics of Communism to come out of the former Eastern Bloc. In A Guided Tou
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 2009 by ИК "Жанет 45" (first published 2009)
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May 14, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a reading experience!

After reading Animal Farm, The Life of Insects, Kafka's Metamorphosis and various novels and historical accounts on post-Communist countries and individuals, most recently Svetlana Alexievich, I expected to be on familiar ground. But apart from the author's direct reference to Orwell in the beginning, and to Aesopian language as a means of psychological analysis in one of the stories, it was something completely different from other modern novels written in the form of
Interesantno zamišljeno pripovijedanje! Bilo bi ga dobro takvoga staviti u škole! ;-)
Sep 24, 2011 pattrice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant: Two books in one. I can't do it justice with a brief Goodreads review, so I'll write a real review and post the link when it's published.

I will say this: Scrolling through other reviews, I see multiple references to Animal Farm. I can't imagine why anyone might suggest that the books are similar except in the most superficial sense that they both critique communist states while deploying animals as protagonists. For the record, Animal Farm is a heavy-handed allegory in which the anim
I picked this book up because the remaining money was going to burn a hole in my pocket if I left the LitFest without spending all of it. I'm glad I did.

A mouse giving a guided tour of a Museum of Communism in Prague; an old dog narrating his life on on the streets of Bucharest under the rule of Ceausescu; and a letter written by the house cat of a misunderstood dictator of Poland - these three tales depicts life under communism, and the transition-period after the fall of communism, in three se
Feb 07, 2016 verbava rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: balkan
"екскурсія музеєм комунізму" – це збірка пострадянських історій, розказаних від імені різних тварин: чеської миші, болгарського ведмедя, румунського пса, німецького крота. іноді, щоправда, їхні роздуми виглядають підозріло людськими: "ох, ці благословенні часи, коли у всьому можна було звинувачувати чаушеску" або "раніше обмін був простий: ти віддавав свободу за безпеку. бо що таке, врешті, свобода, коли тобі нічого їсти?" мабуть, мета славенки дракулич частково й полягала в тому, щоб оголити ри ...more
Lorenzo Berardi
What a great idea for a book!

Pets and other animals talking about the bestialities of human communism in the former Eastern Bloc countries. A well-documented and often entertaining approach to well known and less well known facts that truly happened from East Berlin to Moscow passing through Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bucarest.

Giving voice to mice and cats, dogs and bears, ravens and parrots with each animal talking about its own country was indeed a work of genius.
Most of those who reviewed th
Dec 27, 2013 Tzeck rated it really liked it
Shelves: balkan
Историята на комунизма в различни бивши соц държави, разказана от гледната точка на животни. Животните са умело подбрани според особеностите на страната и разказа, което е още един плюс на книгата и автора й (Славенка Дракулич, освен това, е феноменално лепо име, особено ако преместим ударението върху а-то!). Забавна хрумка, добре реализирана, а и доста адекватна, имайки предвид, че хората по онова време имат почти толкова права, колкото и животните. Съвсем малко по-малко от тях, но close enough ...more
Mike Clinton
Although often clever and poignant in its observations not only about the distorting dynamics of power in Eastern European communist states but also the gap in consciousness between those who lived through and those born after that era--i.e., of experience and benign ignorance--I didn't find this book as compelling as the others I've read by Drakulic. It seemed aimed at those with little to no familiarity with those Eastern bloc states, but also written in a style that assumed that the allusions ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A series of fables from different animals in different parts of ex-socialist Eastern Europe, this was really good. Each chapter tells the history of a different country, and is used to focus in on an aspect of Communist/socialism as it was manifested in that country, and how the places are dealing with their history. The animals are often symbolic, for example a mouse tells a rat about how meekness of the Czech people helped lead to to the culture where anyone could be an informant, or a Raven w ...more
Sometimes nothing can kill a book deader than a too rigid adherence to a concept. I can imagine Slavenka Drakulić first reading George Orwell's Animal Farm, and saying to herself: "How cute! I can adapt this to my experience of Communism through the different Eastern European countries!"

Except it just wasn't a dynamic enough idea to carry the whole book. A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism started out well with a mouse guiding us through Czech Communism. But then, toward the end, there
To say that Slavenka Drakulic's excellent collection of fable-essays is a Sesame Street-style reflection on life in post-Communist republics does no disservice to the book's seriousness and intent. Sesame Street worked on many levels and so does A Guided Tour. Drakulic's animal narrators elucidate and entertain from ground level; fables from the small, tangential lives of people (and animals) who lived through various Eastern Bloc regimes. She manages to somehow convey the immense complexity of ...more
Mar 31, 2011 Carmen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be a good way to follow-up on Orwell's Animal Farm, but it was rather dry and boring (fortunately a short read).

The voices between animals (and therefore nationalities) didn't differ enough for me, and the strange format of talking "at" the reader never quite let me settle into the story. The research was evident, yet the narrative was awkward.
Jun 18, 2011 Jonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me it is probably a 3.5 stars, but I rounded up since I learned a lot from it. It was a slower read than I expected, but worth the time. I particularly like the stories from the parrot, the dog, and the raven. If you don't know much about Eastern Bloc European leaders in the late 20th century and aren't interested in learning about them, then this book is not be you.
Apr 11, 2011 Tuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very funny and informative (but with a wink and a shrug, and a knowing insider's shorthand of historical events and characters) history told by a mouse in Prague, a dog in Romania?, a pig in Hungary hahahaha, uh cats, where? in Poland and somewhere. anyway, charming book, from a 21st century viewpoint.
i liked the mouse best, very Czech she was.
Deb Moehrke
Told through the eyes of a mouse, a dog, and a cat, this is a look at life after Communism in three former Communist countries. It is a short book and a quick read. Since this is a topic on which I am not well-informed, I found the book thought provoking. It's greatest value to me will be as a jumping off point for further study.
L Fleisig
Sep 09, 2012 L Fleisig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"'You are pitiful, isolated individuals! You are bankrupts. Your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on--into the dustbin of history!" Leon Trotsky.

It is with no small amount of irony perhaps that the dustbin through which the reader travels in Slavenka Drakulic's "A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism" is not the dustbin envisioned by Leon Trotsky in 1917 but, rather, the ash heap envisioned by U.S. President Reagan in his speech to the British House of Commons in 1982.

Apr 29, 2011 Tuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars easy. couple of preliminary things, this isn't the cover i see. also book i read was pubbed in 2010, not 2009. plus the book i read was published by swan, which would blow u of chi press away in any mano a mano in quality or cool illustrations. ok.
this is a side slipping history of soviet shenanigans from 1968 to 1989. well the '89 espisode was actually the death of the soviet for all intents.
if you don't know much about these events, this book will be almost worthless to you, you won'
Oct 22, 2015 Sophia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed these short stories about communism in Eastern Europe so much. Being someone who tends to learn about history through fiction, these stories worked perfectly for elucidating certain parts of European 20th century history that I should certainly already know in detail. Each story is about a different animal, who explores the impact of communism in a particular country. To begin with, I wondered what the point of this use of animals was but in fact it worked incredibly well -- the animal ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Marks54 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a series of essays on communism in Eastern Europe, told from the perspectives of animals who had survived the communist era and were now relating their experiences. This immediately brings to mind Orwell and Animal Farm, but the chapters are subtler than that, in that the animal chosen has something to do with the message presented in the chapter. These are fables or parables but reflect real people and situations. My favorite was Tito's parrot, although the Hungarian pig attempting to p ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curious about life under and post communism in the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland? Then this is your kind of read. Everything you may have been curious about, but didn't know to ask comes to you via a mouse, dog, and a cat. Unabashedly Orwellian (to the point that one of the characters actually references Animal Farm in case a reader somehow misses the blatant allusion) the positives and negatives of life under and post old party rule come out of the mouths of simple beasts. Beautifully tol ...more
May 18, 2013 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Communism, Animal Farm readers
Shelves: physical
After reading (and loving) Animal Farm, I decided to read this book. Oh, what a great continuation to the same topic! Not only is the reader able to understand Communism throughout Eastern Europe but, most importantly, keep reading multiple allegories. Something I find important to remark is that although the allegory may be more obvious and explained than Animal Farm, the history behind it is less known to the public (such as myself); therefore, I had to make some side notes and quick investiga ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Mariana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I loved the premise, and I honestly did find that it made me want to know more but overall I was disappointed with this. I found the voices flat and unconvincing. I thought that either the idea of the animal narrator should have been taken further (i.e. the animal knowing what an animal could be expected, at a push, to see and understand - these animals were occasionally omniscient and yet at other times lacking in understanding), or it should have been left aside, as it is it appears to more of ...more
Non so se Slavenka Drakulić sia mancina o meno.
Ipotizzando che non lo sia, immagino che abbia scritto questo libro con la mano sinistra, evitando di farlo sapere alla sua mano destra, quella con cui ha scritto tutti gli altri magnifici lavori che ho letto.
Non abituata a scrivere con la sinistra, le è uscito fuori meno bene degli altri, un po' così così.
Una Drakulic in sedicesimo, se mi si passa l'espressione.
The Book : An Online Review at The New Republic
SLAVENKA DRAKULIC REVISITS and recrafts some of the most frightening moments in modern literature in her new book, seemingly lightening them for a distracted postmodern audience, before bringing home her cheerfully phrased but powerfully voiced song against oblivion. Think, for example, of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”—but from the point of view not of the startled poet, but also of the ebony bird. my link text
Oct 27, 2011 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I read three or four of the stories in this book, and my first thought was that this would be a perfect read for a college or AP High School class studying the days behind the Iron Curtain. This is a clever book, sarcastic, funny and inventive. Each animal represents an eastern European country and tells the story of the leader, the legacy and to some extent, the people living through it. I picked it up because I liked the title and cover, and I was not disappointed.
Apr 17, 2011 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this 2.5 stars I would. I did learn some things about the history of communism, which is good because I am lacking in history knowledge.

I would not have picked this book to read myself, I read it for my book club. I thought it would be more entertaining and easier to read as animals were the ones narrating chapters, but I ended up not liking that very much. I enjoyed Animal Farm a lot more.
Ilia Markov
Nov 27, 2009 Ilia Markov rated it really liked it
"Басни за комунизма" е много приятна книга и много лек и ненатрапчив начин да си спомним или научим за близкото ни минало (или поне тези от нас, които са от Източна Европа).

Авторката е избрала много приятен и закачлив начин да ни представи факти и детайли, които предизвикват яростна полемика в обществата ни от 20 години насам.
Nov 26, 2011 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting but it got a little repetitive by the end - yes, communist governments were hypocritical in their actions. It was just a bit belabored. And I didn't really understand why the last chapter gave up on the structure of having the animal narrate and having the audience accept that that could happen, so that made it a bit disjointed.
mgoglio Goglio
Jul 06, 2014 mgoglio Goglio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fables on life under communism in 8 East European countries, each told through the perspective of an animal witness. This went beyond just a clever conceit. It did a great job, particularly for this ignorant reader, of illustrating how many ways one doctrine could play out in a variety settings.
Tamara Leontievova
bizarne. mys sprevadza prazskym muzeom komunizmu. tulavy pes v bukuresti hovori o absurditach ceausescuovej vlady a macka pise list na obhajobu polskeho generala jaruzelskeho, ktory v 80. rokoch vyhlasil stanne pravo v polsku. opat vyborne postrehy a najma trefna pointa. z kazdeho pismena krici, ako sa postsocialiaticke staty dokazali bravurne NEvyrovnat so svojou minulostou.
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Slavenka Drakulić (1949) is a noted Croatian writer and publicist, whose books have been translated into many languages.

In her fiction Drakulić has touched on a variety of topics, such as dealing with illness and fear of death in Holograms of fear; the destructive power of sexual desire in Marble skin; an unconventional relationship in The taste of a man; cruelty of war and rape victims in S. A N
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“Тук, в музея, както и в реалния комунизъм, царува грозотата.” 0 likes
“Момченцето от Западната страна, както си хапвало банан, казало: „Виж, имам си банан!“ Момченцето от Изток отговорило: „Да, ама ние си имаме социализъм!“ А западнячето отвърнало: „И ние скоро ще си имаме социализъм“. А момченцето от Изток триумфално заключило: „Да, ама тогава няма да си имате вече банани!” 0 likes
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