Hadrian's Reviews > Apricot Jam: And Other Stories

Apricot Jam by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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's review
Dec 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, short-stories, russia
Read in December, 2011

I was surprised to see a 'new' Solzhenitsyn out, simply because he passed on about three years ago. Yet I'm not one to question the maze of difficulties of translation and copyright.

This collection of stories was written mainly in the mid to late 1990s, when the Empire which he had railed against for so long had finally collapsed, and Russia was anemic and fragmented. The range of the stories is very impressive, as always, covering a realistic view of those who lived under socialism, in contrast to the turgid propaganda of the time that is 'socialist realism' in name only.

Even in his 80s, he still recalls some passionate and vivid scenes. My favorite of these is Adlig Schwenkitten, a 24-hour look at a Red Army detachment in East Prussia, almost certainly based on his own experiences.

He is a bit moralizing for some, and his style is offputting, but those who enjoy Solzhenitsyn before, will admire the sheer energy with which he writes.
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