Janet's Reviews > Conquered City

Conquered City by Victor Serge
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May 07, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: russia

This is a round robin of voices and lives in the Civil War period in Petrograd following the Revolution, recognizable political leaders, representative types, it hits the high (and low) points, the great suffering of the working class and the even greater suffering of the non-proletariat, the terrible shortages, the ironic full circle suffered by the Special Commission (CHeKa) is especially premonitory of the Stalinist purges. But as a novel per se, the book suffers the fate of many books written without a clear protagonist--you never surmount a certain distance from the events. However, the perspectives and events really cover the range--the characterizations are painted with a lively quick brush, the feel of Petersburg is gorgeous for such a short book. I've read Serge's "the Year One of the Revolution" and thought it was actually more engaging, but this will be more suitable for people just coming to the literature of the Russian Revolution.

three stars for novel qua novel, but four for the extraordinary unflinching courage of it.
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