Sarah Black's Reviews > The Archivist's Story

The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland
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's review
Sep 21, 2007

it was amazing

this was beautiful and passionate in that ultra-quiet way of some extraordinary novels. I wouldn't have been surprised if the book burst into flames in my hands. Not a single mis-step, not a single line that didn't read true, and the ending- !! I can hardly speak. I tucked the book under my pillow last night when I finished reading it, so I could feel close to it just a bit longer. Reading is really the most intimate contact between strangers, isn't it?

The story is set in Stain-era Russia, and a former teacher of literature, a man with a damaged soul, has been brought to the Lubyanka to catalog and archive and destroy the manuscripts from the poets and novelists and memoirists who have been arrested and imprisoned for crimes against the state. Very Russian, but I felt at times I could have been reading a story set in our future.
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