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Don't Die Before You're Dead

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Infused with a passionate lyricism and vision, this stunning, extraordinarily insightful, autobiographical novel about life, love, and politics in contemporary Russia, written by renowned poet and political activist Yevtushenko, presages all too accurately the strife that grips Russia today.
398 pages
Published 1995 by Key Porter Books (first published 1993)
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Jonfaith
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mother-rus
While sublime on its own accord, it should be perhaps pursued in tandem w/ Remnick's Lenin's Tomb for purposes of context. One couldn't imagine a better example of poet's journalism. This shouldn't be confused with poetic journalism, of which Robert Musil was a licensed practitioner. No this a poet parsing reality as history hemorrhages. The eloquence of the event becomes an image: Rostapovich with a Kalashnikov and a girl named Boat lost to the whimsy of Time.
A.J. Knauss
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Yevtushenko in the 90s when he was traveling in NY. His zeal for life was inspiring then and remains inspiring now. Hearing him read his poems live on stage (in Russian, with an English translator who then read the translated version) was a thrill. So I am biased in that his outsized personality now shines through anything I read by him. This is a very enjoyable book.
Serage
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Is it prose or poetry ? I can't for the life of me figure out which it is !
a wonderful piece of work !

- I do not know about you but I would take this one with me to the grave.
Buddy Don
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful surprise this book turned out to be. I've been reading about Russia for a few months, and when I found this book at a thrift store, I thought it might add a lot. Indeed it did. The book covers the unsuccessful coup of August 1991, when the Communists who were being made superfluous by Gorbachav's Perestroika and Glasnost. We meet dozens of fascinating characters, representing many sides of the Russian experience in this time. I call this both history and historical fiction since ...more
Libby
Apr 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story takes place in Russia before & during the attempted 1991 coup to overthrow Gorbachev. Very human - funny and touching, but my ignorance and forgetfulness in regards to historical/political events hindered me greatly; much of the book went right over my head, I'm afraid. Vivid characters though -- I caught & appreciated those!
Stephen
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: politicos, slavophiles, biographers
Shelves: favorites
One of the best works of autobiography I've come across. Not as lyrical as Speak, Memory or other brilliant biographies of his countrymen, but written with the passion and insight that a true Slavic poet brings.
Alison
Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in good stories - or in Russians...
Recommended to Alison by: Douglas
such a fascinating memoir / novel of the end of the USSR! The characters are touching, with just enough of that Russian darkness to keep it from becoming sappy. Plus, I learned alot about how that all went down...
Michael S
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding!! Great insights into Russia before, during, and after Gorbachev.
Michãel
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meaty-novel
Very well written. I don't know enough Soviet/Russian history and politics to have gotten the most out of it.
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Евгений Евтушенко
Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko (Russian: Евгений Александрович Евтушенко; born 18 July 1933 in Zima Junction, Siberia) is a Soviet and Russian poet. He is also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.