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Lenin in Zürich
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Lenin in Zürich

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  152 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Separate publication of chapters on Vladimir Lenin, none of them published before this point, from The Red Wheel.
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published April 1st 1976 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published February 4th 1973)
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May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Lenin in Zurich originated as a spin off compilation of "knots" that formed the core of his final project, The Red Wheel, a series of books about the fall of the czar's regime and the rise of the Soviet State.

What are "knots"? They seem to be narrative focal points that Solzehenitsyn deemed critical to his historial/fictional style of writing, which he didn't willingly subjugate to the term "novel."

In this case, Solzhenitsyn had written some knots about
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 1998.

As the title suggests, Lenin in Zurich is Solzhenitsyn's novelisation of the time spent by Lenin in Switzerland during the First World War, before he returned to Russia in 1917 to begin the revolution. The book follows on from August 1914: The Red Wheel - I, to become part of a series examining the origins of the Soviet Union.

The major part of the novel comprises chapters from a longer work, which means that you start with chapter 22 and it is fo
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, the attraction of Solzhenitsyn's work isn't necessarily the craft of his storytelling so much as the stories he tells, and surely the story of a revolutionary leader in the dark days leading up to a cataclysmic historical event is a story worth telling. That the retelling of Lenin's time in Zurich is inextricably bound up in Solzhenitsyn's own life story adds extra layers of complexity to the narrative. The presentation of Lenin's interior monologues, while certainly based on a wealth of ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solzhenitsyn's prose is the main reason that I gave this three stars. It's unfinished, but it still feels too chaotic. I've read unfinished books before (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Love of the Last Tycoon), but this one feels disorganized. I like the insight S. gives into Lenin as a person, his quirks, thoughts, fears, compulsions, and obsessions. The story itself jumps around. I couldn't tell if I was reading something happening "now" or something that had happened in the past of the book ...more
Ian Major
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a follow-up to his August 1914, as it contains the missing (censored) Chapter 22.

Solzhenitsyn applies his in-depth studies of Lenin to give an insight into the thinking of the man, dramatized for us. Invaluable for those of us who know little of the incestuous world of revolutionary socialism.

"Slyly, slit-eyed, Lenin watched Parvus erecting fences for his vanity, and was in no hurry to interrupt. This damned muddle over permanent revolution was another reason why he, Parvus
David Harris
May 03, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
I enjoyed this, although it was a bit disjointed and possibly a little biased (Though Solzhenitsyn is usually an immaculate researcher). Not a brilliant storyline but a fascinating insight into the life on one of the most important men of the 20th century.
Eszter Balazs
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Get some context. Once that is done, it is an exciting read about Lenin's last years before returning to Russia and starting the communist Soviet Union experiment.
Ray Evangelista
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic Read! I want to read all historical Fiction books because of this book, providing some motivations for historical characters turned into normal people
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to make revolution is Switzerland
Charlene Mathe
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first experience reading literature by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I recommend it as a sampler because it is focused and brief--a monologue inside the head of Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) during his Zurich years. Solzhenitsyn based his narrative on extensive research into Lenin's writings from the Zurich period, research of other historic records, and his deep understanding of communism's political philosophy. Solzhenitsyn admits to a certain amount of his own character coloring the Lenin he ...more
Jeffrey Cole
It's interesting but I'm having a hard time staying with it. It's a mood thing. An introspective Lenin is not what I expected. Not for the restless.
Jan 01, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was a Soviet and Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his writings he helped to make the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best-known works.

Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was exiled from
More about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn...

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