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Et livs musikk

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  867 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
May 24, 1941: Alexeï Berg, a classical pianist, is set to perform his first solo concert in Moscow. But just before his début, his parents—his father a renowned playwright, and his mother a famed opera singer—are exposed for their political indiscretions and held under arrest. With World War II on the brink, and fearing that his own entrapment is not far behind, Alexeï fle ...more
Paperback, 107 pages
Published 2005 by Gyldendal (first published January 10th 2001)
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At 106 pages, this is a very short novel, but a very powerful and haunting one - Makine is a master at finding emotion in small details.

This book opens with a narrator who is forced to spend a snowy night at a crowded station in the far east of the Soviet Union. He stumbles on an old man at a piano going through the motions of playing but barely touching the keys. This man helps him find a way on to the train and describes his life story over the course of the train journey to Moscow.

Like the
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a thwarted life told to a stranger on a train. And there's a fair amount of time to tell it. The train runs from Siberia to Moscow, but still, considerable compression is necessary. The book is short and the end is always near. I stared into space a good 15 minutes once it came. I had to get my bearings again.
This is a story that could have been mired in all kinds of sentimental cliché. The man was, after all, almost a concert pianist. And at least 2 moments occur in the ta
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
رواية جميلة، متقنة في بنائها، ولغتها بعيدة عن التعقيد، ورغم أن معظم الأحداث تدور في أجواء الحرب، إلا أننا لا نجد مشاهد للعنف فيها.
أليكس بطل الرواية شاب في مقتبل عمره، يحب العزف على البيانو، لكنه ينفذ بجلده هربا من القوات الاستخباراتية في بلاده التي داهمت بيته واعتقلت والديه نتيجة وشاية ظالمة بأسرته. وفي مشوار هربه يتقمص شخصية جندي في الجيش، ويجد نفسه في صفوف المعركة حاملاً للسلاح.
ثم تحدث تغيرات مهمة في حياته بعد إصابته في إحدى المعارك.
من الجوانب الملفتة في أسلوب الكاتب في هذه الرواية تلك التفاصي
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel that appeals to the sensitivity of the reader through its simplicity and musicality. Framed by the waiting in a train station, the ride by train through the immensity of Russian lands covered by snow and the arrival to Moscow, this is a story of a life whose musicality although extirpated with brutality by the regime of those times, was mended by its hero with whatever meager means he had in hand. The story of a person who longs for music in his life and who, thanks to the power ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is about identities

The identity we present to the world, our real identity, the identity of a nation, the identity of a country…..

Alexeï Berg, is forced to take the identity of a fallen soldier in 1941. He does this in order to escape from the security police that arrested both his parents. With his new identity, he has to shed his old identity…..his childhood in Moscow, his promising piano talent, his intellectual background. He is now a new person, with a new past and a new future,
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A gem of a book, set in Russia pre and post Second World War. It sets into context an individual life with upheaval, death and chaos all around.
Friederike Knabe
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ce-europe
A train station like a dot in the snow-covered expanse of the Siberian plains. People, thrown together by chance, patiently waiting hours for the delayed train to Moscow. Reflecting on the crowd as a collective sample of "homo sovieticus", the narrator singles out some individuals. He describes them in minute detail, bringing them alive for the reader. Suddenly, a piano tune, played elsewhere, breaks the multitude of muted night noises in the waiting room. For the narrator, the music transcends ...more
Debbie Robson
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading A Life’s Music quite a while ago and after only a few pages, put the book aside. I’m not sure why but luckily I picked it up only a few days ago and this time was blown away by the story of the pianist Alexei Berg.
“It is the story of a young man who, in 1941, lost everything in one of Stalin’s purges - his parents, his budding carer as a concert pianist, even his identity.” Makine’s writing is the best that I have encountered in a long time. Not since Nemirovsky’s Suite Francai
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many people hear a song all their life, like a life source, without even knowing the source. And there are those who play very rarely yet all their life is about it. A story told by the second to the first kind. Truth, love, tragedy, melancholy and that shining hope that drives life forward all for an epic are in this novella.
It sure has the essence of europe and soviet blended together.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
מאקין אנדרי – "מנגינת חיים"
הוצאת כתר, תרגום חגית בת עדה, 94 עמ'

אני לא יודעת אבל לי יש תחושת שימחה בלב שאני יודעת שהמאה ה-20 חלפה. לדעתי, זו אחת המאות היחידות שהצליחה להצמיח מספר מטורפים וחולי נפש רבים כל כך שהגיעו לעמדות מדיניות בעיקר כמנהיגים שהתעללו בעם שלהם.

אני לא בטוחה מי היה חולה נפש יותר, היטלר או סטאלין וסביר להניח ששניהם היו זקוקים למכות חשמל במים עוד כשהם היו קטנים, אבל כנראה שיש לרוסים מזל שהיטלר חשק להשתלט גם על אמא רוסיה, אחרת אם לא היתה פורצת מלחמה אני כמעט בטוחה שעוד כמה מיליונים ה
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Years ago, the celebrated Russian logician Alexander Zinoviev coined the sarcastic phrase Homo Sovieticus to explore how a new species with a specific mindset evolved as a result of the Communist system. In Andrei Makine’s exquisite and dreamlike 109-page novella, the reader learns about this new species through the person of Alexei Berg, a one-time brilliant young pianist.

Not unlike Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner, he happens across the narrator who is enduring a transportation delay with “huma
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
След „Жената, която чакаше” това е втората книга на Андрей Макин, която прочитам и много ми харесва. Тук той отново е брилянтен разказвач, отново разказва затрогваща история. Книгата започва с описание на една далечна гара в Сибир, където хората търпеливо чакат влак за Москва, закъсняващ шест часа в снежната буря. Авторът говори за типичните homo sovieticus, сред които забелязва и главният герой, макар и със своя ярка индивидуалност. Млад и обещаващ пианист, очакващ първия си концерт, трябва да ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No spoilers in this comment:

This is a tiny (112 pages) but very good book...
It was hard for me to get engaged with the story for the first 20 pages or so. It felt that the author was aimlessly describing different characters without any intention of following up on any of them!

But after about page 20, the story finds purpose...

For me the author's style of writing was as much interesting as the actual story! His metaphors are fresh and catching! His style, typical of most Russian and French autho
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was just ok. The story could have been interesting, but it was much too short to really get very involved in the story. I kept finding myself wanting further descriptions and explanations where there were none which left the reader to simply guess at what exactly was happening in the story. The text was originally written in French and translated into English so perhaps some of the portions that didn't make complete sense were actually "lost in translation." Probably wouldn't highly re ...more
Marina Sofia
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A whole life (very typical of its time and country) condensed into such a short piece of work. Some unforgettable images (reminiscent of classic Russian literature): the door blasting open and letting the chill air and snow in at the railway station where the characters are waiting for their delayed train. The trawling among corpses for an identity - horrifying and very moving. The love story did not seem terribly convincing, or perhaps this is a man who is emotionally stunted and unable to admi ...more
Molly Lynch
Dec 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russian wartime literature historicized - its amazing what the filter of time can do to a genre. But this book isn't just unique and stunning because of the fact the writer is not of the same generation as Pasternak and Babel yet muses on the material with as much authority of experience. He also brings recollection and a magical element of imagination to this very tragic story.
Zebardast Zebardast
آندره مکین در سال ۱۹۵۷ در کرانسویارسک سیبری زاده میشود اولین قصههای دوران کودکیش را از جد مادریاش به زبان فرانسه میشنود و همین امر بیگمان باعث دلبستگی و شیفتگی فراوان او به زندگی در فرانسه میگردد. در بدو ورود به فرانسه در سال ۱۹۸۷ کتابهای «دختر یک قهرمان اتحاد جماهیر شوروی» و «اعترافات یک پرچمدار شکست خورده» را برای مؤسسات انتشاراتی فرانسوی فرستاد و هر بار بدون اینکه خوانده شوند به او برگردانده شدند مکین در ابتدا تصمیم گرفت آثارش را با نامهای مستعار مختلف و به عنوان ادبیات ترجمه شده روسی به فران ...more
Descending Angel
Short and sweet book that reads like Kurt Vonnegut. It's pretty good, just needed too be abit longer to reach that 4 stars.
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Първа и напълно случайна среща с този руски писател с френска жилка, пишещ на езика на Наполеон. Търсих книга, която да струва до 5 лв., за да успея да закръгля точно сумата, която ми оставаше след покупката да друга една книга, и съм много доволен от изборът на случайността. Андрей Макин пише така, че не оставя и един ред, който да можеш да прочетеш с безразличие, без да попиеш думите с онази наслада, която предизвикват съвкупностите от точните дози думи и емоция, които отличават посредствената ...more
Mon avis sur ce livre me semble difficile à rédiger, comme si je savais déjà que je ne garderai pas un souvenir marquant de celui-ci, pas plus que lors de ma première lecture dont je me rappelais à peine. Ce n’est pas qu’il soit déplaisant, ni même insignifiant, mais il ne s’imprime pas en moi et glisse, au contraire, comme un frôlement : agréable, mais éphémère et vite oublié. Sans pouvoir expliquer pourquoi, je me sens imperméable à cette œuvre.

La raison de mon incompréhension face à cette ind
The narrator of this novel meets Alexei Berg in a train station in the Urals. He is told the story of the last twenty years of Alexei's life as the two men travel by train to Moscow. Alexei Berg's parents, a dramatist and an opera singer, were arrested during Stalin's reign of terror in 1941. Alexei, a classical pianist student, avoided arrest and made his way to the Ukraine, close to the Polish border, where he had relatives hide him. When the Germans invaded the Ukraine, Alexei took on the ide ...more
Kristen Schrader (Wenke)
I found it difficult to get into this book. The protagonist seems to be emotionally detached for most of the story, which made it hard to connect with him. I think, however, this was intentional albeit ineffective. I believe the author is making a statement on artists that are starved for our art form. Indeed. the only times I truly felt I knew the character was when he was playing the piano. And I believe any true artist understands the dwindling life force when you are kept from your art, and ...more
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About page 54 things started to get interesting, and the pages seemed to fly by from there. And then it ended abruptly. I wanted to know about the ending more, I know about leaving it to the reader to know but I still want the writer to go into more detail. Overall there wasn't a clear plot, and I found it hard to track the storyline because of the style of writing but it had a really good essence and I liked the character it focuses on. Because it was so short there are bound to be hundreds of ...more
Ignacio Fernandez
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

This book is about identities that play a role within the human history. Two world confronted, one that claims and please social compliance with current institutions and rhe counter one that claim ' follow your own voice' no matter how much the John' s weight.

Rich vocabulary, edging with poetry, a drama that portrait human misery and Greatness.

Beautiful narrative, a short rich story.
destiny ☠ howling libraries
4/5 stars. I found it a bit hard to get into at first, but once I really became invested in the story, I enjoyed it. I felt like a lot of ends were left loose, though, but I still gave it the rating that I did because the writing was beautiful, fluid poetry, and I was impressed that Makine managed to get so much of a story into only 109 pages.
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, france, 2000s, russia
I saw a description describing this book as a novella with the ambition of a novel. I think that is a perfect description, in a very good way. Makine is able to express an awful lot in a limited number of pages (in fact, he may explain the phrase Homo sovieticus better than any definition ever could), and the writing is exceptional. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Джорджия by: Предай нататък
Тази "затрогваща приказка" си ме затрогна. Почувствах я. Почувствах музиката, която струеше в дадени моменти. Почувствах безпомощността в дадени моменти на Алексей. Мъките на хората, видени през очите на героя. Ех, този Сталин...
Dina Rahajaharison
"La nuit à travers laquelle il avançait disait et ce mal, et cette peur, et l'irrémédiable brisure du passé mais tout cela était déjà devenu musique et n'existait que par sa beauté."
Andrei Makine es un genio a la hora de retratar personajes, sentimientos, situaciones. Este breve libro se divide en dos partes que contrastan vivamente: la primera parte expresa todo lo que la música puede aportar a una persona; en contraste, la segunda, el horror de la guerra, la pérdida de la propia identidad, la Rusia de Stalin. Un buen libro.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mooi en indrukkend verhaal.
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Andreï Makine was born in Krasnoyarsk, Soviet Union on 10 September 1957 and grew up in city of Penza, a provincial town about 440 miles south-east of Moscow. As a boy, having acquired familiarity with France and its language from his French-born grandmother (it is not certain whether Makine had a French grandmother; in later interviews he claimed to have learnt French from a friend), he wrote poe ...more
More about Andreï Makine...

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“their life will be made of the same stuff as this spring afternoon.” 3 likes
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