Siberian Education: Growing Up in a Criminal Underworld
In a contested, lawless region between Moldova and Ukraine known as Transnistria, a tightly knit group of "honest criminals"—exiled there by Stalin-live according to strict codes of ritualized respect and fierce loyalty. Here, tattoos tell the story of a man's life, "honest"...more
The Siberians here don't even live in Siberia, ...more
This certainly is an extraordinary story, soaked in gore in a Painted Bird sort of way. Nicolai Lilin claims he has murdered multiple people, and so has almost everyone he grew up with, including one guy who killed thousands of policemen and kept their badges. While he was in juvenile prison he witnessed numerous gang rapes, some of which were made into child pornography films, and there were several more murders. The s ...more
This memoir is based on the author's own experiences. Names have been changed, characters combined and events compressed. Certain episodes are imaginative recreation, and those episodes are not intended to portray actual events.
The first part of that disclaimer is fairly standard, the second part is not and it can't help but color your judgement of this ludicrously violent tale of honor of among thieves. I kind of wonder if this disclai ...more
This is a no holds barred account of growing up in a community where violence is a way of life and it was chilling, disturbing and enlightening all at the same time. I was fascinated by the dichotomy of their culture with t ...more
If you want to read about the Vori v zakone, find a different book.
If you want to learn about Siberians, this book will tell you nothing.
If you want to read about violence, here you go. Just know that it's not true.
It is a country that broke off the Moldavia to the west and has on its east is the Ukraine. Here this country ...more
In fact, the only thing I've learned as a result of reading this book is that "buffala" is the Italian word for "hoax". I don't know what drove a credible journalist like Roberto Saviano to endorse this invention by Italian-based tattoo artist Ni ...more
The story itself is very loose and hardly makes out a narrative line across the entire book, but what I liked most is the melancholy which you feel in author's voice when remembering the past days of childhood and teen ages which will never return, both because that age is now past behind him and also because the world in which he has been raised has b ...more
But damn, many of them are engrossing. The orthodoxy, the lore, the glimpses into a world far removed from my own. You just have to get past being able to piece them all together into a cohesive whole.
Nikolaj grew up in Bender, Moldova, during the last years of the USSR and the first years after its collapse. That city featured several quarters run by criminal communities, the author's own being one consisting of Siberian expatriates, transplanted by Stalin all the way across the USSR for reasons unknown.
Apparently, there are essentially two things that define a Siberian criminal community: their strong sense of community spirit and tradition ...more
In 2004 he moved to Italy. In 2009 he published in Italy for Einaudi "Siberian education", his first novel, written directly in Italian. The book has been translated into 19 languages and distributed in 24 countries, and ha ...more