Lenin: The Novel

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9780688079444: Lenin: The Novel

Through the form of a fictional personal diary, the Russian revolutionary describes his boyhood, opposition to tsarist rule, exile and return, and activities in founding and ruling the Soviet state

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From Publishers Weekly:

The idea is bold, the execution accomplished, the size appropriately bulky; and it's a book that could have been written only by someone steeped in and fascinated by his subject. British journalist Brien in fact traveled the length and breadth not only of Leninist literature but of the Soviet Union to bring us Lenin's "diary." It's very virtue as a fictional diary, however, suggests its weakness as a novel: the reader begins to wish for other voices, a stronger presentation of other views, more drama and less account, a little suspense. This Lenin certainly comes across as the genuine article: passionate yet cool-headed, not bloodthirsty yet ruthless in pursuit of his goals (based on the premise that "No authority ever surrenders except to force"), capable of humor and of admitting his mistakes, distinctly human as compared to his brutal successor Stalin; and we follow him from boyhood to deathas student agitator, Siberian prisoner, exile in Western Europe, mastermind of the October Revolution and head of state thereafter. Of course, Bakunin, Nechaev, Trotsky, Kerensky, Stalin and other familiar figures associated with the revolution walk these pages, as do a thousand less familiar ones, and all are convincingly portrayed. It's an impressive performance, even if it holds the reader's interest without quite gripping it. BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This biographical novel purports to be Lenin's diary begun just after his father's death in 1886 and concluding a few months before his own death in 1924. Readers looking for an historical account of late 19th-century Russian radicalism, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, and the creation of the Soviet state will find this a satisfying, often fascinating, book. Readers who expect their historical fiction to provide an insight and a resonance beyond the scope of scholarly history will be disappointed. Lenin's diary, which should provide the novel with an overpowering sense of immediacy, too often reads like the notebook of an historian chronologically reconstructing events. A good book for those already interested in Lenin and his revolution, but one unlikely to attract a more general reader.Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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