• $14.99

Publisher Description

THE PREQUEL TO LIFE AND FATE NOW AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH FOR THE FIRST TIME, STALINGRAD IS A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND NOW A MAJOR RADIO 4 DRAMA

'One of the great novels of the 20th century, and now published in English for the first time' Observer

'A gripping panorama of the human experience' Kenneth Branagh

In April 1942, Hitler and Mussolini plan the huge offensive on the Eastern Front that will culminate in the greatest battle in human history.

Hundreds of miles away, Pyotr Vavilov receives his call-up papers and spends a final night with his wife and children in the hut that is his home. As war approaches, the Shaposhnikov family gathers for a meal: despite her age, Alexandra will soon become a refugee; Tolya will enlist in the reserves; Vera, a nurse, will fall in love with a wounded pilot; and Viktor Shtrum will receive a letter from his doomed mother which will haunt him forever.

The war will consume the lives of a huge cast of characters – lives which express Grossman’s grand themes of the nation and the individual, nature’s beauty and war’s cruelty, love and separation.

For months, Soviet forces are driven back inexorably by the German advance eastward and eventually Stalingrad is all that remains between the invaders and victory. The city stands on a cliff top by the Volga River. The battle for Stalingrad – a maelstrom of violence and firepower – will reduce it to ruins. But it will also be the cradle of a new sense of hope.

Stalingrad is a magnificent novel not only of war but of all human life: its subjects are mothers and daughters, husbands and brothers, generals, nurses, political officers, steelworkers, tractor girls. It is tender, epic, and a testament to the power of the human spirit.

‘You will not only discover that you love his characters and want to stay with them – that you need them in your life as much as you need your own family and loved ones – but that at the end... you will want to read it again’ Daily Telegraph

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2019
6 June
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
1,008
Pages
PUBLISHER
Random House
SELLER
The Random House Group Limited
SIZE
6.2
MB

Customer Reviews

rhitc ,

Telling it like it was

Author
Russian Jew, supporter of the Russian Revolution of 1917. War reporter during the Great Patriotic War (aka WW2). After his mother was slaughtered by invading Germans, he volunteered for the front despite being exempt from military service, and spent a thousand days reporting for the Red Army newspaper, which made him a war hero. His post-war novels Life and Fate and its prequel Stalingrad (originally For a Just Cause) had a stuttering gestation. Uncle Joe was not a fan of "Telling it like it is.” The author died in 1964 of gastric cancer. This is the latest, most up-to-date, version of a narrative much tinkered with by the censors originally.

Plot
The Battle of Stalingrad (August 1042 to February 1943) was the largest (nearly 2.2 million personnel), bloodiest (1.8–2 million killed, wounded or captured), and most expensive (in terms of military equipment trashed) battle in the history of warfare. Grossman lived through it.

Narrative
Russian literature does not get better than this. The translation is excellent.

Characters
A lot. This book and Life and Fate have been called War and Peace for the 20th century. The difference between Grossman and Tolstoy is that Grossman was actually there, right in the middle of the war he described.

Bottom line
I read Life and Fate 30 years ago, and thought it was better than Solzhenitsyn, who was flavour of the month at the time. I've read a number of books about the Battle of Stalingrad since then, none better than this.

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