Life and Fate

Life and Fate

Vasily Grossman Robert Chandler / Nov 26, 2020

Life and Fate Life and Fate is an epic tale of a country told through the fate of a single family the Shaposhnikovs As the battle of Stalingrad looms Grossman s characters must work out their destinies in a world

  • Title: Life and Fate
  • Author: Vasily Grossman Robert Chandler
  • ISBN: 9780060153656
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Life and Fate is an epic tale of a country told through the fate of a single family, the Shaposhnikovs As the battle of Stalingrad looms, Grossman s characters must work out their destinies in a world torn apart by ideological tyranny and war Completed in 1960 and then confiscated by the KGB, this sweeping panorama of Soviet society remained unpublished until it was smugLife and Fate is an epic tale of a country told through the fate of a single family, the Shaposhnikovs As the battle of Stalingrad looms, Grossman s characters must work out their destinies in a world torn apart by ideological tyranny and war Completed in 1960 and then confiscated by the KGB, this sweeping panorama of Soviet society remained unpublished until it was smuggled into the West in 1980, where it was hailed as a masterpiece.Librarian s Note This is an alternative cover edition of ISBN13 9780099506164

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    About "Vasily Grossman Robert Chandler"

      • Vasily Grossman Robert Chandler

        Born Iosif Solomonovich Grossman into an emancipated Jewish family, he did not receive a traditional Jewish education A Russian nanny turned his name Yossya into Russian Vasya a diminutive of Vasily , which was accepted by the whole family His father had social democratic convictions and joined the Mensheviks Young Vasily Grossman idealistically supported the Russian Revolution of 1917.When the Great Patriotic War broke out in 1941, Grossman s mother was trapped in Berdichev by the invading German army, and eventually murdered together with 20,000 to 30,000 other Jews who did not evacuate Berdychiv Grossman was exempt from military service, but volunteered for the front, where he spent than 1,000 days He became a war reporter for the popular Red Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda Red Star As the war raged on, he covered its major events, including the Battle of Moscow, the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk, and the Battle of Berlin In addition to war journalism, his novels such as The People are Immortal were being published in newspapers and he came to be regarded as a legendary war hero The novel Stalingrad 1950 , later renamed For a Just Cause , is based on his own experiences during the siege.Grossman s descriptions of ethnic cleansing in Ukraine and Poland, and the liberation of the Treblinka and Majdanek extermination camps, were some of the first eyewitness accounts as early as 1943 of what later became known as the Holocaust His article The Hell of Treblinka 1 1944 was disseminated at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal as evidence for the prosecution.Grossman died of stomach cancer in 1964, not knowing whether his novels would ever be read by the public.


    1. I have to use the “M” word for this panoramic portrayal of the Soviet experience of World War 2—masterpiece. I was moved and uplifted, enlightened and devastated, and ultimately made into a better person wit more empathy and understanding of the human condition. This is an insider’s view, as is made clear by the wonderful background provided by the translator, Robert Chandler. Grossman was a Ukrainian Jew who studied chemistry in his youth, became a novelist with the support of Gorky, an [...]

    2. QUI SI SCRIVE, NON SI VA A ZONZOQui si scrive, non si va a zonzo: così avrebbe detto Tolstoj se avesse potuto leggere Vita e destino.Qui non si va a zonzo, sono pagine con peso specifico, importanti.Da anni, molti, non leggevo un libro così.Così bello, così denso, così esigente, così ricco.Arrivato a metà, ho istintivamente rallentato, per non finirlo troppo presto, per gustarlo a fondo, distillarlo. Quando l’ho chiuso per l’ultima volta, ho deciso di tenerlo ancora sul comodino, di n [...]

    3. When I first learned that Vasily Grossman's model for this novel wasWar and Peace, I thought he was setting his sights astronomically--not to say unattainably--high. There are huge differences between the two books, of course. Remember Tolstoy's lovely modulated long sentences? Grossman doesn't even try to compete on that level. By contrast, his language tends toward the so-called "Soviet" realism of the day. This was a style in which many of the Party hacks also wrote. The difference between th [...]

    4. A confession in three parts I Well, I was completely wrong about this book, and I am pleased to admit it. To nuance that, if I was going to give it a star rating it would be two star, maybe two and a half, or 2.47.I was even so unwise to tell a very dear friend that in my opinion it was no more than a 20th century rewrite of War and Peace, which it is but. importantly it emphatically is not.I had also imagined that it was about the battle of Stalingrad, reading, I see that really it is about an [...]

    5. Reseña completa: youtube/watch?v=2V0pyAunque este libro está ambientado durante la batalla de Stalingrado, realmente lo que muestra son retazos de vidas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial Puntos de vista muy dispares, personajes que sufrieron desde los campos de trabajo a los de concentración, el asedio, las bombas, la vida en el frente y la angustia por los familiares desaparecidos. 'Vida y destino' es mucho más que una crónica, habla de arte, literatura, dignidad, amor está plagado de dud [...]

    6. When you consider the steps that had to be taken to smuggle this novel out of the Soviet Union, painstakingly photographed page by page on microfilm, you cannot but marvel at the determination and effort made by believers in the power of the written word to bring such important stories to light. This epic novel is, along with Victor Serge's stunning masterwork Unforgiving Years, the best fictional depiction I've read of the barbaric inhumanity of the Soviet experience in the Second World War and [...]

    7. Both epic in scope and intimate in detail, this powerhouse novel had me riveted from the very beginning. The prose style is spare yet luminous. Many have mentioned Chekhov as model for the writing style, and that feels right to me. There are some truly haunting scenes in this book. But it's the constant juxtaposition of the tragic and the comic, the grand and the banal, that gives this novel its true heft.

    8. Жизнь и судьба = Zhizn i sadba = Life and Fate: a novel‬ (Stalingrad #2), Vasily Grossmanعنوان: زندگی و سرنوشت؛ نویسنده: واسیلی گروسمن؛ مترجم: سروش حبیبی؛ ویراستار: سرز استپانیان؛ تهران، سروش، 1377؛ در 919 ص؛ شابک: 9644353102؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نیلوفر، 1386؛ شابک: 9789644483660؛ برگردان از متن: انگلیسی؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسن [...]

    9. This is a huge sprawling novel, centred around the battle of Stalingrad, but weaving in and out and incorporating the Holocaust, the Soviet detention centres, Soviet science under Stalin, life at the front, life at home, and the nature of freedom and humanity. (And I found Grossman's musings on the latter two more readable than Tolstoy's long philosophical digressions, to be perfectly honest.)Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in policy and enforcement. Y [...]

    10. What an astonishing book Life and Fate is; what an astonishing man Vasily Grossman must have been. I’ve already written a partial assessment of this literary masterpiece on my Ana the Imp blog, a post I headed The Grand Inquisitor, which focused on the contents of a single chapter, one I had just finished, one that literally winded me, both intellectually and emotionally. Well, now I’ve finished the whole novel and it captivated me from beginning to end; captivated me with its intensity, its [...]

    11. A monumental novel in the Great Russian tradition which has been rightly compared with War and Peace. It focuses on the Battle of Stalingrad, but covers a Science Institute, various prison camps and a concentration camp. The list of characters is vast and the dramatis personae in my edition was well used. Grossman was a journalist who covered the Battle of Stalingrad from the front line and his experience shows. However this is, like War and Peace, very much not just a war novel. Its scope is br [...]

    12. Having read War and Peace a couple of months ago in which Tolstoy pointed out already in the mid nineteenth century the role of accident and fate in the success of military campaigns, thus underlining their futility, I wondered how any European leader could ever have embarked on another takeover knowing the outcome of Napoleon's campaigns. But of course there was WWI and WWII as if nothing had been learned about trusting Emperor style dictators driven by monstrous personal ambition; after Napole [...]

    13. 4 1/2Grossman stands in the tradition of the Russian novelists of the nineteenth century. His characters, like Dostoevsky's, engage in great philosophical debates; and the structure of Life and Fate is loosely based on that of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Ideologically, however, the model to which Grossman admitted to feeling closest was Chekhov… who brought into Russian literature a new kind of humanism based on the ideas of freedom and loving kindness.Tzvetan TodorovGrossman during the Second Wo [...]

    14. The worst reviews, in my humble opinion, are those that begin with this sentence: I really wanted to like this book? Oh? This confounds me? Who starts to read a book that they hope they will not like? Do people really open books they hope will appall them, torture them with typos and improbable plots, confuse them with experimental mazes of style and drown them in gibberish? Isn't every book we start one we hope will be the greatest ever? What kind of twisted reader DOESN'T WANT TO LIKE A BOOK?I [...]

    15. Se dovessi raccontare a qualcuno in poche parole cos'è «Vita e Destino», per spiegargli la struttura di quello che è, prima di tutto, un romanzo immenso per mole e quantità di storie e personaggi che si intrecciano, gli direi di guardare questa foto e di pensare a cosa succede quando un vetro è attraversato da una pallottola; al foro provocato dall'esplosione e a tutta quella ragnatela che immediatamente si propaga da una parte all'altra dello stesso vetro, pronta a frantumarsi e a crollar [...]

    16. Leer este libro ha sido toda una experiencia. Al principio es difícil y denso (Vasili Grossman fue corresponsal de guerra y eso se nota) y hay que perseverar y no ofuscarse ante tanto personaje y dato histórico, pero una vez ubicada el resultado fue 1104 páginas devoradas en dos semanas. Lo mejor es cómo Vasili Grossman consigue desgranar el alma humana en tiempos de guerra (Segunda Guerra Mundial, en el frente Oriental- Soviético) desde muchos puntos de vista diferentes. Las madres, la cie [...]

    17. This masterpiece published by New York Review of Books Classics enters my Top 5 among novels by James Joyce (Ulysses), Proust (La Recherche du Temps Perdu), Tolstoy (War and Peace) and Gaddis (JR): it is pure genius in its epic scope. Inspired by Tolstoy's War and Peace and the siege of Russia by Napoleon, Grossman depicts the siege of Stalingrad by Hitler. Grossman narrates the epic from the perspectives of diverse players into whose lives the reader becomes immersed. The cast is vast and the R [...]

    18. My friend, Michael's review of this book is so outstanding that I decided to read this book. Here is a link to his five star review: /review/showFor me, this book was more of a four star read. As much as I admired the work and effort, reading it was a challenge for me. I was captivated now and then by some of the little things I found fascinating: the ridiculous psychological manipulations of Stalin and his minions as they force good people to sign fraudulent documents, the amazing details and [...]

    19. I really liked this bookIt is softer and less ideological than other Soviet literature I have read from this time - I can certainly see why it was bannedIt uses the backdrop of the battle of Stalingrad to explore the interlinked lives of an extended family and the people they come into contact withThere are parallels with War and Peace which I am sure was the authors intentionWarning - a bit of a brick at 850+ pages - not a quick read

    20. This review was constructed while drinking. Pub Guinness veered into Sierra Nevada Torpedo at home. Yo La Tengo kept pushing immediate questions: why not, why not? Why isn't Life and Fate a fucking rock star on ?Apparently such matters don't work in translation, well, unless it is Murakami or Bolano. I do find that rather akimbo, disjointed silences on germans and russians while YAs run amok. I did note that TWO of my coworkers are reading 50 Shades. No, the novel isn't a streamlined masterpiece [...]

    21. Life and Fate. The perfect title for an astonishingly good book. I am going to call Life and Fate a masterpiece. Yes it is as good as the reviews I have just read say it is. On a personal level it is a long time since I have had an emotional involvement with the characters of a novel. Les Misérables maybe? Though a large cast the life and fate of the protagonists at the time of the battle for Stalingrad made powerful and compelling reading. My copy is the Vintage edition 2006. It has an introdu [...]

    22. Sin duda es uno de los libros más hermosos que he leído en mi vida. Cuando uno se pregunta, (de vez en cuando) por qué leer? Bueno, para encontrarte con libros como este. Es sobre la batalla por Stalingrado, entre el Ejército Rojo (rusos) y el Aleman, en la segunda guerra mundial. Y muestra a distintos personajes que han sido afectados por esta guerra. Pero es más que eso, es que el autor tiene una empatía, un nivel de comprensión de cada una de las personas en distintas situaciones. Es c [...]

    23. Figli del passato“Perché le loro sorti erano così ingarbugliate, così oscure?”Questo libro uscì dai confini dell'Unione sovietica in pagine microfilmate contenute in una scatola trasportata da una ricercatrice austriaca vicina agli ambienti dei dissidenti e degli oppositori al regime; il manoscritto su cui Vassilij Grossman aveva lavorato dieci anni era stato infatti sequestrato dalla polizia politica di Cruscev e condannato perché antisovietico all'esilio in patria, alla cancellazione [...]

    24. The past, as they say, is a foreign country and also a more literate one. The USSR in the first half of the twentieth century was a place where a father would worry about which poets were read by his daughter’s boyfriend, a place where you might still love someone despite their inability to distinguish Balzac from Flaubert and where a soldier on the front line of one of the most dreadful military conflicts in history would complain that their comrade-in-arms did not properly understand Chekov. [...]

    25. Life and Fate is an epical and panoramic canvas meticulously portraying the whole pivotal period in the life and fate of a man, people, countries and the entire world.“The intuition of a deafened and isolated soldier often turns out to be nearer the truth than judgements delivered by staff officers as they study the map.An extraordinary change takes place at the turning-point in a battle: a soldier looks round, after apparently gaining his objective, and suddenly finds he has lost sight of his [...]

    26. Non sta a me recensire questo capolavoro, non ne sarei all'altezza, l'unica cosa che posso dire a riguardo é: leggetelo e rileggetelo se potete, testi di questa immensità e densità non si trovano così facilmente.

    27. In questo romanzo fiume sono narrati il destino della grande madre Russia e le vite di tanti suoi cittadini, tutti segnati dai combattimenti durissimi che si svolsero a Stalingrado, lungo le rive del Volga, dall’estate del 1942 al febbraio del 1943, tra i soldati dell’Armata Rossa e l’esercito nazista, passati alla storia come “la battaglia di Stalingrado”. Da quel momento, con la vittoria sofferta dell’esercito sovietico, non solo il destino della seconda guerra mondiale ebbe una sv [...]

    28. An absolute masterpiece, the intense scenework of Chekov mingled with the epic scope of Tolstoy, and a genuine act of bravery. The novel, centered on Stalingrad during World War II, thrums with anti-Soviet sentiment and anger over the holocaust (Grossman's mother was murdered by Germans) - it's little wonder that it was suppressed during Grossman's lifetime, and something of a miracle that it survived 28 years to finally be released. Its ambitions are huge - it takes on nuclear physics, fascism, [...]

    29. Mi historia con este libro ha sido una montaña rusa. Lo empecé, lo abandoné en el capítulo 21, mis compañeras de lectura conjunta me animaron a seguir, lo retomé, acabé la primera parte sin pena ni gloria, sin ubicarme, la segunda algo mejor pero con altibajos, la tercera ya totalmente inmersa y enganchada. En realidad la montaña siempre ha ido subiendo, ahora me doy cuenta: ha sido un libro que para mí ha ido de menos a más.Al principio me costaban mucho los nombres, ubicar a la exten [...]

    30. This novel – at close to 900 pages – has some very poignant passages on both Nazi and Soviet atrocities of crimes against humanity. These are stunning and soulful.Unfortunately I felt the book was marred by lengthy sections concerning Viktor Shtrum, his wife Lyudmila and his work cohort Sokolov. This was an extended examination of work-persecution and paranoia Soviet-Stalinist style. It became tedious and repetitive (reminding me of “Waiting for Godot”) particularly in Parts II and III.I [...]

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