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Fictions and Lies

by Irina Ratushinskaya

Bureaucratic Russia, especially the KGB's paranoid control of literature revealed from a writer's point of view. A lthough fascinating, I didn't find it easy to read. At times it felt uneasy and pedantic which interrupted the flow. However, it's still worth a try. I kept going just to find out whether Nikolin would survive or if in the end Viktor Stepanych would get his just desserts - the slime-ball!

Extract

The witnesses, seemingly could recognise anti-Soviet muck at half a glance. They exhibited no desire to study it any closer, but just nodded obediently. Dima didn't have a copy of the latest Chronicle, but a few old issues came to light. There was one copy of Turchin's The Inertia of Fear and assorted retypings of bits and pieces of samizdat. Even the exercise books with Dima's own poetry were added to the heap of confiscated goods and noted in the inventory: ....

Parallels

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Good German by Joseph Kanon
 

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