logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Svetlana-Alexievich
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-20 17:00
Last Witness: An Oral History of the Children of WWII
Last Witnesses - Svetlana Alexievich
These stories lives came with a punch, they struck viciously against my heart as I read them. To think that all of these individuals were children, innocent little people, who did nothing yet they received such a life-altering experience, that still haunts them today. I didn’t and I couldn’t read this book, all in one sitting. From the beginning, I wanted to appreciate each chapter: each individual’s situation and account. Upon reading, I realized that this is not a book that I could read straight through. The emotions and the energy in each of their stories lives, makes it a book that needs space.
 
From the voices of Russian children, we hear their side of what occurred to them during WWII. From a few pages to up to six pages, they tell us what they remembered. The children were affected in a variety of ways by the war: many had to leave their homes, some watched their fathers leave to fight in the war hence leaving them with lots of questions running through their minds, some children had to prepare for the war themselves and some even tried to stay in their own homes while the war ragged outside. They told their account and it was translated but the tone and the feelings are still in the words on the page. It’s as if these survivors were sitting with me, telling me how they reacted to a world that had turned upside down on them.
 
I could tell you about many of the individuals in this book as every story life in this book is worth mentioning. Their stories are different but every single one of them, are forever changed. How many times I read the word, “Mama!” I cannot count them all. How many times I read, “I was hungry,” I cannot count them all. How many times I read about death, how it had become part of these children’s regular, daily schedule, I cannot count them all.
 
There was Marlen, age 11, who is now a member of a town council. Marlen remembers always being hungry while living in the orphanage. He remembers needing to be first in line or you might not get anything to eat. With it being -20 degrees outside, Marlen takes off his hat and had a soldier ladle some soup into his hat instead of finding a metal tin. Marlen quickly runs back to the orphanage. He now has frostbite on his ears but he has supplied frozen soup to everyone there. Now, this adventure puts a smile on my face.
 
This is a book worth reading. I enjoyed this book and I appreciate the individuals who shared their stories lives with me.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-07-08 22:01
On the Crowdsourced list
Voices from Chernobyl - Svetlana Alexievich,Keith Gessen

I read this after watching the HBO mini series about the disaster. If you have seen it, the firefighter’s wife, the one who follows her husband, her account opens this collection of oral histories. It pretty sets the stage for the rest of the history that follows.

It is not easy reading. There are bits about the killing of animals – enough dogs and cats survived the cull that their descendants inhabit the zone today. There are stories about people, including children, dying. The genius lies in how the histories are presented. Alexievich uses a combination of straight forward interview as well as a Greek Chorus. The fact that the names of the people, for the most, are not used until the end making the stories more universal.

In the West, we perhaps have disregarded Chernobyl. The interviews resented here, especially from those that lived though the Second World War and the meltdown, will correct that.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-04 02:58
Reading progress update: I've read 292 out of 292 pages.
Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future - Svetlana Alexievich,Anna Gunin,Arch Tait

thank you very much, Lillelara, for making me aware of this book, and prompting me to read it by including it on your list of essentials.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-03 15:11
Reading progress update: I've read 142 out of 292 pages.
Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future - Svetlana Alexievich,Anna Gunin,Arch Tait

what happened to the animals is tough to read. well, the whole book is intense. but I'm absorbing it all.

 

supposed to be Alice Payne Rides next, but I think I'm going to sneak in one Mystery novel ahead of it, probably Surfeit of Suspects  by George Bellairs. then, for sure, Alice Payne Rides - I've bumped it off my reading schedule at least once, and I promise the author (if she's monitoring all my reneging), it will definitely be after the Bellairs book!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-03 03:32
Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 292 pages.
Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future - Svetlana Alexievich,Anna Gunin,Arch Tait

it’s definitely essential reading...but tough to take.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?