Category: Fabulous Ones

Dec 07 2017

Conversations with Stalin by Milovan Djilas

Listening in on Conversations with Stalin involves stepping back into numerous vanished worlds: one in which Communists were imprisoned by kings’ secret police forces; where Communism is new and for large numbers of people a source of hope; where the inner workings of the Soviet Union are largely unknown; where Yugoslavia exists as both a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/12/07/conversations-with-stalin-by-milovan-djilas/

Dec 06 2017

Premature Evaluation: Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman

I first came to Vasily Grossman via excerpts in Ivan’s War, Catherine Merridale‘s amazing book about how ordinary Soviet soldiers experienced the Second World War. That prompted me to pick up A Writer at War, dispatches and stories that he wrote while working as a journalist near the front. I thought it was one of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/12/06/premature-evaluation-life-and-fate-by-vasily-grossman/

Nov 16 2017

Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller

Wilhelm Tell, a five-act drama in verse, was Friedrich Schiller’s last major work. It tells the story of the start of the Swiss Confederation as the people of four inner cantons — Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Luzern — joined forces, swearing an oath to drive out a Habsburg ruler who is intent on limiting traditional …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/11/16/wilhelm-tell-by-friedrich-schiller/

Jun 16 2017

Postwar by Tony Judt

Two things stand out for me about Postwar, by Tony Judt. First, it is a stupendous historical synthesis that aims to tell a mostly political history of all of Europe — East and West, North and South — from 1945 through its publication in 2005. Second, I should have been writing reflections about it as I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/16/postwar-by-tony-judt/

May 31 2017

Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale

I totally judged this book by its cover. First of all, the book is by Catherine Merridale. About a decade ago, I picked up a copy of Ivan’s War and was rewarded with one of the most amazing works of history that I have ever read. It’s a chronicle of the Great Patriotic War as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/31/lenin-on-the-train-by-catherine-merridale/

May 20 2017

“The Tomato Thief” by Ursula Vernon

“The Tomato Thief” by Urusla Vernon will have my first-place vote for this year’s Hugo award in the category of best novelette. It is a sideways return to the world of “Jackalope Wives,” which won the Nebula in 2014 for best short story, and is the only other story of hers that I have read. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/20/the-tomato-thief-by-ursula-vernon/

May 10 2017

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season is a very bleak book. It is riveting, engrossing, engaging, compelling, thought-provoking, and more, but it is also very, very bleak. When I was finished, I picked up a slim Soviet-German comedy (not an oxymoron!) by way of lightening the mood. The Fifth Season begins with a mother still tending the body …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/10/the-fifth-season-by-n-k-jemisin/

Feb 25 2017

Wallenstein II by Friedrich Schiller

“Schiller’s Wallenstein is so great that there is nothing else like it.” — Goethe How’s that for a blurb? Goethe didn’t just offer praise, he directed the premiere of all three parts of Schiller’s Wallenstein trilogy. The third, Wallenstein’s Death (published as Wallenstein II, as the two previous plays comprise the first volume), comes from …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/02/25/wallenstein-ii-by-friedrich-schiller/

Oct 11 2016

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way puns. Several somethings, actually, in Roger Zelazny’s seasonal romp, A Night in the Lonesome October. Those things are not to be confused with the Things in the Mirror, the Thing in the Circle, the Thing in the Wardrobe, the Thing in the Steamer Trunk, or …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/10/11/a-night-in-the-lonesome-october-by-roger-zelazny/

Jun 20 2016

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter is three hundred pages of wonderful, unadulterated squee. It’s a companion to the musical that I’ve been listening to nearly non-stop since last September, a documentation of the development of a show that’s clearly going into the canon of American theater and has already burst the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/06/20/hamilton-the-revolution-by-lin-manuel-miranda-and-jeremy-mccarter/