Tag Archive: Eastern Europe

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 02 2017

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

There’s no denying that this is a beautifully written book. Catherynne M Valente takes Russian and Slavic folktales and melds them with Russian, particularly Leningrad, history of the early 20th century. Her descriptions of falling in love and of the secret languages and compromises of marriage make for compelling, wholly believable and empathetic reading. And …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/02/deathless-leningrad-diptych-1-by-catherynne-m-valente/

Apr 17 2017

Bohemian Gospel (Bohemian Gospel #1) by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Readable, if highly problematic. And usually when the word “problematic” is bandied about, reviewers are considering subject matter or character/authorial point of view. My use of the word comes more from the way Dana Chamblee Carpenter has treated actual history in the service of her tale: abusively, to be blunt about it. Going off on …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/04/17/bohemian-gospel-bohemian-gospel-1-by-dana-chamblee-carpenter/

Jan 03 2017

Landscapes of Communism by Owen Hatherley

Owen Hatherley places Landscapes of Communism at an intersection of several modes: serious but not academic architectural criticism; political and social history, as reflected in a region’s built environment; companion for both travellers and residents; and thoughts on living in cities shaped by different social systems. Hatherley writes early on that he uses the term …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/03/landscapes-of-communism-by-owen-hatherley/

Oct 05 2016

The Vanquished by Robert Gerwarth

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns fell silent, ending more than four years of terrible war in Europe. First as Armistice Day and later as Remembrance Day, European (and Commonwealth) countries even now commemorate the end of the First World War nearly a century after …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/10/05/the-vanquished-by-robert-gerwarth/

May 25 2016

Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson

Soon after reading The Collapse was just the right time to pick up Europe at Midnight, Dave Hutchinson’s second book set in a Europe that kept right on collapsing after 1989 and, by the unspecified date of the story, sends more than 500 entrants each year to the Eurovision Song Contest. Europe at Midnight splinters …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/25/europe-at-midnight-by-dave-hutchinson/

May 12 2016

The Collapse by Mary Elise Sarotte

In The Collapse, Mary Elise Sarotte engages in a very close examination of the events in East Germany that led up to the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, and a nearly minute-by-minute analysis of the day itself. Not quite an eyewitness to the events herself, though she is of an age …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/12/the-collapse-by-mary-elise-sarotte/

May 09 2016

The Balkans by Mark Mazower

As part of a series published by the Modern Library, Mark Mazower wrote a 200-page history of The Balkans, and it appeared back in 2000. It’s a handy little book, and it makes me want to take a look at the rest of the series, which feature well-known and opinionated authors writing about subjects on …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/09/the-balkans-by-mark-mazower/

Jun 04 2015

Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson

Reading Europe In Autumn was more disorienting than usual for an alternate history. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the protagonist of this story set in a slightly-alt near-future Europe could easily have been a slightly-alt me, and not just in the sense that the author had created a sympathetic figure …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/06/04/europe-in-autumn-by-dave-hutchinson/