Category: Eastern Europe

Cold Water by Dave Hutchinson

Cold Water by Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson, like William Gibson, is an artiste of the slightly funny deal. They run all through Cold Water, and trying to figure out just who is running a caper on whom is one of the pleasures of the novel. Carey Tews, the novel’s main protagonist, is a Texan who’s been in Europe for decades …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/01/28/cold-water-by-dave-hutchinson/

Wrapping Up

The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag

Time for some short takes to clear the desk for the coming year. Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk. Nobel winner Tokarczuk uses very short chapters, each titled “The Time of …”, to depict life in an archetpyal Polish village from just before the outbreak of the First World War through the last years …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/12/30/wrapping-up-3/

The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili

The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili

A country and a century, told through what happened to a family, narrated by a member of that family’s next-to-youngest generation, dedicated to a member of the youngest generation who is trying to both escape and understand the legacy she is bearing. In The Eighth Life (For Brilka), Nino Haratischvili brings her native Georgia to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/11/20/the-eighth-life-by-nino-haratischvili/

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz has a captivating mind. In Native Realm he invites readers to join him on what his subtitle calls “A Search for Self-Definition,” and is a journey from the wooded interior of what is today Lithuania, where he was born into a family of Polish-speaking gentry, through his young adulthood in interwar Warsaw, past …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/26/native-realm-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Seldom does a book’s title fit so perfectly, so terribly as Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski (pron. “Chap-ski”). He was born into an aristocratic Polish family in Prague, at a time when that city was ruled from Vienna as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Czapski grew up near Minsk, in present-day Belarus; he finished his …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/23/inhuman-land-by-jozef-czapski/

Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

If not for Donald Fucking Trump, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch would have had a long, distinguished and inspiring career serving the United States of America that nevertheless remained practically unknown outside the circles of her work. Perhaps she would have been best known for providing a crucial piece of local knowledge when the embassy in Mogadishu …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/15/lessons-from-the-edge-by-marie-yovanovitch/

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Henryk Sienkiewicz, an early Nobel laureate, wrote historical novels set mostly in the days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that, like Shakespeare’s history plays, have a resonance well beyond their initial audiences and historical settings. Sienkiewicz lived and wrote at a time when Poland’s imperial neighbors had erased it from the map of Europe, and yet …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/07/24/on-the-field-of-glory-by-henryk-sienkiewicz/

The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky

Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky

The subtitle to The Invention of Russia — From Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War — unfortunately now has to be followed with a question: which one? Even when the book was published in 2015, his wars were already plural (Chechnya and Georgia) but the author clearly means Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula and its proxy war …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/22/the-invention-of-russia-by-arkady-ostrovsky/

To the Lake by Kapka Kassabova

To the Lake by Kapka Kassabova

In Border, Kapka Kassabova traveled to the corner of Europe where Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey meet to find out how the region had changed since the Iron Curtain had ceased to divide these three countries that have so much shared history. To the Lake takes her further west to where Macedonia, Albania and Greece meet, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/10/to-the-lake-by-kapka-kassabova/

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Ivan IV, not yet known as the Terrible, ascended to the throne as Grand Prince of Muscovy at the tender age of three. His father, Vasily III, “was a mild-mannered prince, well-liked by the people. Unlike his more famous father, Ivan III, known to history as Ivan the Great, who conquered large territories and fought …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/23/ivan-the-terrible-by-robert-payne-and-nikita-romanoff/