Tag: 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/

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/

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/

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/

The Lights Of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

How to make the now well-worn trope of vampires and monster hunters feel fresh and new again? Set the proceedings in historic Prague, with a firm eye on local history and mythology free of the influence of the too-standard figures of modern, Western-European-leaning pop culture, while also infusing a 21st-century sensibility to the proceedings. We …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/24/the-lights-of-prague-by-nicole-jarvis/

Genghis Khan by Leo de Hartog

I’m glad that Leo de Hartog did not title this biography A Life of Genghis Khan because there is astonishingly little life between its covers. I would have thought the biography of someone who rose from a tribal noble to rule the largest land empire this world has ever known would be positively gripping, but …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/14/genghis-khan-by-leo-de-hartog/

Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry by Peter Nasmyth

In his preface to this, fourth, edition of Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry, Peter Nasmyth writes that he has seen the book migrate from the Travel section of bookstores over into History. Likewise Nasmyth has transformed from a footloose twentysomething seeker, happening to stop in Moscow on his way from India back to England, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/28/georgia-in-the-mountains-of-poetry-by-peter-nasmyth/

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins written by Eric Kimmel

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Kid One first fell in love with this book as an elementary school student, a Protestant child living in an Orthodox country enjoying a very Jewish story. And what’s not to like? Hershel of Ostropol wanders into an unnamed Central European village on the first night of Hanukkah expecting celebration and hospitality. Instead, he finds …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/02/hershel-and-the-hanukkah-goblins-written-by-eric-kimmel/