Friday, August 3, 2012

Books in Brief: Breaking Stalin's Nose

Breaking Stalin's NoseBreaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quick read about a young boy's reversal of fortune over the course of only two days in Stalinist Russia.

When the book begins, Sasha is a happy 10-year-old, devoted to his father and to the Communist regime. When his father is arrested, everything changes, and slowly Sasha begins to question the system he used to believe in so completely.

Author Eugene Yelchin paints a deceptively simple and very effective picture of a police state whose citizens - even its children - are encouraged to inform on each other or lie to implicate the innocent. And even though the book doesn't have what I'd call a happy ending, we leave Sasha with at least one person who is kind.

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