Everything Flows
  • Everything Flows
  • Everything Flows
ISBN: 1590173287
EAN13: 9781590173282
Language: English
Release Date: Dec 1, 2009
Pages: 272
Dimensions: 0.7" H x 7.9" L x 5" W
Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Publisher:
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Book Overview

A New York Review Books Original

Everything Flows is Vasily Grossman's final testament, written after the Soviet authorities suppressed his masterpiece, Life and Fate. The main story is simple: released after thirty years in the Soviet camps, Ivan Grigoryevich must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world. But in a novel that seeks to take in the whole tragedy of Soviet history, Ivan's story is only one among many. Thus we also hear about Ivan's cousin, Nikolay, a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career, and Pinegin, the informer who got Ivan sent to the camps. Then a brilliant short play interrupts the narrative: a series of informers steps forward, each making excuses for the inexcusable things that he did--inexcusable and yet, the informers plead, in Stalinist Russia understandable, almost unavoidable. And at the core of the book, we find the story of Anna Sergeyevna, Ivan's lover, who tells about her eager involvement as an activist in the Terror famine of 1932-33, which led to the deaths of three to five million Ukrainian peasants. Here Everything Flows attains an unbearable lucidity comparable to the last cantos of Dante's Inferno.

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Book Reviews (5)

5
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4
   Where everything flows, there is uncertain footing!
The work moves slightly unevenly at the outset, following a survivor of the Gulags and his interactions with family, his reminescenses of his past and the displacement he feels for a time and society, to which he feels alienated. Alienation is a central part of the novel, with the protagonist not being able to find any clear fit for himself after his years away from a world he previously understood. After a review, the author seems to show that even life itself was rather ill-adjoint and nebulous. It is as if the world itself was amorphous as his current state, a place where everything flows along but flows without clear certainty of footing or permanence. The work seems to culminate with an alliance with an unlikely landlady, this seemingly unnatural a fit at first as much else in this world.
 
3
   Not Grossman's best probably because unfinished at this death.
Ostensibly a novel about a man released from the camps after 30 years ago. Traveling to Moscow, he has dinner with his cousin, who has lived a comfortable life by doing what the Stalinist government wanted him to do, including essentially concluding in denouncing colleagues who had done nothing wrong. Then on to Leningrad, where he meets the man who has denied him falsely. He moves to the south, where he has a short affair with his landlady, who tells him about the famine in Ukraine in 1930 and her role in it. Grossman uses all this to frame what is really an essay on the evils of Stalinism and the passive role that the people played in it. At Grossman's death, it is in need of significant structural editing and without that, I think it lacks some of the emotion contained in other stories of the Stalinist era.
 
5
   Brilliant short novel...most insightful into full Soviet system that spawned Gulags
Vasily Grossman is a seriously under-reported Soviet writer of the 20th century. His insights rival Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, except Grossman, are more insightful on how the whole Soviet society was corrupted by its totalitarian tactics, not just those sent to the gulags. An absolute must read to anyone interested in the totalitarian instincts of the 20th century socialists.
 
5
   Get to know Communism!
Read this only for the one chapter detailing the intentional starvation of 3-6 million Ukrainians who died under Stalin and the USSR in the early 1930s. Five stars for writing this book under unbelievable political pressures and revealing the true nature of CommunismMarxism. Together with the Gulag archipelago and the darkness at Noon, Everything Flows provide future histories of the USSR and a warning to necessary societies that contemplate Marxism.
 
5
   Required Reading for Every Student of the History of the Soviet Union and the Russian People
Part novel, part personal political analysis, this unfinished work by Vasily Grossman is devastating in its examination of the human cost and suffering of the totalitarian state created by Lenin and Stalin and how it came to be. Together with Life and Fate, it marks Vasily Grossman as one of the great writers of the 20th century.
 
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