The Big Green Tent

The Big Green Tent

Book - 2014
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The Big Green Tent is the kind of book the term "Russian novel" was invented for. A sweeping saga, it tells the story of three school friends who meet in Moscow in the 1950s and go on to embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience. These three boys-an orphaned poet; a gifted, fragile pianist; and a budding photographer with a talent for collecting secrets-struggle to reach adulthood in a society where their heroes have been censored and exiled. Rich with love stories, intrigue, and a cast of dissenters and spies, The Big Green Tent offers a panoramic survey of life after Stalin and a dramatic investigation into the prospects for integrity in a society defined by the KGB. Each of the central characters seeks to transcend an oppressive regime through art, a love of Russian literature, and activism. And each of them ends up face-to-face with a secret police that is highly skilled at fomenting paranoia, division, and self-betrayal. An artist is chased into the woods, where he remains in hiding for four years; a researcher is forced to deem a patient insane, damning him to torture in a psychiatric ward; a man and his wife each become collaborators, without the other knowing. Ludmila Ulitskaya's big yet intimate novel belongs to the tradition of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak: a work of politics, love, and belief that is a revelation of life in dark times.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780374166670
0374166676
Branch Call Number: F Uli

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ArapahoeIrina Nov 22, 2016

This is a great epic novel which covers the time of Soviet era and Cold War. It takes you back in time when everyone believed in positive changes. Through her characters Ulitskaya shows how people lived and survived in the post WWII Soviet Union and how the system was breaking some personalities while the others either tried to leave the country to survive or had the courage to oppose the system. This book might be a good read both for those who witnessed that time and for the younger generations as well to get the idea about their parents and grandparents lives.

d
deathbird
Apr 23, 2016

A great sweeping narrative. Could not put it down.

v
vkocan
Apr 16, 2016

A great book but very poor translation. Read the Russian language version; it's much more enlightening.

g
GummiGirl
Jan 11, 2016

A worth addition to the canon of Big Russian Novels, dealing with the survival of Russian intellectuals and their culture in the postwar Soviet Union. It helps if the reader knows something about Russian history and literature, but the characters and their stories can stand on their own.

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