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Download Life and Fate: The Complete Series (Dramatised) Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Life and Fate: The Complete Series (Dramatised) Audiobook, by Vasily Grossman
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,818 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vasily Grossman Narrator: Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant Publisher: AudioGO Format: Original Staging Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN:
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Kenneth Branagh stars in BBC Radio 4's ambitious eight-hour dramatisation of Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman's epic masterpiece set during the Battle of Stalingrad. This powerful work, completed in 1960, charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the KGB placed the manuscript under arrest and Grossman was informed his book would not be published for at least 200 years.

Having been a household name as one of Russia's most distinguished war correspondents, Grossman died aged 58 - the banning of his book hastening the end of his life - and he would never know the fate of his masterpiece: smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm, to freedom and eventual publication in the West. Today it is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Verity | 2/19/2014

    " I think this might be the greatest 20th-century book I have ever read. Vast, profound, compassionate, searching and very affecting. I can think of no better dissection of totalitarian regimes, on both sides of the political spectrum. The author was uniquely placed to write about his subject - both he and this novel deserve far greater recognition. Truly a masterpiece. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jeni | 1/24/2014

    " I'm still in the midst of it -- well, it's 900 pages long! -- but it's a really brilliant book. Grossman was a Soviet war correspondent with the Red Army all the way through the taking of Berlin, and here he distills his experiences into a historical novel -- which was confiscated by the KGB and thus unpublished until well after his death. Featuring an extended cast of characters (sometimes a bit too extended, if you hear me) the novel swings from the front lines of Stalingrad to the Siberian prison camps to the Ukrainian ghettos. It's not as depressing as it sounds. Fantastic imagery, lots of wry observations on the human character... an evocative portrayal of ordinary people struggling through an epochal moment. That kind of thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Harkness | 1/22/2014

    " I wanted to read this after the Radio 4 dramatisation - it is an extraordinary work....a great novel is meant to take you into other people's lives and experiences, and this totally immerses one in the experiences of the Russians, Jews and Germans in Stalingrad in 1942. An extraordinary witness statement - he was there, saw the camps, he lost his mother in a massacre, he reported on Stalingrad as it happened...we must never forget how badly people can behave under terrible pressure. And yet, as he argues, the most redeeming human feature is kindness - as long as the individual can find kindness within himself, humanity will survive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elinor | 1/19/2014

    " I'm reluctant to give this book only 3 stars, given the amount of time I put into it! In some ways it's very compelling as it recounts the parallels between the Nazi regime and Stalinist Russia. The author doesn't give you a chance to grow attached to the characters, however, because the book alternates between about 10 different story lines, all with different people you have to keep track of. Though there are some moving scenes, overall I would say the book is somewhat flat in its weak character development and its occasional lack of subtlety. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon Malysiak | 1/19/2014

    " A little hard-going at first, but what a huge pay-off! The difficulty mostly lay in getting a handle on all the Russian names and locations, but once I'd figured these out and knew who was whom...this is truly one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Williams | 1/8/2014

    " One of the greatest books ever written, absolutely stunning. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 11/11/2013

    " The single most amazing book I will ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Will | 11/2/2013

    " This book is outstanding and the back story of its publication is incredible. For either reason, this book deserves to be read! Often compared to War and Peace, I believe it is much better (and Tolstoy would not mind that heresy). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eladio Ramos | 3/5/2013

    " One of the best books I've read in my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Banafsheh Serov | 12/11/2012

    " An epic Russian novel of Tolstoy-ian porportions set during WWII. So far a facinating and harrowing read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 10/29/2012

    " One of the best books I have ever read. A real epic, but gripping. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachael Singh | 9/27/2012

    " This book punched me in the gut and jumped all over me. It will haunt me for months. Life-changing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 9/21/2012

    " The greatest book ive ever read, need i say more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kissmyshades | 6/17/2012

    " it isn't perhaps as well drawn together as war and peace, but it has some truly amazing passages, and though it is 850 pages, it is incredibly readable. loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wilte | 11/5/2011

    " Na 350 pagina's geloofde ik het wel. Register met alle personages was zeker geen overbodige luxe "

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