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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

Life and Fate

Life and Fate - Vasily Grossman

bookshelves: radio-4, autumn-2011, published-1980, wwii, war, slavic, epic-proportions, philosophy, nazi-related, holocaust-genocide, classic, teh-brillianz, translation

Recommended for: Brazilliant Laura et al
Read from September 12 to 25, 2011

* Classic Serial in two parts starting 18th September 2011. ALSO This epic saga takes over every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.

Original music by John Hardy with Rob Whitehead Performed by Oliver Wilson-Dickson, Tom Jackson, Stacey Blythe and Max Pownall Translated by Robert Chandler Directed and Produced by Alison Hindell

Kenneth Branagh, Janet Suzman, David Tennant, Greta Scacchi and Harriet Walter star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman.

Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, Life and Fate is a sweeping historical tale that charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war and is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested and Grossman was told that it would not be published for at least 200 years. He died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.

9 - A Hero of the Soviet Union: As Krymov recovers from his head wound, he questions his own beliefs.

10 - Krymov in Moscow: Krymov and Zhenya both arrive in Moscow.

11 - Saturday Play : Fortress Stalingrad.

Last episode - Viktor and the Academy : Viktor is ostracised for his 'anti-Soviet' science and fears the worst.