Siberian Education (Paperback)
  • Siberian Education (Paperback)
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Siberian Education (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
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£12.99
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 13/05/2010
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Set in a small and tight-knit community of 'honest criminals' in a remote part of the former Soviet Union, this is a tale of an extreme childhood - exotic, violent and completely unique. Nicolai Lilin gained his 'education' as a member of the Siberian Urkas - a self-contained criminal fraternity - in a forgotten corner of Eastern Europe. It was a remarkable upbringing, defined by an elaborate set of riuals and strict codes of honour. The community had a deep distrust of outsiders - especially the police and state authorities - and split itself into 'honest' and 'dishonest' criminals. Even their youngest children were taught to understand violence and when it was appropriate to use it. By the age of six, Nicolai Lilin is given his first 'pike knife' by an uncle and by the age of twelve he has been convicted of attempted murder. A huge bestseller in Lilin's current home country, Italy, Siberian Education is an extraordinary snapshot of a violent world.

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781847677778
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 512 g
Dimensions: 214 x 135 x 34 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
It tells the story of a world that has disappeared - that of the Siberian Urkas, the community of criminals deported by Stalin to what is now the border of Moldavia - the no man's land of Transnistria . . .To read this book you have to force yourself to forget about the categories of good and evil as we perceive them. You have to be there and just read. -- ROBERTO SAVIANO, author of Gomorrah
Lilin is the last heir in a dynasty of criminals. His book is an autobiography which reads like a novel. * * GQ * *
Portrays an extreme kind of childhood where quarrells between children are settled with knives. * * Rolling Stone * *
Terrifying, fascinating, horrific and violent - Lilin's memoir is an eye-opening and gripping account of a childhood spent in the brutal Siberian underworld * * Simon Sebag-Montifiore, author of Young Stalin * *
Force yourself to forget about categories of good and evil, you have to just be there and read ... produces a thrill of pleasure that is hard to forget. * * Roberto Saviano * *
Siberian Education is terrifying. There are incidents and episodes which simply aren't quotable, not without serious disclaimers and some risk to stomach contents. -- Colin Waters * * Herald Scotland * *
This story makes most of what we call true crime writing seem insipid and effette. Nicolai Lilin has produced a marvellous and illuminating book, which goes way beyond an expose of a subculture and lifestyle, and eventually forces us to reassess our notions of good and evil. If you want to understand how the so-called Russian Mafia came to dominate the global criminal underworld, Siberian Education provides many of the answers. An isolated, persecuted people, drawn together by a ruthless yet vividly moral bond against the authorities, and who relentlessly refuse to cede the monopoly of violence to the state, in our sanitized Facebook and Twitter world order, perversely emerge as the last great caste of anti-heroes. * * Irvine Welsh * *
A compelling odyssey of revenge in an indelibly vivid memoir that has the certain trajectory of a bullet. * * Metro * *
[Lilin] describes a disappearing world where children are taught to use and honour knives and guns as a means of survival, but where respect for elders, honesty and lpyalty are paramount qualities . . . Frightening, violent and yet with spirited moments of redemption which both offer hope and keep you reading . . . a breathtaking memoir -- Misha Glenny * * Mail on Sunday * *
A compelling odyssey of revenge in an indelibly vivid memoir that has the certain trajectory of a bullet. * * Metro * *
Aatonishing . . . Siberian Education is terrifying. There are incidents and episodes which simply aren't quotable, not without serious disclaimers and some risk to stomach contents. * * Sunday Herald * *
Set to make the Anglophone world go "Woooah-Jesus-that-is-some-of-the-most-savagely-rugged-shit-that's-ever-gone-in-our-namby-pamby-eyeballs" . . . an education, truly. * * Dazed and Confused * *
[The] narrative is refreshingly devoid of the egotism and posturing of most gangster memoirs, and is replete with a genuine desire to find a higher truth . . . a delight to read. * * Guardian * *
Siberian Education paints a memorable world of anarchism, devotion, humor and respect. It is not one in which any sane-minded person would choose to live; but it is one that we could learn from. * * Wall Street Journal * *

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“Staggering...”

This book deserves to outshine any other biography-cum-life story in the field of true crime. The hackneyed, formulaic accounts of the lives of so-called UK gangsters and 'hard men' that have found an eager... More

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