The People Immortal (Paperback)
  • The People Immortal (Paperback)
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The People Immortal (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
£12.99
Paperback 352 Pages
Published: 08/06/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

In its first translation since 1946, Grossman's magnificent novel of the first months of World War II through the eyes of a Red Army regiment is rich in breathtaking prose and unforgettable characterisation.

One of Grossman's three great war novels - alongside Life and Fate and Stalingrad.

Set during the catastrophic defeats of the war's first months, it tracks a Red Army regiment that wins a minor victory in eastern Belorussia but fails to exploit this success. A battalion is then entrusted with the task of slowing the German advance, and eventually encircled, before ultimately breaking out and joining with the rest of the Soviet forces.

Grossman's descriptions of the natural world - and his characters' relationship to it - are both vivid and unexpected, as are his memorable character sketches: eleven-year-old Lionya is determined to hang on to his toy revolver as he walks a long distance behind German lines; his defiant grandmother slaps a German officer in the face and is shot; Kotenko, a fiercely anti-Soviet peasant who initially welcomes the Germans, hangs himself in despair when they treat him with contempt; and Semion Ignatiev, a womanizer and gifted story-teller, turns out to be the boldest and most resourceful of the rank-and file soldiers.

Grossman spent most of the war years close to the front line. But The People Immortal is far from being mere morale-boosting propaganda. On the contrary, as letters included in this volume make clear, it was read as a textbook, and as a work of military education. This edition includes not only the unredacted novel itself, translated here for the first time since 1946, but also a wealth of background material.

Translated from the Russian by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler.

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
ISBN: 9781529414752
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 250 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

You will not only discover that you love his characters and want to stay with them - that you need them in your life as much as you need your own family and loved ones - but that at the end ... you will want to read it again - Daily Telegraph on STALINGRAD

Few works of literature since Homer can match the piercing, unshakably humane gaze that Grossman turns on the haggard face of war - Economist on STALINGRAD

There are always good reasons for reading Grossman, but few times are as resonant as our own. As a proud son of Ukraine, steeped in Russian culture, Grossman was both a chronicler of the Soviet Union's greatest victories and a clear-eyed investigator of some of its darkest crimes. - John Thornhill, Financial Times

The People Immortal is a remarkable novel that illuminates the terrible realities of Barbarossa and the banal horror of warfare with incomparable understanding and insight. As you would expect from Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, the translation is superb. - Jonathan Dimbleby

Grossman's great and enduring asset as a novelist is that - paradoxically - he didn't have to rely on his imagination. He was there . . . It gives his writing unrivalled authority . . . [A] significant, valuable addition to Grossman's small but powerful body of work - William Boyd, Sunday Times

Grossman's future greatness is written in its pages . . . at the heart of his writing lies a tireless humanity and empathy - Julian Evans, Telegraph

Its greatest strength lies in its authenticity . . . Grossman combines a journalist's eye with a novelist's empathy - Michael Arditti, Spectator

Thanks to a superb translation by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, based on Julia Volohova's meticulous work on Grossman's original text, we now have the most authoritative edition of The People Immortal yet to appear in English or, indeed, Russian. - Tony Barber, Financial Times

Grossman's expansive humanism . . . challenged standard Soviet assumptions about the duality between humans and their environment. - Jochen Hellbeck, Times Literary Supplement

Masterful literary fiction . . . Highly recommended, and beyond doubt the best war-related piece of writing this reviewer has read to date - Emma Muldoon Ryan, Irish Examiner

An absorbing book, without the scope and critiques of Grossman's LIFE AND FATE, but with all of its humanity and discernment - Declan O'Driscoll, Irish Times

An indispensable companion piece to his other works . . . Grossman was one of the greatest chroniclers of the Second World War in all its inhumanity. - David Herman, Jewish Chronicle

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