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Angst (Arbat tetralogy 3) by Anatoli Rybakov

Angst (Arbat tetralogy 3) (original 1990; edition 1992)

by Anatoli Rybakov

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126295,586 (3.98)5
Title:Angst (Arbat tetralogy 3)
Authors:Anatoli Rybakov
Info:Amsterdam Bakker 1992
Collections:favs from public libraries
Tags:historical novel, russia, communism

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Fear by Anatoli Rybakov (1990)



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In the first, "Children of the Arbat," we meet the hero, Sasha Pankratov, and his friends from the Moscow neighborhood of Arbat. Not to know them in the innocence of their sensual and idealistic youth means not to feel how soiled and beaten most of them become later (some are spies and informers; one even lets his politically inconvenient father die of a heart attack without calling for an ambulance). Sasha, a spirited yet convinced Young Communist, falls in love with Varya, a sweet-natured girl. But before their love can blossom, he is sent to Siberia for composing a sassy three-line ditty. He retains his love for Varya and some integrity, but by the end of Volume 2, "Fear," he finds himself publicly approving the death sentence for "traitors" even though he swore to himself he would not.

In "Dust and Ashes," Sasha, sickened by cynicism and compromise, is marking time, teaching dancing in the sticks. He has served his sentence but is still forbidden to return to Moscow. He has put Varya out of mind, a memory of irretrievable youth. Though she has sullied herself with bad choices in men, Varya's heart and conscience are pure. Still, she shares Sasha's sense of the past: "Gone was the joyful amazement at life, the anticipation of happiness in a world which had seemed so inviting and lovely. Now she knew that the world was unjust, cruel and merciless." But it's abundantly clear that they still love each other, and the driving suspense of the novel is our wondering whether they will ever find each other, and where and how.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
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