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Puhdistus by Sofi Oksanen
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Puhdistus (original 2008; edition 2003)

by Sofi Oksanen

Series: Quartet (2)

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1,084917,684 (4)85
Member:Manteli
Title:Puhdistus
Authors:Sofi Oksanen
Info:Werner Soderstrom Os (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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Work details

Purge by Sofi Oksanen (2008)

Recently added byLouve_de_mer, AinaMS, private library, sandra.k.heinzman, JoshfromOxford, lestrond
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» See also 85 mentions

English (44)  Finnish (10)  Spanish (7)  French (7)  Swedish (6)  German (5)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Galician (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
This book was a gift from my SantaThing secret santa, and i have finally got around to reading it. It was Sofi Oksanen's first book that was translated into the English language from Finnish. This is a book that is not easy to read. it is visceral, tragic, and gut-wrenching. The book is set around the second world war, and during the narrative it skips ahead to 1992 and then back to 1944. It is set Estonia, and it tells the tale of how Estonia suffered during and after the second world war. During the war, the Germans occupied this country, and it was very difficult for the native peoples to try to live under their tyrannical rule. After the war it became a Russian country and the Russians brought more pain and misery to the mostly rural population in this country. The Estonians gained their independence from Russia in 1991. The story is told from the perspective of Aliide who lived through both occupations. When we first see her in 1992, she is an old woman who carries around a tremendous burden of secrets from her long life. She discovers a bruised and battered young girl at the gate to her property, and in a moment of weakness, she takes her in and cleans her up and feeds her. We see that Aliide and the young girl called Zara share a past and a history, and how and why becomes brutally clear to us. Both have been through hell and both used terribly by brutish men. This is where the reading gets difficult as we find out what each of these women have suffered. The book is gut-wrenching and forces us as readers to think about how far we would go to save ourselves and our loved ones if faced with the realities that each of these women have experienced. Can we judge their choices harshly when we realize that very difficult decisions have to be made in order to survive? No one in this book is unscathed by the harsh realities and horrors of war. The book is extremely well-written, and I'm sure we have not heard the end of Sofi Oksanen. ( )
  Romonko | Mar 7, 2015 |
Umfang: 6 CD, 456 Minuten.
Beeindruckend wie Sofi Oksanen die Geschichte der beiden Frauen - der alten estnischen Bäuerin Aliida und der jungen russischen Zwangsprostituierten Zara - mit der Geschichte Estlands zwischen 1939 und 1992 verbindet. Immer tiefer wird man in die Lebenswelten der beiden Frauen hineingezogen, erfährt von ihren Erfahrungen männlicher Gewalt und den Motiven für ihre Handlungen, die keineswegs uneigennützig, mitunter sogar sehr berechnend sind.
Die Inszenierung im Hörbuch, die den beiden Frauen und dem Briefeschreiber Hans je eine eigene Stimme geben, erhöht das Einfühlungsvermögen in diese komplexen Wirklichkeiten.
  libsum | Apr 16, 2014 |
Beautifully written but dark and disturbing. It reminded me in style a lot of the 'Dragon Tattoo' series. I finished not quite understanding what had happened though - which left me thinking I need to go back and read it more closely - especially the chapters about Aliide's experiences the Soviet occupation. ( )
  stevedore | Dec 9, 2013 |
With a title like "Purge," I expected the book to end with some big emotional catharsis. Instead, it just ends, and you're left to wonder how the two main characters dealt with the turn of events. I don't expect everything to have a happy ending, but this doesn't even feel like it has an ending. The characters tiptoe around the main topic for most of the book, and then instead of showing you how they behave when everything comes out into the light of day, the author just says, basically, "And then Zara left." Disappointing to say the least. ( )
  akswede | Oct 14, 2013 |
4.5/5

It's a rare occasion when the title for a book reveals itself as evidence of not a whim or facile plucking of a simplistic keyword, but of cold and careful analysis of the very viscera of the work. Even more of a feat when considering that the book is a translation, and that the title could have easily been ruined by the commercial gauging of the US market. The original title of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was Män som hatar kvinnor. Translated literally, Men Who Hate Women, a title which retained would have harnessed the rabidly popular heights the book achieved much more effectively, in my mind.

Ah well. No use crying over wasted potential.

The word purge speaks of both physical and political, bodily cleansing and cultural expulsion, as well as the forcible expunging of sin and impurities. That is the theme here, played out against the gigantic backdrop of history and the smaller curtains of men and their hate for women. Flies, communism, and psychological warfare, fully sunken into the culture of Estonia, its neighboring countries, and the minds of two women.

And yet, for all that, not a hint of sentiment in the descriptions of bucolic mentalities at work in the soil, old world superstitions acted out in herb and blood, bowel-gutting atrocities conducted as so much bureaucratic machinations and generating paperwork as such. If there's preserves to be made, the preserves are made. If there's plants to be picked during a certain hour to ensure health and wellness, the plants are picked. If there's a devil with a gigantic hairy cock to be tattooed on a female victim of human trafficking, likewise. Instead, the pages are subsumed in the fragility of the minds carrying the story forward, the stutterings and stops of the finest clockwork that eventually manage to click back into a forward surge, but not without a few screws sacrificed in the bargaining for survival. Poe comes to mind, but with a little more concrete horror and much less internal fuss.

The novel itself has a penchant for laying traps for those eager to speed through on the lines of a well-oiled plot. If the depictions of events horrifying in both their content and their systematic conductance don't work, there's the timeline jumping all around the passage of fifty odd years in the words of multiple narrators to contend with. And of course, the unreliability of them all, but with each of them in their own personal crucible of body and mind, you can hardly blame them. Save, perhaps, for overseer of all this, an omniscience that despite many stirrings up the story with a well placed poke (or many, enough to flay the "interrogated" mind and set it to brokenly tumble through the night forevermore) manages to miss so much. Put a soul through enough purging, and it'll insanely clasp the surviving obsessions to its emaciated breast all the tighter.

A final note. I don't usually take the cover into consideration, but the one of my particular edition does not do the story justice. It wouldn't even take much to fix it up, really. Just a hint of maggots squirming under the wholesome bread, a fly or two needling its shit-stained legs on redly ripe apples. The subtler, and consequently more horrifically shocking for the noticing reader, the better. ( )
  Korrick | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
”Utrensning” är en helt igenom mörk roman, men med en konstnärlig lyskraft som förbluffar.
added by Jannes | editDn, Jonas Thente (Feb 2, 2010)
 
added by annek49 | editSvD, Elise Karlsson (Jan 29, 2010)
 
added by annek49 | editNRK, Marta Norheim (Jan 28, 2010)
 
added by annek49 | editDagsavisen, Turid Larsen (Jan 27, 2010)
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sofi Oksanenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlov, JaninaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
seinillä on korvat ja korvissa kauniit korvarenkaat

Paul-Eerik Rummo
Dedication
First words
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
toukokuu 1949

Vapaan Viron puolesta!

On yritettävä kirjoittaa muutama sananen, jotta järki pysyisi päässä eikä mieli murtuisi.
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine the novel and theatrical/play versions of Puhdistus/Puhastus/Purge/Utrenskning/Zuivering. These are separate and distinct works.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
An international sensation, Sofi Oksanen’s award-winning novel Purge is a breathtakingly suspenseful tale of two women dogged by their own shameful pasts and the dark, unspoken history that binds them.

When Aliide Truu, an older woman living alone in the Estonian countryside, finds a disheveled girl huddled in her front yard, she suppresses her misgivings and offers her shelter. Zara is a young sex-trafficking victim on the run from her captors, but a photo she carries with her soon makes it clear that her arrival at Aliide’s home is no coincidence. Survivors both, Aliide and Zara engage in a complex arithmetic of suspicion and revelation to distill each other’s motives; gradually, their stories emerge, the culmination of a tragic family drama of rivalry, lust, and loss that played out during the worst years of Estonia’s Soviet occupation.

Sofi Oksanen establishes herself as one the most important voices of her generation with this intricately woven tale, whose stakes are almost unbearably high from the first page to the last. Purge is a fiercely compelling and damning novel about the corrosive effects of shame, and of life in a time and place where to survive is to be implicated.
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Aliide Truu, an older woman guilty of crimes during the Soviet occupation of Estonia, takes in a young woman, Zara, who is trying to escape a sex-trafficking ring, and as they work through their suspicion, the two rediscover a tragic family history from the past.… (more)

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