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Christened with Crosses: Notes Taken on My Knees

by Eduard Kochergin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2612757,511 (4.08)9
Christened with Crosses is the unforgettable story of a young boy's dangerous, adventure-filled westbound journey along the railways of postwar Russia. Based on a true story of Kochergin's amazing life, this book depicts the awakening of artistic talent under highly unusual Russian circumstances. It is the memoir of an old man who, as a boy, learnt to find his way between extortionate state control and marauding banditry, the two poles that characterize Russia to this day.… (more)
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» See also 9 mentions

English (11)  Dutch (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
great antidote for those nostalgic for USSR ( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I won a copy of this book through early reviewers on Library Thing and I'm happy I was able to read this interesting story... Held my attention throughout. ( )
  Reesa111 | Jan 14, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When Eduard Kochergin was a very young boy (only 2 or 3 years old) his mother was sent to jail in Russia as a spy. His father had suffered a similar fate before Eduard was even born. For a while he and his brother Felix were looked after by a godfather but then they were put into state orphanages. That's where they were when the Second World War started. Felix was put in a mental home and died soon after. Eduard was spirited away from an orphanage in besieged Leningrad and taken to one in Siberia. This may have saved his life since he was young and frail and may have died before the city was freed. However, it put him thousands of miles away from his birthplace where his parents would probably return. When the war was over Eduard decided to return to Leningrad and he ran away from the orphanage. It took him 6 years but he did get back there and he was reunited with his mother.

Considering Eduard was only about 8 when he first went out on his own it is simply amazing that he survived and made his way. He was a naturally gifted artist and made wire portraits of the "Leaders" (Stalin and Lenin) as well as packs of cards to earn food. He also picked up other skills like making fires, tattooing, opening doors which helped him. When cold weather came he would give himself up to authorities and spend the winter in another orphanage. He made friends with a few boys his age and was also helped by adults (many of whom didn't have much themselves). He was truly a survivor. He is now a renowned stage and set designer in St. Petersburg so the skills he used on the long road home have become his way of life.

He is quite the inspiration. ( )
  gypsysmom | Dec 18, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It is always humbling experience to read about the struggle of someone elses life, especially when that struggle happens to a child. The resilience this man displayed as a young boy was inspiring. I enjoyed this book more and more as it went along because I felt like I was getting to know and care for this young boy. It is interesting to note that situations that we would consider to be abusive and inhumane today were just an accepted and unchallenged way of life in that time and place. I also enjoyed the writing style of small topical sections. I think it helped to keep the reader moving through the story. ( )
  Iudita | Dec 15, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This short book charmed me from the first page - even though the background to the author's experiences was anything but charming. However, shining through the writing were the beacons of hope which he had kept lit ahead of him on his journey; such that even if he had to take a step back into the system or to take a detour to avoid more persecution he never gave up on his goal and dream.

The nicknames for everyone takes a little getting used to - but I found the translation very readable (unlike the last translated book I read). The author is honest that it is not a full account, rather snippet over the journey which he made short notes of and then has used to describe his reminiscences. ( )
1 vote wungu | Oct 20, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
"Academician Eduard Kochergin, a titled master, who has created legendary performances together with theatrical producers on the stages of the leading Russian and foreign theatres, has an equally good command of the word and of the brush. A veteran of modern culture and art, who was the artistic director of the Bolshoi Drama Theatre in St. Petersburg for a long time, has written memoirs of his difficult childhood. It is a very powerful document from a historical standpoint. It is the absolute truth written by a talented and wise man who has lived a long life."
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eduard Kocherginprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chordas, NinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patterson, SimonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of Mother Bronya, Bronislava Odynyets
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Christened with Crosses is the unforgettable story of a young boy's dangerous, adventure-filled westbound journey along the railways of postwar Russia. Based on a true story of Kochergin's amazing life, this book depicts the awakening of artistic talent under highly unusual Russian circumstances. It is the memoir of an old man who, as a boy, learnt to find his way between extortionate state control and marauding banditry, the two poles that characterize Russia to this day.

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Glagoslav Publications Ltd.

2 editions of this book were published by Glagoslav Publications Ltd..

Editions: 908182399X, 1909156132

 

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