Author Topic: Sashenka [a novel by Simon Sebag Montefiore]  (Read 2906 times)

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Offline s.v.markov

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Sashenka [a novel by Simon Sebag Montefiore]
« on: June 27, 2008, 08:20:29 AM »
Simon Sebag Montefiore (author of 'Stalin : The Court of the Red Star' (2003)) has just had his latest book published here in the UK. 'Sashenka' is the fictional story of a woman who lived in Russia through 'privilege, revolution, war and terror'. Mr Montefiore is currently touring
Britain to promote his book, and will be in my city on July 9th. In a recent press release, he said : 'I have always passionately wanted to write accessible but well-researched history for the widest possible readership and thought fiction would take this a step further.'

My copy of 'Sashenka' is due any day now. I will report on it in due course, and of course on Mr Montefiore's talk on July 9th. (svm)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 07:46:15 AM by Sarushka »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Sashenka
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 09:40:30 AM »
Thank you for the notification. I liked his books on Stalin very much.  His fiction should be  as interesting, I imagine.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline historylover

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Re: Sashenka
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 07:00:06 AM »
I have to admit to reading some of the author's wife's books but not his!  I quite enjoyed one of them but they're certainly unadulterated popular fiction.

It will be interesting to see what you think of it.

Regards,
Lisa
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com

Offline s.v.markov

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Re: Sashenka
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 04:31:02 AM »
Last Wednesday (July 9th) I went to hear Simon Montefiore speak about his new book 'Sashenka'. He was very entertaining, and spoke about his experiences as a war correspondent in various conflicts (iincluding Chechnya), as well as his researches in previously closed archives which have resulted in his earlier books on Stalin, and now his new novel which is centred around the life of the fictional heroine 'Sashenka'.

The book is in three parts : in the first part, set in 1916, Sashenka is a 16 year old student at the Smolny Institute. Amid the chaos of those final years of the Empire, she embraces the revolutionary cause and becomes a Bolshevik. In the second part, set in Moscow in 1939, Sashenka is a model Soviet wife and mother, but these are dangerous times and the idyll does not last.....Part Three is set in 1994, when a young historian is employed to try and discover from the old archives what actually became of Sashenka and her family.

I enjoyed the book immensely. Sashenka is utterly believable and vivid, and the tones of the three time-periods in Russia are conveyed in convincing style. There are moments of joy and tragedy, and scenes of heart-breaking sadness, but throughout this immense novel (over 500 pages) I felt I was in the hands of an expert, who knows his Russia intimately, and never falters in his aim to give us genuine history combined with captivating story-telling. Highly recommended.

Another bit of news : Simon Montefiore's earlier book 'Young Stalin' is to be turned into a movie. There was some discussion at the lecture last week as to who should play the lead. I think Johnny Depp got the audience's vote, but we shall have to wait and see.....(svm)

Offline historylover

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Re: Sashenka
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2008, 06:29:30 AM »
How wonderful to hear Montefiore speak! I'd love to have been there.

Thank you so much for your review.  I will definitely read the book now! I was hoping that it would be a novel about the Revolution, but there have been
so many...

Johnny Dep certainly has the capacity to portray an evil character so he'd make a good young Stalin.  He is, however, a little bit old now for this part!

Offline AlexandersDaughter

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Re: Sashenka
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 11:32:07 AM »
I read this book last summer and adored it. Montefiore is so talented and he really pulled at the heart strings.