At the start of a fresh week of reading it’s a bit like that moment you get when you put a spoon through the foil on a new jar of coffee. It is hard not to get excited about what you are going to read next and some of that decision making is purely on an emotional level.
As a result of reacting emotionally to a great front cover, a recent BBC 2 programme about the battle of Stalingrad and the chance to read something by a Russian author this week, and let’s be honest most of the next, will be spent reading the mammoth Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman.
The story of the battle of Stalingrad is such am amazing one from every angle of courage, despair and revenge that is a great magnet for historians, fiction writers and film makers alike. Some efforts succeed, Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad for example, while others only get half way there. The film Enemy at the Gates might have a fantastic opening sequence but then it rather ebbs away.
So it is with a mixture of anticipation that Life and Fate is started. The first post comes tonight…