There was a slight hope of finishing the book today but it’s often the case that as you get closer to the end the pages get slower to consumer. Its almost as if you don’t want it to end so you read more slowly almost without being conscious of it. Still it will get completed tomorrow because there are simply not that many pages left.
There are so many contrasting stories going on here with some to do with fate and others to do with love and even when things seem to be going well there is a fear that one false move and it could all come crumbling down.
Bullet points between pages 754 - 806
* Krymov is put through the interrogation mill being kept up all night and confronted with so many facts about his past that he becomes dizzy at the knowledge of the state but he remains determined not to confess to being a German spy
* After a while he cracks and shouts at the interrogator asking him where he was when the bullets were flying in Stalingrad and his reward is the be beaten by guards that seem to know exactly where to hit to start some serious internal bleeding
* Krymov comes to the conclusion that his ex-wife has denounced him and faced with that bitter betrayal, which is of course not the case, he becomes resigned to his fate and starts to enter possibly the final stage of the process ending in a confession
* Viktor is finding that following Stalin’s phone call he is the most popular and intelligent scientist around and although he enjoys it he knows that they were only too ready to kill him off before his luck changed
* Novikov finds life getting harder with Getmanov threatening to countermand his orders unless his exhausted tank corps continues into the Ukraine and in the end after being dropped by Krymov’s ex-wife who he thought would be his he is recalled back to Moscow
There is no lunchtime read for the simple reason I spent my lunch break talking with someone about the state of the computer security market in a hotel next to Liverpool Street station. There will be some more House on the Embankment along with the final chunk of Life and Fate tomorrow…