It is interesting reading a Russian book about post Stalin life alongside Life and Fate because it is impossible to get away from the same sense of paranoia and fear that the Soviet system produced.
This book delves back into the same period of the war and pre war because it is about a man looking back over his childhood and it is a good companion piece to the Grossman. The only slight downside is that it is very slow going.
Highlights from pages 32 – 50
Glebov continues to delve through the memories of his childhood friend Lev and remembers how powerful he was seen to the degree that his parents asked his father to try and get information for an uncle in the camps. Then the history fast forwards a few years and the war has taken the lives of a fair few of Glebov’s friends including his mother and left him poor and hungry. So it is with amazement he bumps into Lev looking well wearing an expensive leather jacket and still living in luxury. The same feelings of inadequacy he had as a child come back and despite the obvious lies he is hanging off Lev’s every word.