Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

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Miamax, Jul 17, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 318 pages
21 Reviews
Koba the Dread is the successor to Martin Amis's celebrated memoir, Experience. It is largely political while remaining personal. It addresses itself to the central lacuna of twentieth-century thought: the indulgence of communism by intellectuals of the West. In between the personal beginning and the personal ending, Amis gives us perhaps the best "short course" ever in Stalin: Koba the Dread, losif the Terrible. The author's father, Kingsley Amis, though later reactionary in tendency, was "a Comintern dogsbody" (as he would later come to put it) from 1941 to 1956. His second-closest, and then closest friend (after the death of the poet Philip Larkin) was Robert Conquest, our leading Sovietologist, whose book of 1968, The Great Terror, was second only to Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago in undermining the USSR. Amis's remarkable memoir explores these connections. Stalin said that the death of one person was tragic, the death of a million a mere "statistic." Koba the Dread, during whose course the author absorbs a particular, a familial death, is a rebuttal of Stalin's aphorism.

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Review: Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

User Review  - Lucie Novak - Goodreads

Brilliant and scary. If you want to know about Stalinism, this is the perfect book. Read full review

Review: Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

User Review  - Kris - Goodreads

Thought I understood but turns out I had no idea. Read serendipitously timing-wise, the Ukraine situation makes more sense to me. 20,000,000 dead. Read it and you will learn. Read full review

Contents

Preparatory Credentials Background More Background
50
the Last The Collapse of the Value of Human Life in Practice2
81
Index
283
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Martin Amis, son of the novelist Kingsley Amis, was born August 25, 1949. His childhood was spent traveling with his famous father. From 1969 to 1971 he attended Exeter College at Oxford University. After graduating, he worked for the Times Literary Supplement and later as special writer for the Observer. Amis published his first novel, The Rachel Papers, in 1973, which received the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award in 1974. Other titles include Dead Babies (1976), Other People: A Mystery Story (1981); London Fields (1989), The Information (1995), and Night Train (1997). Martin Amis has been called the voice of his generation. His novels are controversial, often satiric and dark, concentrating on urban low life. His style has been compared to that of Graham Greene, Philip Larkin and Saul Bellow, among others. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. In 2008, The Times named him one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

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