Koba the Dread

Front Cover
Random House LLC, Aug 13, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography
30 Reviews
A brilliant weave of personal involvement, vivid biography and political insight, Koba the Dread is the successor to Martin Amis’s award-winning memoir, Experience.

Koba the Dread captures the appeal of one of the most powerful belief systems of the 20th century — one that spread through the world, both captivating it and staining it red. It addresses itself to the central lacuna of 20th-century thought: the indulgence of Communism by the intellectuals of the West. In between the personal beginnings and the personal ending, Amis gives us perhaps the best one-hundred pages ever written about Stalin: Koba the Dread, Iosif the Terrible.

The author’s father, Kingsley Amis, though later reactionary in tendency, was a “Comintern dogsbody” (as he would come to put it) from 1941 to 1956. His second-closest, and then his 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. The present 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.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
11
4 stars
8
3 stars
6
2 stars
2
1 star
3

Review: Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

User Review  - Al Young - Goodreads

I'm going to recommend this one strongly (with one caveat which I will get to). First of all, it's Amis, and there might not be a better writer alive (not to go Jack from Minimum Wage on you), so it's ... Read full review

Review: Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

User Review  - Rob - Goodreads

A fantastic book that will give you chills and revolt you at the same time. Stalin is colored and exposed in brilliantly effective writing. Read full review

All 6 reviews »

Related books

Contents

Preparatory
Credentials
Background
More Background
The Politicization of Sleep
More Background
Ten Theses on Ilyich
WhoWhom?
Congress of Victors1
Prolonged and Stormy Applause
Congress of Victors2
Kolyma Tales
The Kirov Murder
Children
Reason and the Great Terror1
Show Trial

More Background
The Collapse of the Value of Human Life in Practice1
Nicholas the Last
The Collapse of the Value of Human Life in Practice2
Getting to the Other Planet
The Epic Agony of the Gulag
The Isolator
The New Men
The Little Mustache and the Big Mustache
PART II
Census
Demian Bedny
The Gray Blur the Yellow Eyes
The Kremlin Complexion
Rhythms of Thought
Succession
Theory
The Second October and the Breaking of the Peasantry
Women
Men and Mountains
The TerrorFamine
Poison Pen
Heavy Industry
Kazakhstan
Reason and the Great Terror2
Interventions
Voices from the Yezhovshchina
Ech
In the nightmare of the dark All the dogs of Europe bark
Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
The Taste Inside Stalins Mouth
Bolshevik Bravery
It loves blood The Russian earth
The Saddest Story
Into the Sere
The Bedbug
End
Negative Perfection
PART III
Letter to a Friend
The Beginnings of the Search for Decorum
Butyrki Nights
The Forty Days of Kengir
As the stars are known to the Night
Letter to My Fathers Ghost
Permissions
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Martin Amis is the author of nine novels, two collections of stories and five works of nonfiction. He lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information