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I really enjoyed the first half when he was living with his grand parents. Liked his observations of life in first half. Rest of book when he's properly working became increasingly repetitive and matter of fact. Historically very insightful as to what was going on in Russia at that time from a first person account. Quite a brutal place. People struggling with: boredom, alcoholism, poverty, starvation, violence, rape, crime, theft, sanity. Overwhelming sense of mass boredom, depression and inertia of peace time Russia. Last 50-100 pages of book lost it's way a bit. Glad I read it. No-one was safe from the god fearing poor of Russia, even King Alexander the 2nd who is documented as having been murdered half way through at about 1880. Mentions of first hand accounts that "Peter the Great" was infact an arsehole too.