Europe Central

Front Cover
Alma Books, 2006 - Germany - 811 pages
8 Reviews
In Europe Central, Vollmann presents a mesmerizing series of intertwined paired stories that compare and contrast the moral decisions made by various figures — some famous, some infamous, some unknown — associated with the warring authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR in the twentieth century. He conjures up two generals, one Russian and one German, who collaborate with the enemy for different reasons and with different results. Another pairing tells of two heroes — a female Russian partisan martyred at the beginning of World War II and a young German man who joins the SS in order to reveal its secrets and halt its crimes. Several stories concern the complex and elusive Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the Stalinist assaults against his work and life; also explored are the fates of artists and poets such as Käthe Kollwitz, Anna Akhmatova, and the documentary filmmaker Roman Karmen.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drenglish - LibraryThing

There are books that just aren’t for you. There are books that people like you enjoy that aren’t for you. There are books that sound like they ought to be made for you; some of those aren’t for you ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - librarianbryan - LibraryThing

Some folks enjoy light reading in summer, but I save those extra daylight hours for the heavies. I’d been dying to read William T. Vollmann’s massive cold war epic Europe Central since it won the ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Journalist and novelist William T. Vollmann was born in 1959 and educated at Cornell University. He worked as a comptuer programmer before becoming a journalist and covering Bosnia, Sarajevo and Afghanistan. He has written extensively since 1987, when his first book, You Bright and Risen Angels, was published. The Atlas (1996) won the PEN Center USA West Award for the best novel by a writer living west of the Mississippi. His newest work of Non-Fiction is entitled, Imperial.

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