Summary

The Big Green Tent epitomizes what we think of when we imagine the classic Russian novel.
With epic breadth and intimate detail, Ludmila Ulitskaya's remarkable work tells the story of three school friends who meet in Moscow in the 1950s and go on to embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience. These three boys - an orphaned poet; a gifted, fragile pianist; and a budding photographer with a talent for collecting secrets - struggle to reach adulthood in a society where their heroes have been censored and exiled. Rich with love stories, intrigue, and a cast of dissenters and spies, The Big Green Tent offers a panoramic survey of life after Stalin and a dramatic investigation into the prospects for individual integrity in a society defined by the KGB. Each of the central characters seeks to transcend an oppressive regime through art, a love of Russian literature, and activism. And each of them ends up face-to-face with a secret police that is highly skilled at fomenting paranoia, division, and self-betrayal. A man and his wife both become collaborators without the other knowing; an artist is chased into the woods, where he remains in hiding for four years; a researcher is forced to deem a patient insane, damning him to torture in a psychiatric ward. Ludmila Ulitskaya's novel belongs to the tradition of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak: It is a work consumed with politics, love, and belief - and a revelation of life in dark times.
©2010 Ludmila Ulitskaya; Translation copyright 2015 by Bela Shayevich (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By FiFi on 09-05-18

Modern Russian classic

This was a wonderful, thought provoking book and beautifully read. Not only was it an enthralling story covering a secret world frim behind the iron curtain, but it also demonstrated that the writer had a genuine knowledge and understanding of science and the arts. As a musician, I was intrigued by her many references to several great composers and musicians. I loved this novel and would recommend it to anyone. It is a modern classic; a masterpiece of the highest rank and has whetted my appetite for more of her books. I am also desperate to become acquainted with more contemporary Russian literature. Fantastic!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Olive Gale Mullet on 14-04-17

Modern female Russian writer writing a saga starting with Stalin's death and ending with the poet Brodsky's. It also 3 male frie

Three male friends and to a lesser extent 3 female fiends
It is equivalent to War and Peace for the depth and development of character and for the fullness of ideas

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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