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The Siege (2001)

– tekijä: Helen Dunmore

Sarjat: The Siege (book 1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut / Maininnat
9074617,332 (3.9)1 / 519
Leningrad, September 1941. German tanks surround the city, imprisoning those who live there. The besieged people of Leningrad face shells, starvation and the Russian winter. Interweaving two love affairs in two generations, this novel draws us into the Levin's family struggle to stay alive.
Viimeisimmät tallentajatyksityinen kirjasto, Panoramic, b7219333, TCAPLIB, bibliotecavaz, AlbertoVillela, ashleyvjn, Mayhawke, mazzzie
  1. 30
    The Madonnas of Leningrad (tekijä: Debra Dean) (Imprinted)
  2. 30
    The Cellist of Sarajevo (tekijä: Steven Galloway) (gennyt)
    gennyt: Both are stories of cities under siege, and the struggles of ordinary people for survival in dangerous and extreme conditions.
  3. 10
    The Noise of Time (tekijä: Julian Barnes) (charl08)
    charl08: Linked by the experience of 'the terror'.
  4. 00
    Through the Burning Steppe: A Wartime Memoir (tekijä: Elena Kozhina) (Imprinted)
  5. 00
    Leningradin 900 päivää (tekijä: Harrison E. Salisbury) (Imprinted)
  6. 00
    Tuntemattoman miehen elämä (tekijä: Andreï Makine) (GoST)
    GoST: Another historical novel about starvation and survival during the Siege of Leningrad.
  7. 00
    The Conductor (tekijä: Sarah Quigley) (avatiakh)
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» Katso myös 519 mainintaa

englanti (44)  norja (1)  italia (1)  Kaikki kielet (46)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 46) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Extremely well-written and researched but perhaps not the best choice for a lockdown read!!! It doesn't cover the whole period of the siege of Leningrad and a good job too. ( )
  adrianburke | Jan 25, 2021 |
I just finished Helen Dunmore's historical novel and I am spent. I have read novels of the siege of Leningrad before and have been touched by them but never more so than Dunmore's version.
The book begins with a Top Secret telegraph from Berlin to German armed forces:
"Re:The future of Leningrad
.....The Fuehrer has decided to have Leningrad wiped from the face of the earth. The further existence of this large town is of no interest once Soviet Russia is overthrown. Finland has also similarly declared no interest in the continued existence of the city directly on her new frontier."
By using a blockade to keep food and medicine out of Leningrad it's citizens slowly starve or freeze to death. Those who are able agree to things they never would have done in order to survive The elderly,young children and babies are the first to die. Those who survive the first winter of the blockade find innovative ways to bring food and supplies into Leningrad, still half the population has been wiped out and the siege will continue for another 600 some days. But for now, as this novel comes to an end there is hope amongst the sadness.
The characters Dunmore created are so very human, imperfect yet strong and willful, trying to believe there will be a tomorrow but knowing too, there may not be. Highly recommend! ( )
  Carmenere | Jun 3, 2019 |
Anna is the daughter of an out of favour writer in the Leningrad of the Second World War. Her father, once highly regarded, is now somewhat suspect, and none of his writing has been published for years: he scrapes a living with occasional translation work, though even that has become more and more intermittent. Anna herself has had to abandon her study of art to become a nursery assistant, a job that she can combine with the care of her much younger brother Kolya, their mother having died shortly after his birth. Despite their fall from favour the family has managed to retain their small country dacha, where Anna can grow the stores that will keep the family going through the winter. For even as a city at peace, there are constant food shortages in Leningrad, and keeping a family fed requires constant queuing: vegetables stored for the winter can make all the difference.

But with the breakdown of the Nazi-Soviet, Leningrad rapidly finds itself surrounded. After the bombing of the city's food reserves, the citizens of Leningrad are left with virtually nothing to fall back on. As the winter deepens its grip on the city, rations are cut to two slices of adulterated bread each day ...

This is a beautifully written book, as befits an author who is also a poet. The depiction of food is almost sensuous, right from the beginning when Anna is contemplating her growing vegetables:

'Anna pictured the seeds beginning to stir. Plump nubs of green feeling their way up through the earth, unfolding, fattening, changing hydrogen and oxygen and all the rest of it into solid, succulent food.'

I loved Helen Dunmore's ability to create memorable scenes which brought home the horror of the situation in which Leningraders find themselves.

'The streets are almost empty. She passes the hump of a body frozen into a doorway, covered with drifted snow. It looks like a bag of rubbish, but Anna knows it's a body because she saw it before the snow hid it. It's an old woman. Maybe she stopped to rest on the way back from fetching her ration. Anna doesn't like going past the park anymore. There are people sitting on benches, swathed in snow, planted like bulbs to wait for spring. They stay there day after day. No one comes to take them away.'

Highly recommended! ( )
3 ääni SandDune | Apr 4, 2018 |
Having read previous books with the siege of Leningrad as the setting, I was curious to see if this was going to be another "scrabble for survival" story. The characters are well drawn. Even though this is a survival story, what Dunmore has done that I find unique is she makes this a story of the senses for the reader to experience - the bitter sharpness of cold, the syrupy sweetness of homemade jam, the iron hardness of a frozen, dead body, the deafening silence of empty streets, the muffling of a heavy snowfall, the iron tang of nutrient-rich soil. This is more than just a literary experience. Dunmore also conveys a strong feeling of isolation, even though the city is far from being underpopulated. Baser human survival instincts of a siege population are captured beautifully. While capturing the desperation as the siege continues, Dunmore still manages to convey a glimmer of hope, a will to go one for one more day. Dunmore does not sugar-coat the ravages of the siege, but she also does not fixate on the gruesome details as one might... those details are conveyed as just part of the background setting, where walking past a dead body becomes the norm, just like walking past a rock or a tree.

Overall, a well written story of human endurance through the hardships of a city under siege. ( )
  lkernagh | Jan 20, 2018 |
The Siege describes the horrors and devastation experienced by the people who lived through the Siege of Leningrad during WWII. Dunmore chooses to keep a narrow focus to the book, telling the story of a young woman named Anna, her much younger brother Kolya who is like a son to her, her father, and a family friend, Marina, who ends up living with them through the siege. There is a good lead-up to the siege so that you really feel interested in the characters relationships with each other and bothered by the direction that the Soviet regime has taken in controlling the population. Then, as the siege begins in September and winter sets in, the twin tortures of starvation and freezing take precedence and all that was being developed in the beginning falls away. Survival is all there is.

This book ends after about 8 months of the siege when the first winter ends in May. It ends sort of hopefully but my memory made me skeptical. In looking up the Siege of Leningrad, I found that the Siege would continue for almost 2.5 years total. Possibly 3 million people died between the people who stayed and those who tried to evacuate, most unsuccessfully. The first winter that is described in this book was the worst stretch where people were allotted only 125 grams of bread, which I think is about 2 normal slices, per day. Of course, this measly amount of food was in reality even less because it was full of sawdust or similar.

Realizing that the events described in this book were really only the beginning and that there would be almost 2 more years of similar conditions is truly horrifying. But as Stalin supposedly said (albeit about a different starvation), "If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that is a statistic." Dunmore has tried to reverse this idea, telling a deeply personal story of one small family and not muddying the waters by broadening the scope of the book too wide. ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 17, 2017 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 46) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The Siege is an agonising read, but also a numbing one. The novel, which narrates the first and worst winter of a siege that lasted from 1941 until 1944, animates the senses in order to feel them shutting down.
lisäsi kake | muokkaaThe Guardian, John Mullan (Feb 5, 2011)
 
[L]anguage that is elegantly, starkly beautiful. . . quieter and more powerful than her earlier work.
 
In limpid and careful prose, with an intermittently choric narrator, Dunmore presents a community in travail.
lisäsi kake | muokkaaThe Independent (Jun 16, 2001)
 
Admirers of Dunmore's thrillers such as Talking to the Dead and With Your Crooked Heart may be disappointed by her decision to wrestle with the raw materials of history. Nevertheless, it is the lasting achievement of The Siege convincingly to narrate a horrifying war story from the point of view of the hearth, not the trenches.
 

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The Siege (book 1)

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Re: The future of Leningrad

...The Fuehrer has decided to have Leningrad wiped from the face of the earth.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Leningrad, September 1941. German tanks surround the city, imprisoning those who live there. The besieged people of Leningrad face shells, starvation and the Russian winter. Interweaving two love affairs in two generations, this novel draws us into the Levin's family struggle to stay alive.

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