Customer Reviews for

Life and Fate

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    the greatest western novel of the 20th century?

    Maybe it is and maybe it's not. After all, there's Proust, there's Ulysses.
    But it's definitely the War and Peace of the 20th century - a long, profoundly detailed, anguished, and completely absorbing account of the Soviet Union during WW II that does not hide from the horrors of what looks more and more like the Dark Ages - Stalinist repression, war itself, the Nazis, and the Holocaust. It sounds grim and it is but it is the most compelling novel I've read in years and am amazed that it is not far more famous. If I wanted someone to know about the 20th century and could assign only one book, it would be this one, even before Joyce or Proust.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2012

    Truly outstanding book

    Definitely one of the best books I've ever read. Grossman brings a reporter's eye for detail to this awesome work of fiction. That fact he was a war reporter no doubt helps him write with such richness and I believe he draws from his own experiences. But this is far more than a war novel. It's very Russian in it's sweep and variety of characters. What truly amazes me about it is that Grossman can put you in some truly awful scenes -- walking into a death camp, in the front lines at Stalingrad, dealing with the chilling combination of pettiness and deadliness that was the Stalinist be bureaucracy. And rather than having to put it down and give, he's such a good writer you can't help but plow on. And then there's the fact that Grossman -- in spite of everything -- seems convinced that humanity can't ever be completely crushed. Anyway, if you are bothering to read this review, you should get this book. Everyone I've known who's read it is blown away by Life and Fate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    One of The Greatest Books Ever!

    Life and Fate is an amazing book. The writing is fabulous and the plot, although unstructured, is great. It is the story of a Russian family in World War II. In the beginning there is no real sense of plot but it still manages to keep the reader interested. The writing is great, managing to give a real feel of the time period. The translation by Robert Chandler is a little bit slow in the beginning pages because of the length of the first few sentences but quickly gets better. By the end of the book it feels like the reader is no longer reading a translation but what the author originally wrote. The characters are realistic and the dialogue is very lifelike. Overall, Life And Fate is a brilliant book. Anyone that is interested in Russian history or World War II should definitely read this terrific book.
    Reviewed by: Noah Famously

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2008

    Genius of the highest order

    This masterpiece published by New York Review of Books Classics enters my Top 5 among novels by James Joyce 'Ulysses', Proust 'La Recherche du Temps Perdu', Tolstoy 'War and Peace' and Gaddis 'JR': it is pure genius in its epic scope. Inspired by Tolstoy's War and Peace and the siege of Russia by Napoleon, Grossman depicts the siege of Stalingrad by Hitler. Grossman narrates the epic from the perspectives of diverse players into whose lives the reader becomes immersed. The cast is vast and the Russian names are daunting to track but Grossman enables us to understand what it was like to experience the fate of Russians in World War II. The catastrophe was overwhelming as millions of people's lives were adversely impacted by the power of two great warring states on the front lines of Stalingrad. Yet somehow the resourcefulness, courage, strength, faith and every virtue of her people, tested under the worst human conditions, Russia was able to withstand the siege of Hitler only to suffer subsequently the immense cruelty of Stalin. The writing in this novel is nothing short of magnificent: it is great literature and profound philosophy by a novelist who knew his subject thoroughly. It's no wonder that Stalin wanted not only the manuscript but its carbon copies because the truth evident in this novel was certainly starkly and baldly critical of the State. At the end of the novel an old woman, Alexandra Vladmirovna, who to me symbolized Mother Russia, returns to the ruins of her home in Stalingrad and admires the spring sky wondering: 'why the future of those she loved was so obscure and the past so full of mistakes, not realizing that this very obscurity and unhappiness concealed a strange hope and clarity, not realizing that in the depths of her soul she already knew the meaning of both her life and the lives of her nearest and dearest, not realizing that even though neither she herself nor any of them could tell what was in store, even though they all knew too well that at times like these no man can forge his own happiness and that fate alone has the power to pardon and chastise, to raise up to glory and to plunge into need, to reduce a man to labour camp dust, nevertheless neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store -- hard won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labour camp --they live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished: and in this alone lies man's eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or ever will be...' The translation by Robert Chandler was as masterful as the original writing itself: Chandler was articulate, true to the text and humble in bringing to light without affectation or coyness or ego the profundity of this master work. I wish there had been maps of the front lines, which I found on the Internet to help me gain my bearings with unfamiliar geography. Having read War and Peace, Grossman gives the master, Tolstoy, a real run for his money in this epic: don't let this masterpiece pass you by! It's a novel fated to change your life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2001

    Simply fantastic

    Probably the masterpiece of 20th century Russian Literature. Epic story, moving prose.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2000

    A very personal, touching account of people living under Stalin during World War II

    This was an excellent book! I don't usually find myself reading history, let alone Russian history, but once I started I couldn't put this book down. I particularly liked how Grossman went right to the heart of the people. As someone who grew up after World War II, it was hard for me to imagine what life must have been like during Stalin's reign, and during the battle for Stalingrad. The characters, as portrayed in this book, led you through their lives and the effects of war, Facism, socialism, the 'state' and anti-Semitism on them. I found it very readable, very sad, and very moving.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    WWII in 1942 described by the witness, who is both a genius obse

    WWII in 1942 described by the witness, who is both a genius observer and a very good man.
    After first few chapters you begin to realize you can believe every word in this book.
    It's written as a fiction, but it's not. Every character is absolutely real, every story is a recount of millions similar real life stories
    Long Russian names are somewhat difficult to read at the beginning, but then you get used to it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1