Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

by Martin Amis
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Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million by Martin Amis

A brilliant weave of personal involvement, vivid biography and political insight, Koba the Dread is the successor to Martin Amis’s award-winning memoir, Experience.

Koba the Dread captures the appeal of one of the most powerful belief systems of the 20th century — one that spread through the world, both captivating it and staining it red. It addresses itself to the central lacuna of 20th-century thought: the indulgence of Communism by the intellectuals of the West. In between the personal beginnings and the personal ending, Amis gives us perhaps the best one-hundred pages ever written about Stalin: Koba the Dread, Iosif the Terrible.

The author’s father, Kingsley Amis, though later reactionary in tendency, was a “Comintern dogsbody” (as he would come to put it) from 1941 to 1956. His second-closest, and then his closest friend (after the death of the poet Philip Larkin), was Robert Conquest, our leading Sovietologist whose book of 1968, The Great Terror, was second only to Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago in undermining the USSR. The present memoir explores these connections.

Stalin said that the death of one person was tragic, the death of a million a mere “statistic.” Koba the Dread, during whose course the author absorbs a particular, a familial death, is a rebuttal of Stalin’s aphorism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400032204
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/09/2003
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 320,475
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Martin Amis is the bestselling author of several books, including London Fields, Money, The Information, and Experience. He lives in London.


Oxford, England

Date of Birth:

August 25, 1949

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Exeter College, Oxford

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Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jpjoop More than 1 year ago
To tell the truth I am not a Martin Amis fan. I think his father Amis is a far superior writer of whom I have read every book On the other hand, this is the only of his offsprings that I was able to finish to the end. It is an interesting treatise on the variances of fascism, whether of the left or right, attempting to explain those who fall into its spells. If you like this try Vollman's Central Europe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago