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Synopsis

A daring literary masterpiece and winner of the National Book Award. 

In this magnificent work of fiction, acclaimed author William T. Vollmann turns his trenchant eye on the authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR in the twentieth century to render a mesmerizing perspective on human experience during wartime. Through interwoven narratives that paint a composite portrait of these two battling leviathans and the monstrous age they defined, Europe Central captures a chorus of voices both real and fictional— a young German who joins the SS to fight its crimes, two generals who collaborate with the enemy for different reasons, the Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the Stalinist assaults upon his work and life.

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Europe Central
Average rating
4 / 5
A history of violence
January 20th, 2013
Brilliant, sprawling account of the conflict between Russia and Germany during ww2. More like a book of short stories with recurrent themes, these are fictional accounts of historic figures like generals and artists (kollwitz, shostakovich) as well as unkown soldiers. The stories dramatise acts of fanaticism and resistance on both sides of the conflict. Some of the dialogue is a little wooden at times, and the books drags on occasion, but otherwise worth taking the time.
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