Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks: Life and Death Under Soviet Rule

The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks: Life and Death Under Soviet Rule
author: Igort
name: Wayne
average rating: 4.26
book published: 2016
rating: 5
read at: 2017/01/01
date added: 2017/01/01
shelves: graphic-novels, non-fiction
'The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks' by Igort with English translation by Jamie Richards is an excellent non-fiction graphic novel, but it's not one that is easy to read because of the subject matter.

It's really a two part story, with enough atrocity for both stories. The Ukrainian notebook is about something called the Holodomor that happened in the 1930s under Stalin. The events of that time are told as vignettes by survivors that the author has run across. Millions of people starved or were executed during this time. There are stories of people killing their horses, or hiding food, or eating things that are not true food to have something in their bellies. There was even cannibalism.
The Russian Notebook portion deals with more modern events in Chechnya and the death of a journalist. The author visits the building she lived in and recounts stories that she reported on. Increasingly, her life was threatened, so it is a tragic inevitability that her life should end. Individual stories in this section are by soldiers who were witness to, or participated in, atrocities.

The stories are not pleasant, but the tragic events of history need to be told so that they can never be repeated. I think a graphic novel works well to tell this sort of story because the violence is vivid and the stories are unflinching. A truly interesting work.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Simon & Schuster and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

via Wayne's bookshelf: read

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