|My Copy||library paperback|
|First Read||March 02, 2014|
This was great! I am really a big fan of Francis Spufford, so I don't know why I slept on this. Short stories are not my thing (as I have extensively noted, probably every time I read a book of short stories), but the mix of history and storytelling here, and how it pins together into a single portrait of, like, the Soviet Union, totally worked for me. Also I read this as an audiobook, and so the pace of reading forces you to really sit with the text differently than on paper. But it was great! Interesting, funny, and with a harrowing description of childbirth / labor that I made Erika listen to so she could tell me if she thought it was really like that.
Noted on October 17, 2020
So there was a moment in the middle of the 20th century when it looked like Communism was really going to work: The USSR's planned economy was skyrocketing, the nation was modernizing, and the standard of living for millions of people had been brought into the twentieth century. This was a heady time, apparently, and Spufford spins out a not-quite-historical-novel full of stories of what it would have been like to live through that moment.
Noted on March 28, 2014