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Siberian Education
 
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Siberian Education [Format Kindle]

Nicolai Lilin
1.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

I know it shouldn’t be done, but I’m tempted to start from the end.
 
For example, from the day we ran through the rooms of a ruined building, firing at the enemy from such close range we could almost touch them with our hands.
 
We were exhausted. The paratroopers worked in shifts, but we saboteurs hadn’t slept for three days. We went on like the waves of the sea, so as not to give the enemy the chance to rest, carry out manoeuvres or organize their defences. We were always fighting, always.
 
That day I ended up on the top floor of the building with Shoe, trying to eliminate the last heavy machinegun. We threw two hand grenades.
 
In the dust that was falling from the roof we couldn’t see a thing, and we found ourselves face to face with four enemies who like us were wandering like blind kittens through the grey, dirty cloud, which reeked of debris and burnt explosive.
 
I had never shot anyone at such close quarters in all my time in Chechnya.
 
Meanwhile, on the first floor our Captain had taken a prisoner and killed eight enemies, all by himself.
 
When I came out with Shoe I was completely dazed. Captain Nosov was asking Moscow to keep an eye on the Arab prisoner, while he, Ladle and Zenith went to check out the cellar.
 
I sat on the stairs next to Moscow, opposite the frightened prisoner, who kept trying to communicate something. Moscow wasn’t listening to him, he was sleepy and tired, as we all were. As soon as the Captain turned his back, Moscow pulled out his pistol – an Austrian Glock, one of his trophies – and, with an arrogant leer, shot the prisoner in the head and chest.
 
The Captain turned round, and looked at him pityingly without saying a word.
 
Moscow closed his eyes as he sat down beside the dead man, overcome with exhaustion.
 
Looking at all of us as if he were meeting us for the first time, the Captain said:
 
‘This is too much. Everyone into the cars! We’re going for a rest, behind the lines.’
 
One after another, like zombies, we trooped off towards our vehicles. My head was so heavy I was sure that if I stopped it would explode.
 
We went back behind the lines, into the area controlled and defended by our infantry. We fell asleep instantly; I didn’t even have time to take off my jacket and ammunition belt before I fell into the darkness, like a dead man.
 
Soon afterwards Moscow woke me by hammering the butt of his Kalashnikov on my jacket, at chest level. Slowly and reluctantly I opened my eyes and looked around; I struggled to remember where I was. I couldn’t get things into focus.
 
Moscow’s face looked tired; he was chewing a piece of bread. Outside it was dark; it was impossible to tell what time it was. I looked at my watch but couldn’t see the digits; everything was hazy.
 
‘What’s happening? How long have we slept?’ I asked Moscow in a weary voice.
 
‘We haven’t slept at all, brother . . . And I think we’re going to have to stay awake quite a while longer.’
 
I clasped my face between my hands, trying to muster the strength to stand up and arrange my thoughts. I needed to sleep, I was exhausted. My trousers were dirty and wet, my jacket smelled of sweat and fresh earth. I was worn out.
 
Moscow went to wake the others:
 
‘Come on, lads, we’re leaving immediately . . . We’re needed.’
 
 
They were all in despair; they didn’t want to get up. But, grumbling and cursing, they struggled to their feet.
 
Captain Nosov was pacing around with the handset to his ear, and an infantryman was following him around like a pet dog, with the field radio in his rucksack. The Captain was angry; he kept repeating to somebody or other, over the radio, that it was the first break we’d taken in three days, and that we were at the end of our tether. It was all in vain, because eventually Nosov said, in a clipped tone:
 
‘Yes, Comrade Colonel! Confirmed! Order received!’
 
They were sending us back to the front line.
 
I didn’t even want to think about it.
 
I went over to a metal tank full of water. I dipped my hands into it: the water was very cool; it made me shiver slightly. I put my whole head into the drum, right under the water, and kept it there for a while, holding my breath.
 
I opened my eyes inside the tank and saw complete darkness. Alarmed, I jerked my head out, gasping for air.
 
The darkness I’d seen in the tank had shocked me. Death might be just like that, I thought: dark and airless.
 
I leaned over the tank and watched, shimmering on the water, the reflection of my face, and of my life up to that moment.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"A rarity. It tells the story of a world that has disappeared — that of the Siberian Urkas, the community of criminals deported by Stalin. You have to force yourself to forget about categories of good and evil. You have to just be there and read. . . . [It] will produce a thrill of pleasure that is hard to forget." 
— Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah

"Terrifying, fascinating, horrific and violent — Lilin's memoir is an eye-opening and gripping account of a childhood spent in the brutal Siberian underworld."
— Simon Sebag-Montefiore, author of Young Stalin

"Astonishing. . . . Takes you into some very strange worlds; frightening, violent and yet with spirited moments of redemption which both offer hope and keep you reading. . . . Remarkable for its authenticity. . . . A breathtaking memoir." 
— Misha Glenny, author of McMafia
 
"This story makes most of what we call true crime writing seem insipid and effete. Nicolai Lilin has produced a marvellous and illuminating book, which goes way beyond an expose of a subculture and lifestyle, and eventually forces us to reassess our notions of good and evil. If you want to understand how the so-called Russian Mafia came to dominate the global criminal underworld, Siberian Education provides many of the answers. An isolated, persecuted people, drawn together by a ruthless yet vividly moral bond against the authorities, and who relentlessly refuse to cede the monopoly of violence to the state, in our sanitized Facebook and Twitter world order, perversely emerge as the last great caste of anti-heroes." 
— Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

"A chilling portrait of the viciousness that comes from political disenfranchisement. . . . [Lilin] brilliantly depicts a criminal underworld of strict mores, arcane logic and brutal justice. . . . Amid the depravity of its anti-heroes, Siberian Education paints a memorable world of anarchism, devotion, humor and respect."
— The Wall Street Journal online


From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 866 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 465 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1847677770
  • Editeur : Canongate Books (13 mai 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B003L77C50
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 1.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°129.013 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 mauvais roman 11 juillet 2010
Par marc
Format:Broché
Très décu par le livre.
Je croyais que c'était un vrai livre de mémoire jetant la lumière sur les milieux criminels de la Russie post-soviétique.
Ce n'est en réalité qu'un mauvais roman avec probablememt des éléments autobiographiques, mais dans une sauce utilisant une Sibérie fictive avec références ethniques, historiques et géographique très diffuses sinon directement fausses, des stéréotypes sur l'URSS etc
Bref écrit et publié pour gagner de l'argent, en héroisant des criminels autres que les habituels, c'est-à-dire la mafia de New-York ou les gangs de Los Angeles, mais qui en réalité est construit sur la même logique.
A éviter pour les lecteurs véritablement intéressés par la Russie post-soviétique.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Incredible 4 octobre 2011
Par Sergey Khromov-Borisov - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
All the content of this book is genuine lies.

It's really amazing how deceivable the Western people can be. And the publishers could at least ask - not even an expert but any Russian person, about truthfulness of this delirious nonsense. We all laugh here at this book and even more at the reviews of many reputable Western literary critics.
10 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 NEITHER ONE THING NOR THE OTHER 22 septembre 2010
Par DAVID BRYSON - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Be careful about acquiring this effort on the basis of short synopses or seeming recommendations that you may read. You might get an unduly favourable impression, as I did myself, of what is in store for you. It is neither one thing nor the other, as Churchill said when he saw the name Bossom in a list of members of parliament. It is neither fact nor fiction, and to call it autobiography or depiction of a culture would involve a huge strain of either term. It is not really even a book in my own opinion.

What it resembles is a serial appearing every 7 days in some weekly magazine. When I was a boy there used to be several such magazines for my age-group, although the stories and events that they serialised were of course a lot more wholesome and edifying than this is. They were also shorter, and if you are determined to grit your teeth and finish this one you have 440 or so pages to cope with. Fortunately the quality of the writing is not a problem, it being competent enough. There are enough real difficulties, one being the corny narration of the supposedly quaint and purportedly interesting values and rites of this alleged community of Siberian criminals with their own codes of honour and conduct. When I was young the weekly mags that I have just mentioned used to fascinate us with tales of elite schools whose interns went through equally pointless pantomimes. We were intended to gawp at this exclusive nonsense like children with our noses pressed against the window of a shop whose wares were out of our price-range, and the whole atmosphere of it all came back to me forcibly when I read `The umbilical cord of newborn babies is cut with a pike, which must first have been left overnight in a place where cats sleep.' That gem is on p 31, but believe me, I really did struggle through to the bitter end, overcoming a powerful momentary sense that this was as much as I could endure.

It is all about the life and times (or deaths and times) of a Siberian community uprooted to the region of Transnistria. Transnistria is a strip of riverbank between the Ukraine and Moldova, and I believe that it declared independence in 1990, although this has been recognised only by Abharzia and South Ossetia, which in their turn have yet to achieve widespread recognition. The level of violence would have made the Kray twins quail, but, oddly, I experienced no sense of disgust because I believed very little of what I was reading. I don't doubt that it is all based on the author's background and experience, but it is blatant romancing. There is surprisingly little sex in the story, but if that is what you are looking for start at p 286, which inaugurates 20 or so pages of detailed descriptions of male rapes in a prison.

I can see no point in fretting over accuracy or verisimilitude, as these are manifestly not what this is all about. On p 79, for instance, I read that `in present-day Russia hardly anyone knows about the deportation of the Siberians to Transnistria.' That might be, I reflected, because it never happened, as a reliable source informs me. Even my own minimal grasp of the epoch is enough to let me correct the text on p 204, where the author seemingly commits himself to the belief that Yugoslavia was part of the Soviet bloc.

I hope and believe that that's a fair summary. If you wish to claim otherwise, you must at least read the lot from start to finish, as I genuinely did. It can be done, but it's a challenge.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a novel, not a memoir 1 juin 2013
Par Miss Brina - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I just finished reading Lilin's book in Italian (its original language), after watching Gabriele Salvatores' movie rendition. I'd like to point out to English readers that the book is clearly marketed as a *novel* -- not a memoir -- to the Italian public. It may be loosely based on some "true details" (which may not necessarily be autobiographical) but it clearly reads like fiction, a modern fairy-tale, a distorted Bildungsroman. In the book, historical details are blurred, chronological lines confused, an internal mythology created. And as a piece of fictional literature it should be read and appreciated. It is a shame that most English commentary on this book focuses on whether it tells accurate facts or "lies". The book has been marketed as autobiography for the UK market by Canongate, in what appears to be a disingenuous attempt to attract readers. This is a misrepresentation on the part of the English publisher. If you're looking for an exposé, search elsewhere. This is a cleverly constructed, often fun, at times disturbing novel. It is not without poetic and lyrical moments.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Book Okay....quick read. 8 novembre 2014
Par Alan Schroeder - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Saw "Deadly Code" (movie based on this book) with John Malkovich and was interested enough to buy the book.

This book is almost stream of consciousness the way he rambles at times. Reminds me of the book "Gangs of New York" (which was simply a series of newspaper articles) in that the storyline is a series of stories that hop from one story to another to another and then finally back to the original - - you really have to pay attention to get it.

The book was okay - - I couldn't wait to finish it because I wanted it done so I could move on.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting read. 18 septembre 2014
Par Naoise Gaffney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Interesting story, made more so by the fact that it's based on a true story. I've a feeling the author has taken certain creative liberties with the story. It's nonetheless a very interesting read.
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