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Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets - Bela Shayevich, Swietłana Aleksijewicz 3.5 Stars,

Svetlána Alexándrovna Alexiévich is a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who writes in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature

Seconhand time: The Last of the Soviets traces the emotional history of the Soviet and post-Soviet individual through carefully constructed collages of interviews. Svetlana Alexievich weaves a rich catholog of Russian voices telling their stories of Worshipped Russian leaders, of love and death, hard and sad times, and how people try to embrace the challenges given to them in life.

The stories are woven from hundreds of interviews, an oral history that has the voices and passion of real people who have suffered at the hands of their leaders. There is raw emotion and sadness in the stories and yet because you lean very little about these people you form no connection which them which was fine for about the first 100 pages and then I became numb to the stories and I began to find the writing repetitive. While the stories appear to be real and simplistic I did find it quite depressing and its the sort of book better read as a side read.

The book is is a very interesting account of Russians coming to terms with the fall of the Soviet Union and how their lives are affected. This is not a light read and I did find it difficult to finish as it lost its initial appeal after the first 100 pages and I while I finished it I did struggle through the last few chapters.