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{Read eBook} Верный РусланAuthor Georgi Vladimov –

Really, shouldn t I, by this stage in my life, know better than to read books about dogs Because once you get past the 101 Dalmations stage, there are no happy endings There are no and then he sniffed her butt, and she sniffed his, and they walked off into the sunset No The dog dies The dog always dies.I m sure that s why, or at least part of why, though the description of Faithful Ruslan was intriguing, I did not pick it when making my big order from Melville House s Neversink collection But then, because all the books I had ordered weren t actually going to be published for months, the lovely folks at Melville sent Ruslan for free, as a teaser of sorts.Okay, we should probably get one thing straight It may sound like I was bitter because this was a bad book That is not the case at all I am bitter a little bit , because this was a wonderful, amazing book, that almost caused me to have a complete bawling breakdown in the middle of the Grand Rapids Children s Museum, before I very wisely closed the book and decided to finish reading it in the car I wasn t sure, when I started reading the book, that I would get pulled all the way in I am not a dog person And the book is written from the point of view of the dog, Ruslan, which made me wary Writing a book from the point of view of an animal is a pretty big conceit It would have to be wonderful, or the author risks falling on his or her face Luckily, this book is wonderful It feels authentic, is very engaging, and while there is a feeling of doom hanging over the entire book, it never crosses the line into darkness for darkness s sake Rather, it feels as if it is bearing witness to a story that needed to be told Indeed, after I finished reading, I discovered re discovered that the book was based on a real life incident A difficult read, but very worthwhile Recommended to animal lovers and those interested in Soviet history. This is a rather brilliant and upsetting parable allegory told from the perspective of a former guard dog after the labor camp in Siberia in which he was raised and trained is shut down presumably shortly after Stalin s death, but I m no CCCP historian While written in Russia, it has never been published there which will not surprise anyone who reads it , and has only had a few printings in America Nevertheless, the old hardcover edition with the ugly cover is easy enough to find and I would wholeheartedly recommend finding it to anyone with even a fleeting interest in the Soviet Union Sensitive dog lovers, on the other hand, should probably stay away. One event than Ruslan s life is changing suddenly.The first difficult years of Ruslan s life than passing years with Satura and Pejmurde At the end duty call to Ruslan again Nice and interesting book. generally speaking, i love dogs i also loathe tales told from their point of view the dogs usually seem like some ickily anthropomorphized thing you wouldn t want to know as any species.but this book this book bent my brain.we americans like our animal tales with enough saccharine to make a continent diabetic, as if one could not feel for an animal without being browbeaten into it Ruslan is not saccharine Ruslan is a guard dog in a Soviet prison camp, and he does not like to be petted.what he does like is to do the work for which he s been trained he likes making sure the prisoners stay in line, that they do as they ve been trained, that he gets to chase them down if they try to escape he is a very conscientious worker, quite exacting in his duties and his expectations having an occasional pathetic, half starved, hopeless dissident or criminal to attack is the icing on what is, for him, a very bountiful cake.but then the prison camp is closed and what is a guard dog without something to guard it s Ruslan s decisions after the camp closes that make him fascinating because he is most assuredly not just a brute he is a thinking dog, and he thinks like a dog, in a dog s terms those of you who don t believe a dog has the intelligence to reason things out should probably not bother with this book you haven t observed dogs all that closely anyway Vladimov does a mind trick i ve never seen another author pull off he really gets into a dog s mind, he views the world through a dog s eyes or nose , and he judges by a dog s values.this book is thoroughly heartbreaking, but not at all in the usual sense bad things happen to poor Ruslan, who is at heart a good dog this ain t Old Yeller this book is about how duty and faithfulness can warp even the best of creatures if you read it, prepare to be unable, ever, to forget it. This is already amazing And I think my dog is going to appreciate me reading this book I m changing how I understand what he is doing and what he is trying to tell me Until now, most of the books I have read that are told from a dog s point of view are, in general, happy Even if the book ends with the dog s death which really is the caseoften than not , the story has wayhigh points than low points This story is not like that Ruslan is an incredible dog with a powerful sense of honor and great respect for duty Duty is before all He is put in a confusing situation and he struggles to understand what he should be doing I have read other novels set in and around the Soviet penal system, and this one is one of the best written We, the readers, seethan the narrator does We know much of what he is misunderstanding I really enjoyed this book Just don t read it expecting some light hearted tale. I felt like this book was fine, but I didn t love it It was quite effective at creating a relatively captivating story at points, where I felt that the dog voice was authentic insofar as a dog voice can be But it was confusing about whether the dog understands humans or not, and various other anomalies that made the narrator inconsistent Of course, the point of the book is not to be a strong novel necessarily, but to be a critique of the brutality of the system and the way that the system coopted and corrupted those who were used by that And in that respect, the book was quite effective I thought the translation was good, and the tone was probably about right although I have not read this book in Russian I also liked that Glenny is genuinely interested in the history and background and setting of this novel, and I think that care shows Nonetheless, I wouldn t necessarily recommend this book to anyone except those friends interested in that period of Soviet literature, as it is not an amazing novel in itself Interesting, though. I come late to things in life Or maybe things come late to me, since I m here all prepared for the typical and standard life things that are supposed to happen job, house, family but here I am with 2 out of 3 and nary a hint of the last in the trinity of a life properly livedanyway, there is a set order to things that was ingrained in my young mind, a procession, and losing that structure had made me feel lost What next Does it matter Why do I get worked up over anything when nothing comes of it in the end The end, the end, the end of my story Poor Ruslan, who lived a life of Service that ultimately betrayed him Poor me Not yet I have time, to find or flex. Told from the perspective of Ruslan, a Caucasian sheepdog trained as a guard for a Soviet Gulag, the novel occasionally endures moments wherein the omnipotent narrator indulges a passionate diatribe against the Communist dictatorship of the USSR Despite these moments and thanks in no small part to the highly informative introduction by Michael Glenny, translator of the text, this well composed text reminds readers of how perversely and unnaturally we humans can act towards one other in the name of political ideology I couldn t put it down. Unavailable For Twenty Years, This Harrowing Allegory Of Obedience To Authority Is Esteemed As One Of The Defining Literary Texts Of The Post Stalin Period The Guardian Set In A Remote Siberian Depot Immediately Following The Demolition Of One Of The Gulag S Notorious Camps And The Emancipation Of Its Prisoners, Faithful Ruslan Is An Embittered Cri De Coeur From A Writer Whose Circumstances Obliged Him To Resist The Violence Of Arbitrary Power Every Writer Who Writes Anything In This Country Is Made To Feel He Has Committed A Crime, Georgi Vladimov Said Dissident, He Said, Is A Word That They Force On You His Mother, A Victim Of Stalin S Anti Semitic Policy, Had Been Interred For Two Years In One Of The Camps From Which Vladimov Derived The Wrenching Detail Of Faithful Ruslan The Novel Circulated In Samizdat For Than A Decade, Often Attributed To Solzhenitsyn, Before Its Publication In The West Led To Vladimov S Harassment And Exile A Starving Stray, Tortured And Abandoned By The Godlike Master Whom He Has Unconditionally Loved, Ruslan And His Cadre Of Fellow Guard Dogs Dutifully Wait For The Arrival Of New Prisoners But The Unexpected Arrival Of A Work Party Provokes A Climactic Bloodletting Fashioned From The Perceptions Of An Uncomprehending Animal, Vladimov S Insistently Ironic Indictment Of The Gulag Spirals To Encompass All Of Man S Inexplicable Cruelty This is a great story about a Soviet guard dog who used to guard a Siberian prison work camp and what happened after the camp was decomissioned I had read an exerpt of the book in an anthology we used in a Russian culture class, and I had to read the entire thing I was able to buy a copy a few years ago, and the ending still makes me cry.