DUST AND ASHES: Vol. III of the Children of the Arbat Trilogy by Anatoli Rybakov

DUST AND ASHES: Vol. III of the Children of the Arbat Trilogy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The concluding volume of Rybakov's trilogy (Children of the Arbat, 1988, and Fear, 1992) carries into WW II its relentless examination of Russia under Stalinist tyranny and its fictional biography of (one assumes) the author's alter ego, Sasha Pankratov, now risen to authority and eminence as a Soviet Army commander. Like its predecessors, this final installment bravely attempts a comprehensive panorama of Russian society, but is undone by its author's tendentious moralizing and sentimentality and the skimpiness of its characterizations. Even Rybakov's portrait of Stalin--at least a memorable monster in the earlier volumes--has grown coarser and less subtle as this ambitious work has swollen to elephantine though not, sadly, epic proportions.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1996
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"