- Makine, Andrei; translated by Geoffrey Strachan
Music of Life
Arcade Publishing, New York, 2002, Cloth, , First English-Language Edition, ISBN 1559706376 , Very Good /Very Good
120 pp. First published as La Musique d'une Vie by Editions de Seuil. 'Alexei Berg's father is a well-known dramatist, his mother a famous opera singer. But during Stalin's reign of terror in the 1930s they, like millions of other Russians, come under attack for their presumed lack of political purity. Harassed and proscribed, they have nonetheless, on the eve of Hitler's war, not yet been arrested. And young Alexei, himself a budding classical pianist, has been allowed to continue his musical studies. His first solo concert is scheduled for May 24, 1941.Two days before the concert, on his way home from his final rehearsal, he espies his parents being arrested and taken from their Moscow apartment. Knowing his own arrest will not be far behind, Alexei escapes to the country house of his fiancee, where again betrayal awaits him. He flees, one step ahead of the dreaded secret police until, taking on the identity of a dead soldier, he enlists in the Soviet army. Thus begins his seemingly endless journey through war and peace, until he lands, two decades later, in a snowbound train station in the Urals, where he relates his harrowing saga to the novel's narrator.'--Jacket copy.