by Vasily Grossman and translated by Robert Chandler
Life and Fate, the masterpiece by Soviet writer Vasily Grossman, is one of our most recommended books (even in history book interviews—even though it’s a novel). Modeled on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, it bore witness to the horrors of both the Soviet experience of World War II and the Holocaust. Sadly for Grossman, it was considered too harmful to be published in his lifetime.
If you want to listen to Life and Fate as an audiobook, there’s no unabridged version, BUT there is a dramatised version, starring Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant, that lasts a manageable 8 hours.
(Stalingrad is the precursor to Life and Fate, newly translated into English.)