@Book ⚣ A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism î eBook or E-pub free

I enjoyed these short stories about communism in Eastern Europe so much Being someone who tends to learn about history through fiction, these stories worked perfectly for elucidating certain parts of European 20th century history that I should certainly already know in detail Each story is about a different animal, who explores the impact of communism in a particular country To begin with, I wondered what the point of this use of animals was but in fact it worked incredibly well the animal I enjoyed these short stories about communism in Eastern Europe so much Being someone who tends to learn about history through fiction, these stories worked perfectly for elucidating certain parts of European 20th century history that I should certainly already know in detail Each story is about a different animal, who explores the impact of communism in a particular country To begin with, I wondered what the point of this use of animals was but in fact it worked incredibly well the animals don t quite understand human behaviour and are constantly questioning it and trying to make sense of it What this does is reveal how nonsensical and painfully illogical so much of what happened in these countries was Looking at humans and human behaviour at a distance in particular the use and abuse of power on the one hand and the toleration of being subjugated on the other helps to really situate and assess what went wrong and how many people s lives were affected Such an original and powerful collection of stories I picked this book up because the remaining money was going to burn a hole in my pocket if I left the LitFest without spending all of it I m glad I did.A mouse giving a guided tour of a Museum of Communism in Prague an old dog narrating his life on on the streets of Bucharest under the rule of Ceausescu and a letter written by the house cat of a misunderstood dictator of Poland these three tales depicts life under communism, and the transition period after the fall of communism, in three se I picked this book up because the remaining money was going to burn a hole in my pocket if I left the LitFest without spending all of it I m glad I did.A mouse giving a guided tour of a Museum of Communism in Prague an old dog narrating his life on on the streets of Bucharest under the rule of Ceausescu and a letter written by the house cat of a misunderstood dictator of Poland these three tales depicts life under communism, and the transition period after the fall of communism, in three separate Soviet blocs.But this isn t George Orwell s Animal Farm These animals aren t metaphors for the Soviet Man As Bohumil the museum rat says, the focus of communism was on numbers, not on stories But these animals go far and beyond the Soviet Man and offer a perspective and nuances that are uniquely personal @Book â A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism ñ A wry, cutting deconstruction of the Communist empire by one of Eastern Europe s exceptional authors Called a perceptive and amusing social critic, with a wonderful eye for detail by The Washington Post, Slavenka Drakulic a native of Croatia has emerged as one of the most popular and respected critics of Communism to come out of the former Eastern Bloc In A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism, she offers a eight part exploration of Communism by way of an unusual cast of narrators, each from a different country, who reflect on the fall of Communism Together they constitute an Orwellian send up of absurdities during the final years of European Communism that showcase this author s tremendous talent Brilliant Two books in one I can t do it justice with a brief Goodreads review, so I ll write a real review and post the link when it s published I will say this Scrolling through other reviews, I see multiple references to Animal Farm I can t imagine why anyone might suggest that the books are similar except in the most superficial sense that they both critique communist states while deploying animals as protagonists For the record, Animal Farm is a heavy handed allegory in which the anim Brilliant Two books in one I can t do it justice with a brief Goodreads review, so I ll write a real review and post the link when it s published I will say this Scrolling through other reviews, I see multiple references to Animal Farm I can t imagine why anyone might suggest that the books are similar except in the most superficial sense that they both critique communist states while deploying animals as protagonists For the record, Animal Farm is a heavy handed allegory in which the animal characters are simple stand ins for people This book is something else altogether The stories of various former socialist states told, with one exception, by animals who are animals not stand ins for people This allows Drakulic to write not only about relations among people under various communist regimes but also about human animal relations and the ways that these two sets of relationships sometimes mirror each other As I said Two or maybe three books in one I learned so much reading these fables Drakulic writes essays of social criticism, 20 years post Communism in Eastern Europe, through the voices of animals In each story, the shame and guilt of the victims emerges The animals, and the absurdity of their limited point of view and power, are always juxtaposed with the limitations and powerlessness of the people And there s a tone of regret and self blame A sense that they should, could have, done something to stop these dictators and these re I learned so much reading these fables Drakulic writes essays of social criticism, 20 years post Communism in Eastern Europe, through the voices of animals In each story, the shame and guilt of the victims emerges The animals, and the absurdity of their limited point of view and power, are always juxtaposed with the limitations and powerlessness of the people And there s a tone of regret and self blame A sense that they should, could have, done something to stop these dictators and these regimes For the first time in my life, that feels familiar What a great idea for a book Pets and other animals talking about the bestialities of human communism in the former Eastern Bloc countries A well documented and often entertaining approach to well known and less well known facts that truly happened from East Berlin to Moscow passing through Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bucarest.Giving voice to mice and cats, dogs and bears, ravens and parrots with each animal talking about its own country was indeed a work of genius Most of those who reviewed th What a great idea for a book Pets and other animals talking about the bestialities of human communism in the former Eastern Bloc countries A well documented and often entertaining approach to well known and less well known facts that truly happened from East Berlin to Moscow passing through Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bucarest.Giving voice to mice and cats, dogs and bears, ravens and parrots with each animal talking about its own country was indeed a work of genius Most of those who reviewed this book mentioned either the Orwellian approach or the Orwellian inspiration of Mrs Drakulic, but I think otherwise She s truly original and independent in her own work here so that the comparison with the author of Animal Farm doesn t stand a chance To me the closest this book gets to is rather The Life of Insects by Victor Pelevin But then again, unlike Pelevin, Drakulic doesn t insist on metaphors and camouflages her animals are actual animals from the beginning to the end of their chapters with one significant exception Well done, Slavenka And yet A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism let me catch my breathe falls short of what I expected Whilst I did appreciate some of the episodes, others were just not at the same level and, in my humble opinion, out of place in the context I particularly liked the stories of the mole talking about people digging tunnels from East Berlin to West Berlin, the one about the rabid dogs issue in Bucarest seen from a canine perspective and the musings of General Jaruzelski s pussycat regarding her owner s controversial decisions One of the reasons why these three fables really work and stand out here is that they achieve a perfect balance between the human animal narrative and their historical significance.On the contrary I found unexplicable the choice to have a real woman, Magda, introducing herself as a Hungarian pig in the chapter entitled sic From Gulag to Goulash Putting aside the non convincing story itself, why not giving voice to an actual sow Was that too complicated The contradiction here with this one and only episode not being narrated by an animal is so evident that I m inclined to think that Mrs Drakulic did that on purpose But for what purpose, I wonder Who knows The human animal denouement is not broken anywhere else, but a couple of stories are just too long a monologue to be consistent Tito s parrot, the chaperoning mouse in Prague with the final result of putting their interesting animal perspective at risk with the author s voice popping up.That being said, I reckon how Slavenka Drakulic did a good job here I got hooked to this thin but important book and overall enjoyed it The fables I read taught me some episodes I was not aware of and reinforced my knowledge of other topics I had already heard about The tragedy is that back on 1996 the uncouth leader of the Northern League Party in Italy did call the gulags goulash in a public speech I have wanted to read Slavenka Drakulic s work for ages, and borrowed Two Underdogs and a Cat Three Reflections on Communism, the only book of hers which my library had in stock The volume is comprised of three short stories entitled A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism , An Interview with the Oldest Dog in Bucharest , and The Cat Keeper in Warsaw , told from the perspective of a mouse, a dog, and a cat respectively.Drakulic s work is clever, deep, and well informed, with a touch o I have wanted to read Slavenka Drakulic s work for ages, and borrowed Two Underdogs and a Cat Three Reflections on Communism, the only book of hers which my library had in stock The volume is comprised of three short stories entitled A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism , An Interview with the Oldest Dog in Bucharest , and The Cat Keeper in Warsaw , told from the perspective of a mouse, a dog, and a cat respectively.Drakulic s work is clever, deep, and well informed, with a touch of whimsy Each story is engaging, and the way in which they are told and the content which they express mould to become something quite profound In the first story, for instance, Drakulic writes the following Maybe the absence of individual stories is the best illustration of the fact that individualism was the biggest sin one could commit Informative, powerful, and rather different to many of the reflections on Communist rule which I have read to date, Two Underdogs and a Cat is one of the most memorable books I have come across in quite a while Drakulic effectively demonstrates how far reaching Communism was, and the effects which still remain today for ordinary people As she writes in An Interview with the Oldest Dog in Bucharest , in a clear play on George Orwell s Animal Farm, In the transition from Communism to capitalism, all people are unequal but some areunequal than others Sometimes nothing can kill a book deader than a too rigid adherence to a concept I can imagine Slavenka Drakuli first reading George Orwell s Animal Farm, and saying to herself How cute I can adapt this to my experience of Communism through the different Eastern European countries Except it just wasn t a dynamic enough idea to carry the whole book A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism started out well with a mouse guiding us through Czech Communism But then, toward the end, there Sometimes nothing can kill a book deader than a too rigid adherence to a concept I can imagine Slavenka Drakuli first reading George Orwell s Animal Farm, and saying to herself How cute I can adapt this to my experience of Communism through the different Eastern European countries Except it just wasn t a dynamic enough idea to carry the whole book A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism started out well with a mouse guiding us through Czech Communism But then, toward the end, there was a pig introducing you to Kadar s Hungary, a dog to Ceausescu s Rumania, and a raven to Hoxha s Albania As a Hungarian, I do not care to be represented by a pig, however much I like to eat them This is one of those books which it is best to sample, preferably with one orof the opening chapters, rather than to read straight through It s a pity because Drakulic in Cafe Europa showed herself to be an excellent essayist Interesting, but repetitive I had to read this for my study abroad Political Science class on communism soAt least I got to go to Europe and visit the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary Although often clever and poignant in its observations not only about the distorting dynamics of power in Eastern European communist states but also the gap in consciousness between those who lived through and those born after that era i.e., of experience and benign ignorance I didn t find this book as compelling as the others I ve read by Drakulic It seemed aimed at those with little to no familiarity with those Eastern bloc states, but also written in a style that assumed that the allusions Although often clever and poignant in its observations not only about the distorting dynamics of power in Eastern European communist states but also the gap in consciousness between those who lived through and those born after that era i.e., of experience and benign ignorance I didn t find this book as compelling as the others I ve read by Drakulic It seemed aimed at those with little to no familiarity with those Eastern bloc states, but also written in a style that assumed that the allusions and satire would be understood The conceit of this book is the story of those states told from the perspective of various animals some of whom had intimate vantage points from which to observe the inanities of these socialist states and or those in charge of them e.g., Tito s parrot , others who piece together the histories through indirect accounts or evidence e.g., a mole from the former East Berlin , but all of whom wonder at the bizarre nature of human beings I found Drakulic s workappealing in the past because she shared directly personal stories of her own and from others that revealed the fundamental indignity and inhumanity that even the smallest aspects of life in those societies presented for those who lived in them In this book, the focus seems to beon the elite and their perverse view of the world and themselves and the contortions and manipulations that this created Perhaps the 20 year distance from the collapse of communism left Drakulic with less direct material or at least enough that was left consciously or not unsmudged by time to write the kind of social critiques as she had before