In The First Circle Bookclub!



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I confess.

    I’m a week behind in my reading. I’m in my backyard sweating moderately in the desert spring, pleasingly under the influence of my second afternoon G&T and I just finished chapter 19. Which despite the booze and the sunshine chills me to the quick.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Chapter 22. Aleksandr Isayevich let me out of Stalin’s head this is an awful place!Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Oh, yeah. The Stalin chapters are amazing. I’m torn when I read them because they create a caricature that is just too pat, you know? Like watching an SNL sketch about Dubya or something. It flatters the reader for seeing through Stalin’s wickedness.

        But, then again, there aren’t *THAT* many personality types to sift through when you’re going through “people who order the deaths of millions”.

        It’s like complaining that Hitler might be portrayed as thin-skinned in a historical novel.

        But there’s part that makes me ask “how did no one just stand up to this guy and say ‘screw you, jerkwad’?”Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Last week several other Gentlepeeps mentioned being behind as well… should we take a week off to give everybody a change to catch up?Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    On a related topic, Solzhenitsyn’s magnum opus is The Red Wheel, a series of historical novel depicting what led to the Revolution and Bolshevik takeover. There are two volumes available in English, August 1914, and November 1916. The other two volumes, March 1917 and April 1917, have never been translated into English, are there are no current plans to do so. According to Edward Ericson, who edited the one volume edition of The Gulag Archipelago, that’s likely to remain true:

    “That would take a rich benefactor,” he says. “It’s never going to make a profit. I don’t even think the sales would pay the cost of the translation. And so this great work is lost to us.”

    Isn’t that sad? Wouldn’t you think that, if nothing else, university Russian departments could arrange a joint project to do a translation?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Ugh, now I’m depressed. I agree that it’d never make a profit but… a college, a private benefactor, maybe a kickstarter (yeah, I know, it’s not exactly kickstartable) should be able to bring that into English.

      Hell, something as crude as Babelfish and an editor shouldn’t cost *THAT* much… should it?Report