What life does not prepare us for is to live in a state of suspended animation were by we lose all control of our freedoms. In post-war Russia life is a riddle that the accused cannot solve. Innocent people become prisoners of this riddle like Andrei, a physician, and his wife Anna, a nursery school teacher. The riddle is played out as Andrei is manipulated into taking on a patient named Gorya, the son of a MGB officer named Volkov who is high up in the state security apparatus.
Gorya, a ten year old boy suffers from cancer and after his leg is amputated the cancer spreads and his father needs a scapegoat, a Jewish doctor. You are to hold yourself available for investigatory interview without notice. You are not permitted to enter hospital precincts during the period of investigation.
The fears of his wife Anna and other characters are explored as we witness the world of Stalinist persecution that is right out of the works of Solzhenitsyn and the likes of the poet, Osip Mandelstam. Dunmore does a remarkable job developing her story and plotline keeping the reader fully engaged. I am listing a short bibliography for those who are interested in this period of history and might like to read further; For books on Stalin see STALIN: Oct 15, Dem rated it liked it Shelves: Having read Helen Dunmore The Siege I had her sequel on my shelf for a very long time and decided it was time to read it.
Set in Leningrad in toward the end of the reign of Stalin, Anna a nursery school teacher, and her husband Andrei a doctor live a quiet existence in their two room apartment.
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They try hard not to come to the attention Having read Helen Dunmore The Siege I had her sequel on my shelf for a very long time and decided it was time to read it. They try hard not to come to the attention of the authorities but when Andrei has to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer he finds himself and his family caught in an impossible game of life and death. The blurb makes you want to delve into this book and read and read to the end but for me this was a slow and flat read and I felt there was something lacking in the story perhaps it was the lack of historical detail or no connection with the characters, I also found the climax of the story frustrating and lacked imagination.
On the plus side I felt that Dunmore portrayed the fear and the suspicions of the time very well and how living in fear of your neighbours and friends was an everyday and real occurrence, this is a short novel and not too taxing. Having read a good few books on this period of history this is not one of the better ones. I would still really recommend Child 44 and City of Thieves I have to admit that Helen Dunmore can do no wrong where I'm concerned.
The reader is sucked into the story of the young couple, and those around them. I found myself reading I have to admit that Helen Dunmore can do no wrong where I'm concerned. I found myself reading the book as if I were also waiting for that dreaded knock on the door.
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The fear and tension are palpable, as are the feelings of living under a totalitarian regime, where people can be arrested and accused of non-existent crimes merely because of the delusions of a paranoid dictator and the machine that grinds away under his wheels. It's a story that makes you care desperately about the characters it depicts, even the less sympathetic ones, as you're aware that everybody is a victim, even those who appear to wield power. Dunmore researches and writes meticulously; you will feel as if you are in cold war Russia, struggling to survive and maintain your dignity.
Mar 27, Lucinda Clarke rated it really liked it. It was a time when the poets, writers and artists had been condemned and killed or sent to the camps in Siberia. Stalin then focused on the medical profession and many doctors also suffered the same fate. The Betrayal centres round a doctor who is called to treat the chronically sick son of an important member of the government. He is caught between the dangers of refusing the case and failing to cure the boy and the oath he took when he became a doctor.
The scenes are well described, the scenes come to live but the end was a disappointment, and there were several lose ends which were not tied up. Disappointing read from a writer whose awards and biography suggested a very special book. Sep 08, Nancy Oakes rated it liked it Shelves: The story focuses on a couple, Andrei, a doctor and Anna, who teaches at a nursery school.
Andrei and Anna spend their days trying to do what everyone else in that period of time tried to accomplish with varying degrees of success: It is becoming increasingly difficult for Andrei and Anna and Anna's younger brother Kolya to do so -- at home, they attract the wrath of their neighbors when Kolya plays the piano and at work, Anna has been told she needs to advance herself by taking some courses at the university.
This is not such a bad thing, but Anna's got secrets that a check on her family background might uncover, and she doesn't want to risk coming to someone's attention. Andrei also goes through his normal daily routine at work, but trouble still manages to raise its ugly head when a colleague of his requests that he take a look at a very ill boy. As it happens, the boy's father is none other than Volkov, who is one of the highest officers of the Soviet secret police.
Andrei realizes that he is in a most untenable position, especially when it turns out that Volkov's child needs immediate treatment for cancer. Although everyone he knows tells him to walk away, he finds that he cannot -- with some rather unsettling consequences. I know I am the lone stranger here, but I can't help it. It's not really the author's fault -- it's just that the story was a bit too light for my taste, not as much of an in-depth look at this period as I would have hoped for.
But if you like your historical fiction on the lighter side, then you'll probably love The Betrayal. Oct 21, Jessica Baker rated it it was ok. Quite disappointed with this as the first one was so so good and I couldn't put it down. This one does a lot of looking back in the past and 'worrying' about what might happen Ending was good though. Feb 18, Katrina rated it it was amazing. This is a great read. It's the first book I've read by Helen Dunmore but I'll definitely be reading more. Mar 16, B. Morrison rated it liked it. It takes place in Leningrad in where a young married couple is trying to live an ordinary life while navigating the treacherous currents of a society where everyone fears the arbitrary and violent Ministry of State Security.
The three of them are alone in the world, having barely survived the seige of Leningrad during World War II, which ended only nine years previously. Their quiet life is thrown into disarray when Andrei is called in to treat the son of Volkov, a high-ranking government official. The details of the story, the conversations, the descriptions all convey the suspicion and fear that trickled through every action and interaction.
Oct 26, David rated it really liked it. It is set in in Leningrad, where the siege during the war still haunts the city. But Moscow is oblivious to what the powers that be see as an embarrassment. Stalin's harsh regime holds sway and it's effects are told in the story of Andrei and Anna.
A young hospital doctor and his wife, a nursery schoolteacher, are caught up accidentally with a high powered security chief an "The Betrayal" by Helen Dunmore was long listed for the Man Booker prize, and should at least have made the shortlist. A young hospital doctor and his wife, a nursery schoolteacher, are caught up accidentally with a high powered security chief and his ill son.
The story is gripping and the writing is powerful and bewitching. The writer has published eleven novels including "A Spell of Winter" that won the Orange Prize, and in this latest book she is on top of her game. It is a sequel to the critically well received The Siege which I now wish I had read first. Feb 02, Carol rated it really liked it. Continuing her novel 'The Seige' of Leningrad , with all the shocking privations of a trapped population, Dunmore's characters Andrei, a young specialist in juvenile arthritis and wife Anna, a nursery school teacher are living in the merciless regime under Stalin's Ministry of Social Security.
Terror has been exchanged for starvation. Her writing might be a bit clunky at times, but her characterisation is vivid, and she achieves some excellent narrative tension. No one is immune or safe. Jan 17, Esil rated it really liked it. This is a bleak look at living in the Soviet Union at the end of Stalin's reign. What seems like an extraordinary and unrealistic level of fear and paranoia on the part of the protagonists turns out to be justified in the book and historically.
As in "The Siege", Dunmore does a great job in conveying how it would feel in a realistic--almost mundane--way to live in such a repressive regime. This is not a fun or even entertaining book, but was certainly educational and interesting. Just exactly my kind of story. I don't think you have to read before you read this one. It stands alone just fine. There's no protection in making yourself small and hoping to become invisible. All you do is make yourself small. View all 12 comments. Aug 29, Carey Combe rated it liked it. Not as good as the siege, although it was well written, I just couldn't believe the naivety of the main characters, it pissed me off that a couple who had survived the purges and the siege of Leningrad should suddenly fall prey to the system - why oh why didn't they just ask for him to get a second opinion?
Anyway, my rant over. Jul 21, Carole rated it it was amazing. Some may think that's cheating a little but I think it's a wonderful way of spending time when perhaps you don't feel like actually reading yourself. I found this a powerful telling of horrific times under the Stalin regime in Russia in the 's, rather like "Child Sep 02, Richard rated it really liked it. Love how it explores the ordinary people at the heart of Stalin's vicious and ruthless regime. I certainly feel that I know more about Soviet prisons than I ever wanted to!
The Betrayal has a great plot, terrific characters. Maybe not quite as great as The Siege, but different and remarkable in its own way. Aug 13, Saleh MoonWalker rated it liked it Shelves: The Betrayal The Siege 2 - Nevisande: Mar 02, Margarita Morris rated it it was amazing Shelves: It's a sequel to The Siege which you need to read first to understand the characters and their relationships.
Oct 17, Claire Scottish rated it it was amazing. Totally believable absorbing and gripping. I absolutely loved this book and found myself crying at the end! Sep 20, Lauren Westwood rated it it was amazing. I think I might have read The Siege years ago, as the references seemed somewhat familiar, but The Betrayal is a standalone book. True events in the Theatre of the Absurd that was the Soviet Union are told through the eyes of Anna and Andrei, two normal people who have lived through the siege of Leningrad.
The book is loosely based on the 'Doctor's Scandal' whereby Stalin believed that Soviet doctors were in a conspiracy with Americans and Jews to kill top officials. From the first page, there is an inevitability to this book. In commercial fiction this would be said to be predictable, but here, it is a beautiful and chilling sense of fate.enter
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But seeing it unfold through the characters, who themselves know what is likely to happen, but still try and convince themselves that 'the knock at the door' is not coming, shows the triumph and possibly the stupidity of the human spirit. As much as they think they've lived through the worst, they are wrong, and yet they go about their normal lives. The characterisation is lovely and multi-dimensional - two people in an impossible situation. For me, the second half of the book where the inevitable is realised didn't quite equal the first half which was more about the suspense of waiting, etc.
But it all seemed right for the book, even the very sparse ending that comes about around the time of the death of Stalin. Highly recommended to anyone who likes character-driven books, and wants to learn more about one of the most fascinating periods in human history. Jul 08, Lori Eshleman rated it it was amazing Shelves: It is at once a private love story between Andrei, a pediatrician at a Leningrad hospital, and his wife Anna, a nursery school teacher, both survivors of the siege of Leningrad during World War II.
The novel illuminates the draconian bureaucracy of Stalinist Russia, and the sense of paranoia and conspiracy theories that can entangle the most irreproachable citizen at a whim. Even the nursery school is mired in bureaucratic statistics, record-keeping, and the expectation that employees will work tirelessly to serve the state. Then Andrei is pulled into the dangerous situation of treating the son of Volkov, a high-ranking officer in the secret police. The boy has a life-threatening cancer, difficult to treat. Flashbacks evoke the horror of starving people and frozen corpses in the streets.
While conditions in Leningrad have improved, a sense of frugality hangs over the couple, as Anna trades for a jar of honey or preserves, and tends vegetables at her family dacha in the country. Dunmore lovingly describes these economies, as well as the natural beauty and sense of momentary freedom on visits to the dacha. As tension builds between Andrei, Volkov, and the desperately ill boy, the reader is pulled into a crazy, upside down world, where ethical behavior and values are punished rather than rewarded. A world that reminds us of the cost of authoritarian rule, of irrational beliefs, and of falsehoods that are proclaimed to be true.
Dunmore is a marvelous writer, whose death last year was a loss to world literature. Dec 22, Joyce rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Betrayal is a historical fiction novel set in Russia during the 's under the Stalin regime. It picks up several years later on the story of Anna and Andre which was started in the former book The Siege.
Although reading of the former book is not essential to understanding or following this novel, I think reading it helps the reader to understand the characters better. They had gone through a horrific ordeal surviving the siege of Leningrad and their lives had improved greatlythey were The Betrayal is a historical fiction novel set in Russia during the 's under the Stalin regime.
They had gone through a horrific ordeal surviving the siege of Leningrad and their lives had improved greatlythey were no longer starving and still had an apartment to themselves along with Anna's younger brother Kolya. However, the author gives us a vivid portrayal of all the fear and restrictions the Russian people under faced under Stalin's leadership. People had to be extremely careful in everything they did and said.
Unfortunately, Andre, a pediatrician, is forced into a situation involving the care of the only son of very high ranking government official. His profession comes under attack as conspiring to kill patients who are family members of government officials. This is a very intense novelnot one I could read through quickly. Dunmore is so precise and descriptive in her writing that I could feel myself caught up in the fates of Anna and Andre. I enjoyed this book even more than The Siege which I felt dragged at times. I wish there was a sequel to this book to find out what happened next to Anna and Andre!
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. I was born in December , in Yorkshire, the second of four children. My father was the eldest of twelve, and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life, as have my own children. In a large family you hear a great many stories. You also come to understand very early that stories hold quite different meanings for different listeners, and can be recast from many viewpoints I was born in December , in Yorkshire, the second of four children.
You also come to understand very early that stories hold quite different meanings for different listeners, and can be recast from many viewpoints. Poetry was very important to me from childhood.
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Writing these down came a little later. I studied English at the University of York, and after graduation taught English as a foreign language in Finland. At around this time I began to write the poems which formed my first poetry collection, The Apple Fall, and to publish these in magazines. I also completed two novels; fortunately neither survives, and it was more than ten years before I wrote another novel.
During this time I published several collections of poems, and wrote some of the short stories which were later collected in Love of Fat Men.
I began to travel a great deal within the UK and around the world, for poetry tours and writing residences. She appears during a brief flashback to "two years earlier", during the time when she was still alive, and when she and George were engaged. She also provided the phrase George claims he owns: Also at the time revealed by Peter Mehlman in the "Audio Commentary" and Heidi Swedberg in "Inside Look" that she already had her head shaved for another episode in a different show so she has to wear a wig for this appearance.
Ross come out of the store. Vegetable Lasagna aka Magnus seen in " The Butter Shave " in a deleted scene makes a final brief appearance next to Elaine on the plane. This episode's inclusion on the Seinfeld Season 9 DVD is accompanied by a special feature that allows the viewer to watch the episode front-to-back with normal chronology, preceded by a brief introduction from writer David Mandel.
This "forward" version has never aired on television. David Sims of The A. Club was "torn" in his review: The best meta joke of all comes right near the end, when we flash to two years prior and see a guest appearance by Susan, who implants the irritating catchphrase 'You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister! Once you know the plot, everything feels a little less exciting Still, one of Seinfeld 's great strengths is its story craft, and The Betrayal is the ultimate example of that, since it's all about the craft.
Paul Arras wrote, "The real fun of the episode are the jokes that show the effect before the cause, such as when George complains about a stomach ache and then the episode cuts backwards to him ordering clams casino at the coffee shop. Another fun example is when, after Jerry tells Elaine, 'God bless you,' the show cuts to Elaine sneezing. But the deeper effect of the reverse chronology is not too far from the reason Harold Pinter employed it In this episode George, Jerry, and Elaine are particularly nasty.
They all lie, cheat, and deceive throughout the story. Both Jerry and George get Elaine drunk to get information from her. Elaine goes to India to spite Sue Ellen. And the three end up or start out, in the order of the episode furious with each other. Behind the clever gimmick of The Betrayal is a particularly nasty story about fairly nasty characters, so perhaps its greatest triumph is the clever way it reveals the true nature of the show's characters. Ryan Gilbey of The Guardian wrote , "By its final season, it was referencing Pinter in The Betrayal , which was structured entirely in reverse.
Keep that in mind next time you're watching Two and a Half Men. It wasn't only audacity that set the show apart Only Roseanne Barr, whose own sitcom was broadcast during the same period, publicly took against the highfalutin rival show: Seth Amitin of IGN cites this episode as the moment the show jumped the shark. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Betrayal disambiguation. Episode Guide for Seinfeld. Sony Pictures , n. Includes a video clip.
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