One Soldier’s War in Chechnya by Arkady Babchenko
I bought this in a bookshop at Heathrow, just filling time really.
I enjoyed it, it’s well written, very very bleak and reminds me Tolstoy and Lermontov. I presume that it is authentic, it certainly could be.
I gave it to two of my sons to read and they also found it amazingly bleak but strangely captivating.
Nana by Emile Zola
Zola is one of my favourite authors, and I was interested to read this since it is counted as one of his famous books. Also, some people, perhaps bohemian women, have marked this book out to me.
It’s a good read, and I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of my Zola experiences. This might be because I found it all a bit obvious and also because I didn’t really like any of the characters and didn’t really care what was going to happen to them. That doesn’t necessarily count against a book, but here I felt it did.