Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million. by Martin Amis (Talk Miramax; $). When the historian Robert Conquest was asked in. Koba the Dread has ratings and reviews. Maciek said: There has never been a regime quite like it, not anywhere in the history of the universe. A brilliant weave of personal involvement, vivid biography and political insight, Koba the Dread is the successor to Martin Amis’s award-winning.

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Not knowing that until he mentioned it, Amis’ style reminded me of Hitchens’: The invasion [of ] pressed Stalin into a semblance of mental health.

Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million by Martin Amis

In The New York Timescritic Michiko Kakutani described the book as, “The narcissistic musings of a spoiled, upper-middle class litterateur who has never known the kind of real suffering Stalin’s victims did. It might further be noted that Amis’ anti-Stalinist—and hence Soviet—salvo, with its pronouncing upon the furious violence that so often attends revolution, that the latter gravitates towards devouring its progenitors, of the impositions, illusions, and sheer inhumanity inherent to any state-instituted cult of personality, was launched from the comfort of a perch occupied when dreead revealed was new, its purported targets not visible anywhere on the immediate horizon.

Jul 26, Sanjay rated it it was amazing. If you find you’ve been oblivious to a great writer, forgive yourself, go to the library, get his or her work – and then move forward.

When Conquest’s The Great Terror was first published init was coldly received on the left. What strikes me most is the infuriating, obvious hypocrisy — which must have been evident to Amis himself — a harsh test of truth — and does our author live drad to it? Retrieved from ” https: In these pages, guileless prepositions like “at” and “to” each represent the murder of six or seven large dreas. This page was last edited on 8 October klba, at His two son were drunken terrorist rapists who, not surprisingly, stunningly mirror the lives of Saddam Hussein’s demon sons.

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Most of Koba the Dread is Martin Amis’s own recapitulation of horrors: Dec 21, John McNeilly rated it it was amazing.

Dave Renton: Review – Koba the Dread

What became impossible was laughter. The present memoir explores these connections. You can close the door on a Communist proselytizer. It is a fire in the self.

Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million

If you find you’ve been oblivious to a great writer, forgive yourself, go to the library, get his or her work – and then move A Semi-biography of Stalin, concentrating koga on the historical details, and more on a meta-analysis of the events themselves.

As Amis observes, all of us would say we feel that the Holocaust was “worse” than the Terror. Views Read Edit View history.

Magnesium sulfate was administered by enema and hypodermic. I used to attribute the change to the death of Christopher’s father, late inand to subsequent convulsions in his life.

The twenty million referenced is the conservative figure for those citizens killed by the state in the civil war, two terror-famines, the Gulag th and summary executions; this is now considered to be wrong by as much as half.

Not enough is made of the nearly incomprehensible horrors of Bolshevism, first in its Leninist incarnation and then in the refined-in-terms-of-killing-the-populace-form that was Stalinism. And why, in world where the name Stalin is only somewhat less reviled than the name Hitler, do people still speak admiringly of Lenin and Trotsky “a nun-killer”, opines Amiswho were no less brutal in their aims, albeit more limited in their capabilities?


There are no names for what happened in the Soviet union between and [although Russians refer, totemically, to “the twenty million,” and to the –the time of Stalin’s rule: There is only one book on this subject and that is Robert Conquest’s.

I respect it, but I didn’t like it then, and I didn’t like it upon rereading it. Koba the Dread captures the appeal of one of the most powerful belief systems of the 20th century — one that spread through the world, both captivating it and staining it red.

Nov 01, AC rated it liked it Shelves: View all 6 comments. Which Martin got to view firsthand, as Kingsley Amis’s son — his dad was an old Drfad comrade turned virulently anti-communist. For figures on the left, a brush with Communism isn’t the same kiss of death as a similar touch of Nazism ironic North Korean propaganda hangs behind my monitor.

When the publishers wondered about a fresh subtitle for the latest edition, Conquest suggested: A brilliant novelist reaches into the dark for this creature but fails to reconstruct a character out of the slimy bits dreaad can feel. Nazism could not be duplicated.