A Life's Music

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A Life's Music

Andrei Makine

Publisher:Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Alexei Berg's father is a well-known dramatist and his mother an opera singer, but in late 1930s Russia both parents suffer constant suspicion and harrassment under Stalin's reign of terror. So great is Alexei's musical talent that he is allowed to continue his studies, but two days before his first concert in May 1941, he arrives home to find his parents being arrested. He flees, abandoning his budding career as a concert pianist, and assumes the identity of a dead Russian conscript to fight against the advancing Germans. When the war is over he stays on as a general's driver, continuing to keep his real identity hidden until a moment of folly reveals the truth and earns him 10 years in a prison camp. But despite a life of misfortune, Alexei remains unbroken, and in a snowbound railway station in the middle of the Urals, he tells his story.

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