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The Kremlin Ball

Malaparte, Curzio, McPhee, Jenny
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Published: April 19, 2018
ISBN: 9781681372099
256 pages

£9.99

A perverse and delicious tell-all view of the Soviet elite in the 1920s.

Perhaps only the impeccably perverse imagination of Curzio Malaparte could have conceived of The Kremlin Ball, which might be described as Proust in the corridors of Soviet power. Malaparte began this impertinent portrait of Russia’s Marxist aristocracy while he was working on The Skin, his story of American-occupied Naples, and after publishing Kaputt, his depiction of Europe in the hands of the Axis, thinking of this book as a another “picture of the truth” and a third panel in a great composition depicting the decadence of twentieth-century Europe. The book is set at the end of the 1920s, when the great terror may have been nothing more than a twinkle in Stalin’s eye.

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