review The Dead Lake 103



10 thoughts on “The Dead Lake

  1. says:

    A story told during a train journey thorough the vast steppes of Kazakhstan by a violinist who relates his life in a small village n

  2. says:

    Whilst on a train journey across Kazakhstan the narrator meets Yerzhan a twenty seven year old itinerant peddler and virtuoso violinist who strangely has the looks and build of a boy of twelve years After overcoming his initial diffidence Yerzhan starts to recount the tale of his childhood He recalls growing up in a two family settl

  3. says:

    Hamid Ismailov’s The Dead Lake is the first in Peirene's Coming of Age Towards Identity series It was first published i

  4. says:

    Ominous and timely when you think about our own man who never grew up's plans to destroy our water

  5. says:

    This was an impressive tale of a young boy and his family living next to the railway station and a nuclear bomb testing areaI was drawn in by the narration trying to solve the mystery of the young man's history and the style of the narration

  6. says:

    Dec 2014 The joy of the steppe the joy of music and the joy of childhood always coexisted in Yerzhan with the anticipation

  7. says:

    An astonishing tale tinged with sadnessrecounted by Yerzhan to a stranger on a train journey that is in part imagined by the listenerYerzhan grows up at a railway siding where two families live their lives intertwined than appears o

  8. says:

    This is an astonishing novella which at 122 pages is full of lyricism and poetry traditional tales music and the modern day horror of nuclear testing An intro tells the reader that from 1949 to 1989 468 nuclear explosions were tested in a test site in the Kazakh steppes This story tells of Yerzhan a 27 year old man who looks like a 12 year ol

  9. says:

    Hauntingly beautiful writing even when reporting the horrific

  10. says:

    In a Zweig like framing device the story is told in the course of a train journey through Kazakhstan The story involves a boy growin

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review ✓ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Hamid Ismailov

Or of not growing up into a man We also wander in a beautiful fierce landscape unlike any other we find in Western Literature And by the end of Yerzhan's tale we are awe struck by our human resilience in the face of catastrophic man made follies' Meike Ziervogel Peirene Press This is an astonishing novella which at 122 pages is full of lyricism and poetry traditional tales music and the modern day horror of nuclear testing An intro tells the reader that from 1949 to 1989 468 nuclear explosions were tested in a test site in the Kazakh steppes This story tells of Yerzhan a 27 year old man who looks like a 12 year old boy whom the narrator meets on a train selling yoghurt and playing his violin He then tells the story of his and his families exposure to nuclear radiation Part folk tale with magical elements it has a love story within it and a picture of the traditions of the Steppes An excellent read giving a snapshot of a region the size of Europe devastated by nuclear testing Yerzhan is a interesting hero who like Oscar in The Tin Drum is a man in the body of a child who in a chilling scene has bathed in the Dead Lake of the title his love interest Aisulu who lives with the family next to his in two isolated huts on the side of the remote railway is also affected I would recommend this book and given its length I am tempted to read it again before it goes back to the library

characters The Dead Lake

The Dead Lake

A haunting Russian tale about the environmental legacy of the The Dead eBook #202 Cold War Yerzhan grows up in a remote part of Kazakhstan where the Soviets tests atomic weapons As a young boy he falls in love with the neighbour's daughter and one evening to impress her he div Hamid Ismailov s The Dead Lake is the first in Peirene s Coming of Age Towards Identity series It was first published in Russia in 2011 and as with all of the Peirene titles this is its first translation into English Andrew Bromfield has done a marvellous job in this respect and it goes without saying that the book itself is beautifulThe author s own life is worth mentioning in this review Hamid Ismailov was born in Kyrgyzstan and moved to Uzbekistan when he was a young man In 1994 he was forced to move to the United Kingdom due to his unacceptable democratic tendencies Whilst his work has been translated into many European languages Spanish French and German among them it is still banned in Uzbekistan to this day The Dead Lake says its blurb is a haunting tale about the environmental legacy of the Cold War The novella has received high praise indeed the Literary Review says that the author has the capacity of Salman Rushdie at his best to show the grotesue realization of history on the ground Meike Ziervogel the owner of Peirene Press likens the novella to a Grimm s fairytale due to the way in which the story transforms an innermost fear into an outward reality Its premise is absolutely stunning and is at once both clever and creative Yerzhan grows up in a remote part of Soviet Kazakhstan where atomic weapons are tested As a young boy he falls in love with the neighbour s daughter and one evening to impress her he dives into a forbidden lake The radioactive water changes Yerzhan He will never grow into a man The Dead Lake begins with a note from the narrator which denotes the moment at which he met our protagonist Yerzhan upon a train He tells his tale to the narrator who remains unnamed throughout and who punctuates it with his own feedback recollections and imagined ending The way Yerzhan told me about his life was like this road of ours without any discernible bends or backtracking The story then centres upon Yerzhan himself beginning with his uncertain birth Yerzhan was born at the Kara Shagan way station of the East Kazakhstan Railway The column for Father in his birth certificate had remained blank except for a thick stroke of the pen His mother attests that his conception came as a surprise after she dead than alive made her way into the deserted steppe to follow her silk scarf after it had blown away Here she states that she came face to face with a creature who looked like an alien from another planet wearing a spacesuit Since a cruel beating from her own father which was sustained after her pregnancy began to show she has not spoken a single wordOnly two families live in the small way station named Kara Shagan and the sense of place and the desolation which Ismailov creates from the outset is strong The use of local words folktales and songs adds to this too and all of the aforementioned elements help to shape both the culture of the characters and their situation in an underpopulated part of their country The setting is presented as a character in itself at times and this is a wonderful tool with which to demonstrate its vital importance to those who live within itAs with all of Peirene s titles The Dead Lake is filled to the brim with intrigue from the very beginning Yerzhan has been well crafted and his childish delight in particular has been well translated to the page When hearing his violin being played by a Bulgarian maestro of sorts Ismailov describes the way in which the sound was so pure even a blind man would have seen the blue sky the dance of the pure air the clear sunlight the snow white clouds the joyful birds On a far darker note the overriding fear of atomic bombs and the looming of a third world war gives the story an almost apocalyptic feel We are travellers and the sky above us is full of enemy planes The Dead Lake is uite unlike anything which I have read to date Ismailov presents a most interesting glimpse into a culture which is entirely different to ours The novella is absorbing and the entirety is so powerful particularly with regard to its ending

review ✓ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Hamid Ismailov

Es into a forbidden lake The radio active water changes Yerzhan He will never grow into a man While the girl he loves becomes a beautiful woman'Like a Grimm's Fairy tale this story transforms an innermost fear into an outward reality We witness a prepubescent boy's secret terr This was an impressive tale of a young boy and his family living next to the railway station and a nuclear bomb testing areaI was drawn in by the narration trying to solve the mystery of the young man s history and the style of the narration