Monday, October 26, 2009

The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland

First sentence:

"It is a small matter that brings them together."


"Moscow, 1939. In the recesses of the infamous Lubyanka prison, a young archivist is sent to authenticate an unsigned story confiscated from one of the many political prisoners there. The writer is Isaac Babel. The great author of Red Calvary is sepnding his last days forbidden to write, his final manuscripts consigned to the archivist, Pavel Dubrov, who will ultimately be charged with destroying them. The emotional jolt of meeting Babel face-to-face leads to a reckless decision: he will save the last stories of the authorhe reveres, whatever the cost.

From the margin of history, Travis Holland has woven a tale of the greatest power. Pavel's private act of courage in the face of a vast bureaucracy of evil invigorates a life that had lost its meaning, even as it guarantees his almost certain undoing. A story of suspense, courage, and unexpected avenues of grace, The Archivist's Story is ultimately an enduring tribute to the written word." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

Though low-key in action, this was a powerful story about personal courage and how one person can quietly make a difference even when it means putting his own life in danger.

Date read: 10/26/2009
Book #: 52
Challenge: Support Your Local Library Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 038533995X
ISBN-13: 9780385339957
Publisher: Dial Press
Year: 2007
# of pages: 239
Binding: Hardcover
LibraryThing page

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