DetailsIn a land laid waste by the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, civil war, economic calamity and famine, a young boy tries to cope with a reality of violence and suffering he cannot understand. Together with his friend, he slowly begins to understand the truth of his life in a small, German-speaking village on the Russian steppes. The two share a friendship deepened by the misery endured in an adult world gone mad.
- Additional Information
ISBN 9781894431460 Publication Date Jun 1, 2010 Author Eisler, Dale Illustrator No Pages 352 Size 5.50″ x 8.00″
Customer Reviews 2 item(s)
- A wonderful book.
- I have just finished wiping the last of the tears from my eyes after reading Anton: A Young Boy, His Friend and the Russian Revolution by Dale Eisler. I had tried to get a copy at my local library, then through library loan with no luck.
- SPG Book Review
Dale Eisler’s Anton (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing, 2010) is a perfect marriage of insight and history. The writing is intelligent; addressing the problems of memory, physical memory, exile, extreme circumstances and lack of geographical identity using the conventions of autobiography. The story of Anton and his best friend is well designed, intensely layered, a refreshing mix of show and tell. Such rich detail! As a reader, I felt as if Eisler reached into my mind and revealed that I already know the universal human truth.
Anton’s own life begins; “I don’t actually remember anything before 11 o’clock in the morning on July 31, 1919” (26), he is living in Fischer-Franzen, a village in the Kutschurgan Valley, a daughter colony of Selz. There is a refrain during which Anton and his best friend Kaza periodically lie on the ground looking at clouds, or wade in the river, or sit in the tree, or hide in ‘the cave,’ a structure involving two sawhorses and a tarp. They talk all the while, anti-chronologically, in boyish banter; Eisler introduces each boy’s learning process about abuse, death, and rape; this is done with seamless elegance.
Dale Eisler indicates in the preface: “The story you are about to read is more fiction than history. But its essence is true, and that’s what matters to me.” As in all such works, truth is impeded by what has been recorded, what has been left out, and how far history leads, not to mention by the use of words, and the inhibitions of language itself. It is my opinion that Dale Eisler faces this challenge with panache and beauty.