• A collage of oral testimony that turns into the psycho­biography of a nation not shown on any map... The book leaves radiation burns on the brain

    Julian Barnes, Guardian
  • Absolutely fantastic

    Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • A beautifully written book, it's been years since I had to look away from a page because it was just too heart-breaking to go on. Give me beautiful prose and I'll follow you anywhere

    Arundhati Roy, Elle
  • A searing mix of eloquence and wordlessness... From her interviewees' monologues she creates history that the reader, at whatever distance from the events, can actually touch

    Julian Evans, Daily Telegraph
  • One of the most humane and terrifying books I've ever read

    Helen Simpson, Observer
  • Alexievich's documentary approach makes the experiences vivid, sometimes almost unbearably so - but it's a remarkably democratic way of constructing a book... When you consider the extent to which she has been traversing the irradiated landscape, you realise she has put herself on the line in a way very few authors ever do

    Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
  • A moving piece of polyphony, skilfully assembled from what must have been a huge mass of material... We are living in Alexievich's 'age of disasters'. This haunting book offers us at least some ways of thinking about that predicament

    Lucy Hughes-Hallett, New Statesman
  • This masterly new translation by Anna Gunin and Arch Tait retains the nerve and pulse of the Russian

  • Alexievich assembles the previously silenced or unsung heroes into a chorus that has the power to move, stun and inspire awe. The result is a remarkable oral history, an essential read

    Malcolm Forbes, Herald Scotland
  • Not merely a work of documentation but of excavation, of revealed meaning. It is hard to imagine how anyone in the West will read these cantos of loss and not feel a sense of communion, of a shared humanity

    Andrew Meier, The Nation

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