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Reviews

  • Riveting. . . A wonderfully funny and poignant portrait of a small nation in a state of collapse. . . gloriously readable. . . One of the nonfiction titles of the year, it is destined for literary accolades and popular success

    Luke Harding, Observer
  • An astonishing and deeply resonant memoir about growing up in the last days of the last Stalinist outpost of the 20th century. . . What makes it so unforgettable is that we see this world, one about which we know so little, through the eyes of a child.. . It is more fundamentally about humanity, and about the confusions and wonders of childhood. Ypi weaves magic in this book: I was entranced from beginning to end

    Laura Hackett, Sunday Times
  • Fantastically engaging. . . A breakout book. . . Such an engrossing story that it is (almost) unsurprising that it is already being translated into eleven languages. If a film follows, don't be surprised

    Tim Judah, Financial Times
  • Five stars. . . deserves to be added to the history curriculum

    Daily Telegraph
  • This vivid rendering of life amid cultural collapse is nothing short of a masterpiece

    Publishers Weekly
  • Remarkable and highly original . . . Both an affecting coming-of-age story and a first-hand meditation on the politics of freedom

    Caroline Sanderson, Editor’s Choice, Bookseller
  • A probing personal history, poignant and moving. A young life unfolding amidst great historical change - ideology, war, loss, uncertainty. This is history brought memorably and powerfully to life

    Tara Westover, author of Educated
  • A lyrical memoir, of deep and affecting power, of the sweet smell of humanity mingled with flesh, blood and hope

    Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
  • Free is astonishing. Lea Ypi has a natural gift for storytelling. It brims with life, warmth, and texture, as well as her keen intelligence. A gripping, often hilarious, poignant, psychologically acute masterpiece and the best book I've read so far this year

    Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road
  • Lea Ypi's teenage journey through the endtimes of Albanian communism tells a universal story: ours is an age of collapsed illusions for many generations. Written by one of Europe's foremost left-wing thinkers, this is an unmissable book for anyone engaged in the politics of resistance

    Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism

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