Koba The Dread

Koba The Dread

Summary

Koba the Dread is the successor to Amis's celebrated memoir, Experience. It addresses itself to the central lacuna of twentieth-century thought: the indulgence of communism by Western intellectuals. In between the personal beginning and the personal ending, Amis gives us perhaps the best one hundred pages ever written about Stalin: Koba the Dread, Iosif the Terrible.

The author's father, Kingsley Amis, was 'a Comintern dogsbody' (as he would come to put it) from 1941 to 1956. His second-closest, and later in life his closest friend, was Robert Conquest, whose book The Great Terror was second only to Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago in undermining the USSR. Amis's remarkable memoir explores these connections.

Stalin said that the death of one person was tragic, the death of a million a mere 'statistic'. Koba the Dread, during whose course the author absorbs a particular, a familial death, is a rebuttal of Stalin's aphorism.

Reviews

  • A powerfully written, well-documented polemic reminding us of how 20 million humans were starved, murdered or totured to death by Uncle Joe
    Daily Mail

About the author

Martin Amis

Martin Amis is the author of fourteen novels, two collections of stories and eight works of non-fiction. His novel Time’s Arrow was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for which his subsequent novel Yellow Dog was also longlisted, and his memoir Experience won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2008, The Times named him one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945. He lives in New York.
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