krinek (krinek) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

52. The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland

Title: The Archivist's Story
Author: Travis Holland
Year: 2007
# of pages: 239
Date read: 10/26/2009
Rating: 4*/5 = great


"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 spending 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 author he 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.
Tags: fiction

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