"Haymarket Square" is an illustrated novel in verse based on Alfred Doblin's "Berlin Alexanderplatz", re-set in post Soviet Russia. Purchase at http://www.haymarketsquarebook.com...
|Title||:||Haymarket Square: The Story of Alex Bobrov|
|Number of Pages||:||222 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Haymarket Square: The Story of Alex Bobrov Reviews
A brilliant exposé of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. The author John Kolchak is a verbal genius and manages to instantly put the reader into the shoes of the leading character Alex Bobrov. The illustrations by Scott Corkern which reminds me of Russian modernism propaganda posters creates a frame for the novel and serves a purpose.It just goes to show that if you look for it and pay attention you can find literary gems out there.
Totally original. Heart and fury on the page. A love letter to Russia and a cinematic look into the heart and mind of a petty criminal. Wonderfully written and an amazing feat...www.haymarketsquarebook.com
An excellent read.
John Kolchak's 'Haymarket Square' transplants Alfred Döblin's 'Berlin Alexanderplatz' from the fall of the Weimar Republic and the looming specter of Nazism to the end of the USSR and the "rise" of post-Soviet Russia. Although this novel in verse specifically references the novel as it's inspiration, Fassbinder's miniseries of the same name is obviously an inspiration as well; the penultimate illustration, provided in a sketchy, ink based interpretation of Constructivist propaganda posters by Scott Corkern, pays tribute to both masters.Haymarket Square (Sennaya Ploshchad) is a large public square in St. Petersburg (named of course for the famous events that transpired in Chicago during the spring of 1886), which is roughly equivalent to the Berlin of the novel's Alexanderplatz; both working-class centers; both rife with crime. The switch of historical contexts in the work takes place works well, and the timeless circumstances of the novels' Byronic protagonist - drinking, pimping, murder, etc. - let even the most Slavophobic embody a weltanschauung that is entirely relatable, while at the same time completely foreign. It is, above all, an historical novel, and if the historical depth of the references is daunting to the reader, the author kindly provides fairly extensive notes on the minutiae. Though verse has, today, unfortunately been generally relegated to song lyrics, Kolchak's sense of rhythm is one of the strongest features of the work; even so, the novel can be read straight through, it is not obscure historical verse like Pound, though it is, like Pound's verse, eloquent and elegant. Through and through a great book.
Using an inventive plot and vivid verse, Kolchak takes the reader on a wild ride through the mad adventures of Alex Bobrov, a hopeless and hapless character just sprung from Leningrad's prison and into a strange new land: 1990's St. Petersburg. As Alex struggles to find his way and keep his sanity (Not just alienated by his surroundings and in over his head, he seems, perhaps, to be going out of his head as well.), the more he promises himself he is as "reformed" as his surroundings, the more he seems to find himself right back where he started. Alex's story unfolds in a compelling and very readable way. Kolchak's language is richly descriptive, full of clever (not conceited) wordplay and imagery. With fascinating literary and historical references (There are explanatory notes at the end of the book.) and striking illustrations by Scott Corkern, "Haymarket Square" is a wholly original and engaging work. Very highly recommended.