• 1
  • review
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead

  • Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad
  • By: M. T. Anderson
  • Narrated by: M. T. Anderson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309

In September 1941, Adolf Hitler's Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history - almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943 - 1944. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens - the Leningrad Symphony.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Eye-Opening, Emotional Tale

  • By A.L.R. on 02-05-16

This book blew me away

5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-22-15

Would you listen to Symphony for the City of the Dead again? Why?

I'll have to wait a while until I listen to this again, just because it is so intense. I had to carry tissues while I listened because the tears kept coming, both from sorrow and joy. I usually avoid books read by the author, but MT Anderson did a fantastic job.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The people of Leningrad who inexplicably survived the siege really formed the backbone of the story. Anderson provided a balanced portrayal of the good, the bad and the ugly of ordinary people struggling through unimaginable horror.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The emotional denouement was the performance of the 7th symphony in a starving Leningrad still under siege. People who had been eating wallpaper paste for months found the grace to be moved by a piece of music.

Any additional comments?

This is the kind of book you force on people, begging them to read it just so you can discuss it with somebody. It's technically a young adult book, but I'm middle aged and never found it simplistic. I wish this book could replace To Kill a Mockingbird, which my kids read in high school a few years ago; the possibilities for meaningful discussion are amazing.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful