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Comrade Koba  By  cover art

Comrade Koba

By: Robert Littell
Narrated by: Rachel Jacobs,Andrew Eiden
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Publisher's Summary

A tight, captivating story of a naïve child’s encounters with a Soviet dictator, the 20th novel by Robert Littell

After the sudden death of his nuclear physicist father and the arrest of his mother during the Stalinist purge of Jewish doctors, young Leon Rozental - intellectually precocious and possessing a disarming candor - is hiding from the NKVD in the secret rooms of the House on the Embankment, a large building in Moscow where many Soviet officials and apparatchiks live and work. One day, after following a passageway, Leon meets Koba, an old man whose apartment is protected by several guards. Koba is a high-ranking Soviet officer with troubling insight into the thoughts and machinations of Comrade Stalin.

Through encounters between a naïve boy and a paranoid tyrant, Robert Littell creates in Comrade Koba a nuanced portrayal of the Soviet dictator, showing his human side and his simultaneous total disregard for and ignorance of the suffering he inflicted on the Russian people. The charm and spontaneity of young Leon make him an irresistible character - and not unlike Holden Caulfield, whom he admits to identifying with - caught in the spider’s web of the story woven by this enigmatic old man. 

©2020 Robert Littell. Published in 2020 by The Overlook Press, an imprint of ABRAMS, New York. All rights reserved (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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A new look at a horrible man

Littell is still in fine form with this well researched, almost playful look at one of the true monsters in history.
It's not The Company, but it is a good afternoon's worth of listening.