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The Siege Audiobook

The Siege

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Publisher's Summary

Leningrad, September 1941. German tanks surround the city, imprisoning those who live there. The besieged people of Leningrad face shells, starvation, and the Russian winter....

Interweaving two love affairs in two generations, The Siege draws us deep into the Levin's family struggle to stay alive during this terrible winter. It is a story about war and the wounds it inflicts on people's lives. It is also a lyrical and deeply moving celebration of love, life, and survival.

©2002 Helen Dunmore (P)2010 Isis Publishing Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (3 )
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3.5 (2 )
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4.5 (2 )
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Performance
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  •  
    margaret king 02-03-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's bad when you wish the kid would die"
    What would have made The Siege better?

    Rounded and more fully developed characters are absent. The heroine, Anna, remains impossibly good and patient and brave. Her little brother remains bratty and spoilt and whiney. They are in Leningrad in 1941 -- some psychological trajectory would have been so much more interesting to counterbalance the breakdown of their bodies.


    Has The Siege turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. I have read a few non-fiction accounts of the Leningrad siege and find it fascinating. I have also read the author's The Betrayal, which I enjoyed, hence my choice of The Siege.


    Which character – as performed by Jilly Bond – was your favorite?

    Marina, the actress who is persona non grata in Stalinist Russia. She's the most interesting because she has most shade and light, and Ms Bond reads her beautifully.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    As a portrayal of Leningrad as a city and in that particular era it is sensitive and does not revel in the brutality.


    Any additional comments?

    I can see the writer turning the non-fiction books on this subject into fiction, ticking off the boxes as she references the Kirov works, inhabitants eating wallpaper paste, leather and dandelion leaves, artists sketching so there is a record of what happened. It comes across as contrived because the writer herself lacks gravitas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    10/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Harrowing and deeply moving"

    Many years ago I visited the memorial cemetery for the victims of the September 1941 to January 1944 siege of Leningrad and was deeply moved by the immense numbers who died, but this book shows what it must have been like for individuals.

    The narrative starts slowly as we get to know the main characters and care about what happens to them. A picture is painted of their normal life, which makes their subsequent suffering and courage all the more poignant as they struggle day-by-day during the siege to keep alive. It's a vivid portrayal of the horrors of war for civilians

    It may sound like a dismal listen but it is also uplifting for, although this is fiction, there must be thousands of untold stories from that time of the heroic efforts and bravery of ordinary people.

    The narrator is excellent.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/28/11
    Overall
    "Intimate and moving"

    This novel takes you into the heart of the Leningrad siege, seen through the eyes of Anna, a resourceful young woman. It is beautifully written and two love affairs - the father's and Anna's - tie together all the research which clearly went into the book and make it live. The cold of the winter is so chilling I shivered listening to it and the business of simply surviving is very gripping. While I sometimes find Jilly Bond's voice a bit too light she does this novel full justice.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Greenfly
    Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
    5/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally absorbing!"

    Loved this book & didn't want it to end even though the subject was so harrowing, Leningrad stripped of its veneer & laid bare, the human spirit mustn't be underestimated. Jilly Bond the narrator brings much to the story, I'm not sure you'd get the same pathos from reading the book yourself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Liz... Bristol
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    7/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Existential heroics from civilians."

    This is a civilian's view of war, and makes a great change of pace from the combatants' story. The sacrifices and privations of young and old as they stretch every last calorie to make it last. Helen Dunmore shows how the Russian people coped under siege, the lengths to which they had to go to stay alive, particularly the children. The freezing winters that made life for the attackers difficult also made it as difficult for those defending. Just to stay alive was heroic.
    Jilly Bond does a good job narrating, sharing the voices of men, women and children under duress.
    This isn't a happy story, but a heroic one. No-one faces gunfire or is even in uniform, but the struggle is no less severe for that. Well worth a listen. I recommend this book, all the more as it's not written by a Russian or a survivor of the siege themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cassandra
    2/27/17
    Overall
    "The Siege"

    Brilliant book - I read it before when it first came out but it was very special hearing the audio version - so WELL read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    11/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent"

    Beautiful narration. i looked for others read by Jilly Bond but didn't fancy them but she was very good.
    Wonderfully written- detailed and rich

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ingibjorg
    Bridge of Weir, United Kingdom
    7/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "harrowing tale of survival against the odds"

    This is a very well written story about the siege of Leningrad. It is about normal people, just like you and me, who find themselves in the most adverse circumstances, having to endure a blockade with the resulting lack of food. It is a truly harrowing tale of survival against the odds, of love amidst the misery, of beauty among the ugliness. Dunmore is a genius of creating a feeling of authenticity, you feel as if these people are real, and indeed the blockade really happened and more than a million people died of starvation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ms m moloney
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written and well narrated"
    What does Jilly Bond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A narrator has the power to make or break a story, Jilly Bond is one of the best narrators I have come across


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mary
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    One of the few audiobooks I didn't listen through to the end. Despite being set at a harrowing time in history, the story was too slow moving and the only character I found really interesting was a secondary character whose name I can't recall (and it was not the selfish father or the tedious Marina). But whoever she was, she had a bit of spark. However, I don't like giving wholly negative reviews and would like to balance this by saying that other members of my book club found it fascinating.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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