The Whole Rotten Edifice

Adult
Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews
During the desperate defence of Moscow in 1941/2, a father and daughter fight for the Red Army: he as a general, she as a sniper.
After Moscow escapes from imminent disaster, both become involved in a series of battles to the west of the city. The famous Russian victories at Stalingrad, Kursk and Leningrad have overshadowed the offensives around Rzhev and Vyazma, because the latter failed.

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About Tony Judge

Tony Judge lives in Worcestershire, England. He writes novels, short stories, satirical pieces and short poems. He makes a living as a freelance writer, is the author of several non-fiction books, published by BWCS and ARCchart, and is a member of the UK Society of Authors. He produced his first novel, Sirocco Express, in 2006; it has subsequently received many excellent reviews. It describes the experiences of a young Nigerian student at the hands of people smugglers while travelling from Lagos to London. In 2010, he completed his second novel, The Whole Rotten Edifice. In this work of historical fiction, set during the desperate defence of Moscow in 1941/2, a father and daughter fight for the Red Army: he as a general, she as a sniper.

Reviews

Review by: Ross Clark on Jan. 30, 2011 :
Forgot to star-rate in my review....
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ross Clark on Jan. 30, 2011 : (no rating)
I went for this after reading the author's excellent first novel, Sirocco Express and was not dissappointed. The skilled writing remains in this second outing even if the style is somewhat of a departure. This is action-packed from the first chapter as the stubborness and ineptitude of the Soviet high command that led to the German attacks at the start of WWII are perfectly portrayed.

From there we have the intruiging tale of a father and a daughter at war and their relationship which remains estranged in spite of all the bigger things going on. Both father and daughter have their respective nemises, people who could easily have them rubbed out if they are seen to step out of the party line so that feeling on living on a knife edge during the Stalinist terror is captured brilliantly.

As someone who studied Russian and spent time in the country I often find myself cringing at the efforts of non-Russians to set books in some stereoptyped version of Russia. Not so at all with this. As with his first book the author has managed to capture a genuine sense of the place, and in this case time as well, which makes you think it could easily have been written by a native of the country.

Great stuff.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Andy Kirk on Aug. 02, 2010 :
‘The Whole Rotten Edifice’ is an exceptionally well researched and superbly written piece of historical fiction. Set in 1941/42 the story follows the battle of the Red Army as they defend Moscow against the attack of the Germans. But, this novel doesn’t just concentrate on the horrors of war—and there are some scenes of graphic description in here—but also on the broken relationship of the two main characters: The General, Sevastian Chaliapin, and his Snipper Daughter, Martha, their very different lives, relationships and their hopes and regrets.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I kept wondering how the story would conclude; and the ending, when it arrived, was far more horrific than I could ever have imagined – not for the faint hearted.

A great read, highly recommended!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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