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Army of the Lost Rivers Paperback – September 29, 2008
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Original Language: Italian
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Top Customer Reviews
Nonetheless, for a student of this particular episode in Italian/Cossack history this is an essential book. What Sgorlon has done is to take a "human interest" angle to examine the invasion of Friuli by the Cossack nation that lasted from August 1944 until May 1945. His gift to us is an insight into the Cossack side of the story. He shows us with some sympathy a people that had been tricked by the Germans, lost their homeland to the Soviets, who were being bombed by the Allies and shot at by the partisans. He shows their burning but frustrated desire to fight the Soviets (their only reason for aligning themselves with the Germans who they despised) and to regain their homeland, their "lost rivers". He also touches on their shameful handing over to the Soviets by the Allies after the war and hints at their eventual fate.
Perhaps inevitably his ending concentrates on what happens to the main characters. This means he doesn't follow the fate of the Cossacks after the Allies hand them over to the Soviets, because none of his characters make that far.
But the book is stylishly written and apparently well translated. I'm sure that its literary style is more suited to Italian readeship in its original form rather than English.