Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $4.06 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Notes from Underground has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Notes from Underground Hardcover – March 12, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.89
$2.95 $0.01

Julian Fellowes's Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
"Julian Fellowes's Belgravia" by Julian Fellowes
From the creator and writer of Downton Abbey comes a grand historical novel, with hugely exciting twists and dramatic chapter endings. Learn more | See author page
$20.89 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Notes from Underground
  • +
  • The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 Conservative Writers on Why the Virtuous Life is Funny as Hell
Total price: $38.53
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

Bronze Winner of a 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Suspense/Thriller catagory.

(Independent Publisher Book Awards)

About the Author

Roger Scruton is a freelance writer and philosopher, who rescued himself from the academy twenty years ago. He currently lives in rural Wiltshire, England. He has held posts in the American Enterprise Institute, and in the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is married with two children. He is the author of 40 books, including five works of fiction, and composed two operas. He is widely known on both sides of the Atlantic as a public intellectual with a broadly conservative vision.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Fishermen: A Novel by Chigozie Obioma
"The Fishermen" by Chigozie Obioma
Discover the award-winning debut novel by Chigozie Obioma. Learn more | See related books

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books; 1 edition (March 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825307287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825307287
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Odaniel VINE VOICE on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Roger Scruton is one of the great living philosophers whose prose style is both penetrating and limpid. He is a master at explaining complex concepts in a clear and concise manner. Unfortunately, this is not the skill set that makes for a great novelist. He suffers similar deficits exhibited by his fellow-travelling historian, Victor Davis Hanson--who is also a brilliant writer but whose novel, The End of Sparta, is a decidely lackluster affair (although still worth reading as is all of Hanson's writing). Scruton sacrifices character for ideas--as one would expect of a philosopher--and the flow of his narrative is quite jerky (slow in some pages and disconcertingly abrupt in others). You know there's trouble when the first paragraph contains a sentence such as this: "One was thumbing through our samizdat library with slow, patulous fingers." "Patulous," by the bye, means "spread open." There you go, now you've learned something useful from an amazon review. And if you like that sort of thing, by all means get this book. I enjoyed it but just know what you're letting yourself in for.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read several books by Roger Scruton, and have repeatedly been overwhelmed by the depth of his knowledge and the brilliance of his expression. He has a way of taking a difficult topic and creating a believable story about a culture that is totally foreign to me (Communist Czechoslovakia) and certainly quite alien from his own experience as a British author.

This book is written as a flashback by Jan, a Czech dissident who has emigrated to the United States after the breakup of the Soviet Union. In many respects it is a love story, recounting Jan's relationship with Betka, a woman who exists in a shadowland where she is able to elude the authorities while providing some measure of leadership among members of the dissident community. Jan "marries" Betka in a deserted church, and it is made clear throughout the tale that they love each other but will never be able to live openly as husband and wife under the chaotic Communist dictatorship.

Scruton opens the book with a note stating that "This is a story about truth, but it is not a true story." He describes life under the dictatorship as filled with "false theories, false opinions, false sentiments, false loves, and false hatreds, all of which had the capacity to colonize the human soul and turn it into the mocking mirror by which he was surrounded." It is, above all, a life of fear -- fear of the police, first of all, but an encompassing fear that one is being followed and at any time might be taken into custody and imprisoned for the crime of thinking an unacceptable thought (a transgression against the State).

It is a dark story, whose redeeming grace is that it leaves the reader with a better understanding of the brutality of life in a dictatorship.
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Notes from Underground," by Roger Scruton takes place in Prague circa 1985. Its protagonist, like several other main characters in the story, goes by several names, but I'll refer to him as Jan for simplicity's sake. After her husband's death, Jan's mother begins to run an underground press, which publishes samizdats, including a volume of her son's. Because samizdat, like fan fiction, is published by anyone who fancies themselves an author, it receives little respect from the outside world, but also attracts the attention of the authorities, who one day show up and arrest Jan's mother. Though Jan is pessimistic about his chances of having the charges dropped against her, he attempts to find help. When he meets the beautiful, fiercely independent Betka, who reveals only parts of her past, he begins an affair with her, and also joins a sort of underground book club, attended by intellectuals. Jan's new associates include Father Pavel, a priest who has some rather Nietzschean ideas about faith, as well as Martin Gunther, a liberal American intellectual, whose abstract notions about victimhood and oppression quickly arose Jan's scorn.

Aware that his intervention to help his mother, as well as his association with the club members has put him under scrutiny by those with the power to arrest him, Jan continues to explore the new ideas he learns of, and deepen his relationship with Betka, even as he suspects it might be doomed. Because, early on, we learn that Jan is relating this story from the US, we know that he will ultimately survive, but it seems likely that, like the protagonist of Orwell's "1984," he will be subjected to much unpleasantness before he finds refuge.

The book explores the theme of freedom and how lack of faith can trap a person.
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When the novel opens, Jan Reichl, a young aspiring writer, is in dire straits. He lives in Prague in the mid-1980s, during the last years of the Communist dictatorship. He cannot attend college or hold jobs above a menial level because his long-dead father was arrested as an "enemy of the state." His mother has just been imprisoned for running a tiny underground press.

And the secret police have learned that one of the books Jan's mother published -- a collection of short stories by "Comrade Underground" -- was written by Jan.

Completely isolated because of his pariah status as the son of an "enemy of the state," Jan has no friends, no remaining supportive family and no way to contact his mother's dissident writer clients for help. He knows it is only a question of time before he is also jailed.

Jan then encounters and falls in love with a mysterious, beautiful young woman, named Betka, who is an admirer of his book. She offers to help him assist his imprisoned mother and introduces him to other dissident writers and intellectuals, including a heroic priest who was imprisoned for his faith.

But Jan's new friends raise more questions in his mind.

Among the dissident community of seemingly noble, self-sacrificing people, is everyone who they claim to be? Are some of Jan's new friends secret police informers? Are some of them both dissidents and informers? Who are the true opponents of the Communist regime?

Are some of the dissidents truly major scholars, writers and artists or are they simply intellectual mediocrities using dissident presses to achieve fame for low-level work?
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Notes from Underground
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Notes from Underground

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: egyptian fiction