A review by gijshuppertz
Het achtste leven (voor Brilka) by Nino Haratischwili


I read quite some ambiguous reviews about this book. It seemed that people were quite divided, with one front stating that this book is a future classic while others could not even finish the book. I do not see myself as a judge in this aspect, since in my own opinion I do not have the necessary knowledge to make a competent judgment about the literary qualities of this book compared to older classics.

What I can say, is that this book was one of the first books that I read in a long while that gripped me so much that I could not lay it down. I was glad that I was sick during my Christmas break so I could read the whole book in a few weeks. It was so good.

I understand the critiques that I have read. The books sometimes tries a bit too hard to be a classic, the historical information can be too much, and sometimes the book is not that interesting. Regarding the historical information, I am going to be fair and say that I skipped some of it. I was quite the history geek so I knew quite a bit of it and it led me to just skip over it, which made the read a bit less dense. However, the other critiques did not really become visible to me or bother me.

The only thing that did bother me was Kitty's storyline the moment she moved to England. It just did not really interest me and it felt a bit out of the blue. However, with a possible re-read, this might change. Overall I really liked the book, the characters were gripping, the storyline interesting and it gave quite an interesting overview of how it must have been living under a Soviet-regime.