page 144 of 784 of In the First Circle

The scene with Stalin reminds me of the beginning of DeLillo’s ‘Underworld’ with Hoover as well as the scenes with Kutuzov in ‘War and Peace’. Both are fictional accounts of real, powerful men, but are used here to paint a picture of Stalin’s paranoia and self importance.

Caesar is recaled, too with his childhood home and the busts of his family’s ancestors watching over him, motivating him to rise. Stalin = vain