page 171 of 784 of In the First Circle

Stalin is more of a prisoner than the zeks he sent off to Siberia, he’s a self-imposed lifer. Not that I feel sorry for him (the real man or the character here), but it does complicate things because it can be hard to see Stalin as a human. But the sense of paranoia and fear and mistrust builds an atmosphere that fills every page

Chapter 25 is stunningly beautiful, as good as anything by Turgenev. Great contrast