This is not a novel but as another reviewer has quite rightly pointed out, a verdict. Nor is it complete, Vasily Grossman began it in 1955 and was still revising it during his last days in the hospital in September 1964. Grossman was also one of the first witnesses of the consequences of the Holocaust. He published 'The Hell of Treblinka' in Russia, the first journalistic account of a German death-camp in any language.
He even published a non-fictional account of World War II called [b:A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army|267013|A Writer at War Vasily Grossman with the Red Army|Vasily Grossman|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320453566s/267013.jpg|258889] from the Russian point of view.
But his masterpiece, undeniably, is [b:Life and Fate|88432|Life and Fate|Vasily Grossman|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320447178s/88432.jpg|2435598] which was completed in 1960. “Life and Fate” (eventually, after its publication) was termed as “War and Peace” of this century, the most complete portrait of Stalinist Russia we are ever likely to have. The manuscript of “Life And Fate” was confiscated by the KGB in 1961. Not even one scrap of paper was spared during confiscation. But as luck would have it, [a:Vladimir Voinovich|42170|Vladimir Voinovich|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1248097441p2/42170.jpg], a well known Russian satirist, obtained a copy of the manuscript somehow, copied it on a microfilm and smuggled it out of Russia to the West.
“Everything Flows” loosely follows a character named Ivan Grigoryevich who was sent to the Gulags at the height of Stalinist purges. 30 years later, after the death of Stalin, most of the prisoners were released citing the detached reason that they were all wrongfully imprisoned. Ivan’s journey to rediscover his lost years in the “free” state is very disturbing. Grossman dwells more on submission to state terror by its people than on Ivan’s journey though. The reasons put forth are very disconcerting and actually makes one think about the possibility of something like this happening again in any corner of the modern world.
I am not much into making people read what I feel is great, but in this case, I would urge every book lover to read the much under-appreciated works of Vasily Grossman. These are truly life changing books. Please read them.