Red Sky at Noon: Book summary and reviews of Red Sky at Noon by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Red Sky at Noon

by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Red Sky at Noon by Simon Sebag Montefiore X
Red Sky at Noon by Simon Sebag Montefiore
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    416 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The stunning new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanovs and Jerusalem, set during an epic cavalry ride across the hot grasslands outside Stalingrad during the darkest times of World War II.

"The black earth was already baking and the sun was just rising when they mounted their horses and rode across the grasslands towards the horizon on fire ..."

Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion made up of Cossacks and convicts to fight the Nazis. He enrolls in the Russian cavalry, and on a hot summer day in July 1942, he and his band of brothers are sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines - but is there a traitor among them? The only thing Benya can truly trust is his horse, Silver Socks, and that he will find no mercy in onslaught of Hitler's troops as they push East.

Spanning ten epic days, between Benya's war on the grasslands of southern Russia and Stalin's intrigues in the Kremlin, between Benya's intense affair with an Italian nurse and a romance between Stalin's daughter and a war correspondent, this is a sweeping story of passion, bravery, and survival - where betrayal is a constant companion, death just a heartbeat away, and love, however fleeting, offers a glimmer of redemption. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Montefiore's third novel in his Moscow Trilogy (after Sashenka and One Night in Winter) is a stunning World War II story set on the bloody Russian front outside Stalingrad in July 1942. Montefiore's immersive portrayal of the Eastern Front makes this a gripping, convincing tale." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Offering historical accuracy, a fine empathy for his characters, and a story that illuminates the operatic tragedy of Stalin's rule, Red Sky at Noon is brilliant on multiple levels." - Booklist

"Montefiore has legions of fans for his histories (The Romanovs), but his 'Moscow Trilogy' (One Night in Winter; Sashenka) opens the floodgates to the imaginative re-creation of archival facts. Benya's story animates a ten-day, desperate struggle in Stalin's huge gamble against the Nazi war machine. World War II fiction aficionados will want to read this." - Library Journal

"A novel this ambitious could use a little more moral nuance, as the characters are either all good or (in most cases) all evil. Yet the gritty war scenes and the lovers' pursuit keep the pages turning." - Kirkus

"Written with brio and deep knowledge of the fascinating subject matter. Deeply satisfying." - The Times (UK) "Book of the Month"

"A searing tale of love and war. A homage to the author's favorite Russian writers and the Western masterpieces of Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, and Elmore Leonard. Such influences pervade this atmospheric tale told in the author's own distinct voice." - The Observer (UK)

"Intensely moving, with an unforgettable climax that will touch the hardest heart." - Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and Mao

"Montefiore has brought his understand of Russian history to life here with great gusto traversing Gulags, battlefields and Kremlin but Golden is a lover not a fighter..." - Leila McKinnon, Women's Weekly (Australia)

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Author Information

Simon Sebag Montefiore Author Biography

Photo © Hugo Burnand

Simon Sebag Montefiore was born in 1965 and read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). Catherine the Great and Potemkin was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (US), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). Jerusalem: The Biography won the Jewish Book of the Year Prize, from the Jewish Book Council (USA). Dr Montefiore's books are published in forty languages. He is also the author of the novel, Sashenka. His new novel, One ...

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