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A marathon radio adaptation of Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate will start next week. But for narrative insight and perfectly balanced prose, you can't beat the book itself

It’s not often that Radio 4 clears its entire drama schedule for a week and replaces it with a single nine-hour radio play. Yet on the week of the 18th September that is precisely what will happen. The play—Life And Fate, with Kenneth Branagh in the starring role—is an adaptation of the postwar novel by little-known Russian writer Vasily…

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