Lina and Serge by Simon Morrison

Lina and Serge

Serge Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant composers yet is an enigma to historians and his fans. Why did he leave the West and move to the Soviet Union despite Stalin’s crimes? Why did his astonishing creativity in the 1930s soon dissolve into a far less inspiring output in his later years? The answers can finally be revealed, thanks to Simon Morrison’s unique and unfettered access to the family’s voluminous papers...

Details Lina and Serge

TitleLina and Serge
Release DateMar 19th, 2013
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreBiography, Music, Nonfiction, Cultural, Russia, History

Reviews Lina and Serge

  • Bettie☯
    BBC Blurb: Simon Morrison's new biography of Lina Prokofiev tells the story of the remarkable woman who married the brilliant composer Serge Prokofiev. Today, music and romance.Lina Prokofiev's compelling story unfolds with the intrigue of a spy novel. Serge Prokofiev's glamorous wife fell madly in love with the brilliant composer while she was working as a secretary in Brooklyn where she lived with her Russian emigre parents. She soon followed h...
  • Ruth
    Glad I stuck with it because it came to life once the Prokofiev's had moved to Moscow. But up until then I found the excess of detail dragged the story. E.g. not only were we told which car Prokofiev bought, but which cars he CONSIDERED buying. It felt like "we've DONE this research and, by God, you're going to read it." Did we really need to know full lists of people met on tour to Chicago in the 1920s? Of the train times? Of everything played a...
  • Laura
    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:Simon Morrison's moving biography about the wife of composer Serge Prokofiev
  • Joshua
    This is a kind of joint biography, tracing the intertwining lives of Sergei Prokofiev and his first wife, Lina, and how they each met a horrible fate in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Lina's life is diverse and extraordinary, and only the presence of a great artist like Prokofiev could have submerged it and made it (almost) lost to history. Morrison is an expert on Prokofiev, so he's exhaustively researched this couple and the cultural forces tha...
  • Ashley
    The soprano Lina Prokofiev died on January 3,1989,aged 91. No recordings of her singing are know to have survived - From Lina &Serge - the love and wars of Lina Prokofiev. By Simon Morrison Well I just finished this book and wow, I knew a Lil about her husband, but I never thought the book would be like this. She was a talented well loved girl, I feel sorry her life turned out like this. She had to fight for everything it seems. She kept a great ...
  • Ruth Charchian
    Where in the world did the author get the vast day-by-day (almost hour by hour) detail to write this book? The first 100 pages are excruciatingly boring. He failed to bring Lina or Serge to life any more than any other average person at that time. Probably because they are simply average people one of whom happens to have an incredible talent. The remainder of the book is better but not great.
  • Peter Edelman
    Weak writing but an interesting story. Prokofiev left his wife for someone roughly half his age, a 23-year-old. His wife ended up in the Gulag for eight years...hadn't known this before.
  • Anne
    What a waste of a good subject! Quite an achievement to make such extraordinary people and lives feel so tedious and boring.
  • Hans Brienesse
    This was a great read. As the author notes in his introduction "This book chronicles a totalitarian nightmare but begins with a young woman's dreams." Thus begins such a tale of human defiance in the face of adversity that one wonders why she ever persevered. And again it is the story of so many shattered dreams in a country that could have achieved so much more for it's citizens. And it is also a story of love and betrayal, of glory and reflecti...
  • Jojo
    I have listened to the music of Prokofiev since childhood and my main memory is of Peter and the Wolf with my parents, but until now I didn't realise that the narrator was his wife Lina. Learning about their often sad and troubled life was very interesting and well written without descending in to much nostalgia. Enjoyable.
  • Barby
    Lina's life is a story demanding to be told. Mr. Morrison does so in a beautiful balance of empathy and sympathy. A rising star herself, her roller coaster ride of passion and love with one of the most talented composers of the century takes her the opposite way of most people, to the Soviet Union. Her life with a self-centered genius in a dangerous setting lands her betrayed, imprisoned, tortured but yet her spirit triumphs. However, in the fina...
  • Betsy Hover
    I was delighted to receive this book thru GoodReads Giveaways!This book is Well-Written and you can tell the result of extensive reseach with lots of details of a tragic story of a talented woman raised in Brooklyn who became the lover and then the wife of one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Sergei Prokofiev, and paid a huge price.I would highly recommend this book.
  • Michael Pennington
    The music of the 20th century - the lights of Paris in the 20s, Milan and the carnivale in the 30s, the despair of the gulag in the 40s. A beautiful biography.
  • Lufan
    a sentimental novel...