The best book by Sergei Dovlatov
The best book by Sergei Dovlatov

Sergey Dovlatov is a Soviet writer who left the USSR in the late seventies. In his works, according to Brodsky, the style plays a more important role than the plot. Perhaps that is why the novels and stories of this popular prose writer today have scattered into quotations. The best books by Sergei Dovlatov have been published abroad. And the point is not that more favorable conditions for creativity were created in the USA. And the fact that in his homeland his works were published very reluctantly.


Sergey Dovlatov was born in 1941 in Ufa. His father was a theater director. The future writer lived in Leningrad from the age of three. After leaving school, he entered the Faculty of Philology of Moscow State University, but did not graduate from it. Dovlatov was expelled from the university for poor progress. After several years of student life, a period has come in the life of the hero of today's article, which, perhaps, made him a writer. Three years Dovlatovserved in the camp guard in the North. From there he returned with a bundle of manuscripts. Then, for several years, he tried to publish the story "Zone. Notes of the Warden". This book by Sergei Dovlatov is considered the best by many readers and critics.

best book by sergei dovlatov

After graduating from military service, the young writer entered the Faculty of Journalism. Then he worked in a small-circulation newspaper, in his spare time he wrote short prose stories. In 1972, the journalist left for Estonia, where he worked as a fireman and freelance correspondent for a local newspaper. In the early eighties, the novel "Compromise" was published in New York. The work tells about the work of Tallinn journalists and is included in the list of the best books by Sergei Dovlatov.

In the seventies it was impossible not only to write works that did not meet the official ideology. It was dangerous to even read such books. Nevertheless, forbidden literature was actively discussed among intellectuals. The most active individuals reprinted the manuscripts of authors who fell into disgrace, risking their own well-being and freedom. Sergei Dovlatov also belonged to the writers objectionable to Soviet censorship. His best books were written in an atmosphere of prohibitions and threats. In Estonia, he wrote the story "Five Corners", which was destroyed by the KGB.

dovlatov sergey best books

In 1975, Dovlatov left Tallinn, returned to Leningrad and got a job at the editorial office of the Koster magazine. During this period, he actively wrote prose. Not many worksaccepted literary magazines. For anti-Soviet activities in the mid-seventies, the writer was expelled from the Union of Journalists. Dovlatov never had a permanent stable income. Since his books were not published, and he was periodically fired from the editorial office, he often found himself in distress. In the early seventies, the writer worked for some time as a guide in the Pushkin Reserve. And he reflected this period of his biography in prose. In 1983, a foreign publishing house published the story "Reserve".

List of famous works

For some, the best book by Sergei Dovlatov is "Zone", for others - "Reserve". How many people, so many opinions. Based on reader reviews, the list of the best books by Sergei Dovlatov will look like this:

  1. "Zone".
  2. "Suitcase".
  3. "Compromise".
  4. "Foreigner".
The best book by sergey dovlatov by rating

The best rated book by Sergei Dovlatov is the one that tells about his years of work as a warden in a colony. She, as well as his other works, is described in more detail below.

The best book by the writer Sergei Dovlatov

The idea for the story "The Zone" began to take shape in the early sixties. At that time, the novice writer served in the camp barracks located in the village of Chinyavoryk. The whole country read the works of Solzhenitsyn and Shalamov. The camp theme, it would seem, has exhausted itself. In this andwas one of the reasons why publishers did not accept Dovlatov's book for a long time. Prison memoirs after Solzhenitsyn are no longer of interest to readers - that was the standard response of the publishers. Yet the story "The Zone" is unique in some way. In earlier prose writers, the camp is depicted from the position of the victim. Dovlatov - from the position of the warden.

best book by sergei dovlatov

Dovlatov treated this story quite carefully, because it was with her that his writing began. In a letter to publishers, he repeatedly emphasized that he was by no means trying to imitate the creators of camp prose. The characters in his work are criminals. The author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich spoke mainly about political prisoners. Moreover, Solzhenitsyn described the camp as a hell in which there were innocent victims. Sergei Dovlatov believed that this "hell is ourselves." That is, in his understanding, the prisoners themselves created unbearable conditions in the camp.


The book is a collection of short stories. Dovlatov began work on Compromise in 1973 and completed it in 1980. The collection of short stories was first published in the early eighties.

The best book of the writer Sergei Dovlatov

As already mentioned, the author took the plot for these works from his own experience gained while working in the newspaper "Soviet Estonia". In 2015, Stanislav Govorukhin directed the film "The End of a Beautiful Era". The film was created bybased on the short stories from the "Compromise" collection.


And this book is a collection of short stories. The protagonist leaves his homeland, takes only a small suitcase with him to emigration. It contains a shirt, a jacket, a double-breasted suit, several pairs of cream-colored socks, a winter hat, and a few other pieces of clothing. Each of them is associated with certain memories, and the author dedicates a separate story to each.

best book by sergei dovlatov


Almost all of Dovlatov's works are narrated in the first person. Many of them are autobiographical. The story "Reserve" is no exception. However, there is an opinion that the prototype of the main character is Joseph Brodsky. The poet once tried to get a job in the library at the museum dedicated to Pushkin's work.


The story, like most of the works written in exile in the United States, is dedicated to the life of emigrants. The main character is far from politics, she grew up in a we althy Soviet family. However, one day she decides to leave the Soviet Union and goes to the USA.

best book by sergei dovlatov

Dovlatov's style is characterized by an amazing combination of irony and lyricism. His works are filled with subtle humor and sadness. In order to be convinced of this, it is worth reading one of the works of the outstanding Soviet writer, who reflected in his work the tragedy and romance of an entire generation - generations of dissidents, emigrants, artists, unmercenaries.

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