Although A Hunger Most Cruel contains writings on a topic of great importance, Stalin's terror famine, something seems to be lost in translation of these three Ukrainian authors' works. The major issues are all included in some form or another about Stalin's decision to encourage "voluntary" collectivization of Soviet farms, which set off a chain of events resulting in a famine that killed millions (per page 284, 7,000,000 persons). But its importance is inversely proportional to its readability. A kind of stiff, old-style writing is a constant throughout the book (though less so in the third part), separated into sections by author. My favorite story, "Lucky" Hanna, written by Olena Zvychayna, is about a wife and mother who has fled her village after being labeled a kulak (rich peasant farmer) and is later befriended by a kind woman. One day the woman tells her that she is lucky for having thus far survived the famine, not knowing the fate if Hanna's family. While sleeping outdoors one night, Hanna, her husband, and her daughter, assumed dead, are placed in a truck filled with corpses. They escape. The husband dies (she is forced to leave him). And Hannah attempts to abandon her daughter in a marketplace in hopes that a rumor she heard was true - orphaned peasant children are picked up and taken care of. Too late, she changes her mind, and so spends the rest of her life in search of her child. Common story themes: city-dwellers are largely unaware and unaffected by the famine; farmers, whose participation in collectivization of farming is supposedly voluntary, are coerced into joining collectives; government representatives go from house to house attempting to squeeze every last grain, scrap and crumb of food from the villagers and leaving them to subsist on whatever they can find: leather, bark, grass, and human flesh; in turn, farmers use ingenious methods in attempting to hide enough food to avoid death by starvation. A Hunger Most Cruel is a book of great importance. Unfortunately, it is not reader-friendly. Better: Execution by Hunger by Miron Dolot.