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Sliding on the Snow Stone by [Szpuk, Andy]
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Sliding on the Snow Stone Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 239 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

It is astonishing that anyone lived this story. It is even more astonishing that anyone survived it.

Stefan grows up in the grip of a raging famine. Stalin’s Five Year Plan brings genocide to Ukraine – millions of people starve to death. To free themselves from the daily terrors of Soviet rule, Stefan and his friends fight imaginary battles in nearby woods to defend their land. The games they play are their only escape.

‘Sliding on the Snow Stone’ is the true story of Stefan's extraordinary journey across a landscape of hunger, fear and devastating loss. With Europe on the brink of World War Two, Stefan and his family pray they'll survive in their uncertain world. They long to be free.

(In 1932-33, as part of their drive towards industrialisation, the Soviet Union demanded impossibly high requisitions of grain from rural areas in Ukraine. In a deliberate act of genocide, Ukrainian smallholdings were stripped of food, and the population began to perish, with some estimates as high as 10 million deaths, from starvation. In Ukraine, this atrocity became known as the Holodomor (death by hunger). The following years saw Soviet purges and terrors resulting in the elimination of academics and intellectuals, or of anyone who spoke out against Soviet rule. When World War Two arrived on Ukraine’s doorstep, many people viewed the Nazis as liberators – a view that was quickly proved wrong. ‘Sliding on the Snow Stone’ is Stefan’s personal account of a historical period drenched in the blood of a nation, and of his yearning for freedom).

About the Author

Novelist, short story writer, memoirist, poetry. Author of 'Sliding on the Snow Stone', a historical memoir from Ukraine Based in Nottingham, UK Author of 'The History of Rock and Roll in 99 tweets' A member of DIY Poets, a performance poetry collective in Nottingham Contributor to 'Stories For Homes' Contributor to 'A Menu of Death' by Lucy Pireel Author of 'Droplets of Verse, Volume One (Selected Poems)'

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 645 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: That Right Publishing (Sept. 21 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #406,297 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was almost miraculous how this young man came through this experience.I was glad that he survived but saddened that his immediate family were almost all gone. A great read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x996aae1c) out of 5 stars 151 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9943d00c) out of 5 stars A moving tale... Nov. 2 2011
By Juliana Mantooth - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A stark and moving biography of a Ukrainian who lived through the Holodomor or Ukrainian Holocaust where millions perished as a result of Stalin's custom-made famine and firing squads.

With amazing detail, Andy Szpuk transcribed the life of his father, born into a catastrophe he could little comprehend and his journey through unimaginable hardship which in many ways depicted the lives of many other fellow Ukrainians of that time. At times sweet, other times heartbreaking, even shocking, Sliding On The Snow Stone unveils through the eyes of a young boy, Stefan, the mindlessness and cruelty of war. As he trekked through neighbouring countries, first with his father, and later, alone, the reader experienced alongside Stefan the fear, anger and bitterness and despondency, the desperation of hunger and starvation.

The many little details captured by the author coloured the episodes and made the scenes come alive, allowing us readers to weep, groan and laugh alongside Stefan as he journeys through life. Reading this wonderful book leaves me with a profound experience, reminding me to count my blessings for what I have and the age I live in today.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9943d024) out of 5 stars A History That Should Be Told Jan. 3 2012
By Johanna - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They promised equality, justice and heaven on earth: they delivered domination, unequaled brutality, and death. Andy Szpuk's biography 'Sliding on the Snow Stone' is an important book for our times, for the young and the not so young, and for a world for whom the starving of millions in the Ukraine has remained a dark secret, an untold story. Andy's father Stephan was there, and is one of the few still alive to tell the story of what Communism is, and of what the Ukrainian people suffered; it is the story of any totalitariam state whose ideology claims for itself total power over life and death. Why should we humans expect that any human, or conglomerate of humans, out of their inordinate lust for power, no matter how pretty their words, can deliver compassion or prosperity or justice, qualities they do not possess themselves? Can donkeys fly?
Stephan's story is a cautionary tale for all of us about the value of freedom. It is also a tribute to the presence of God in our spirits and in our lives. In one enthralling account Stephan, at a time of extremity, is led to the threshold of freedom by a mysterious man named Peter and his twelve followers, evidence, perhaps, that God has not abandoned His faithful,longsuffering Ukrainian people? Subsequent history appears to bear this out...
By the auhor of 'Graffiti On My Soul', another true story of survival
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9943d300) out of 5 stars An unforgettable memoir that I hope becomes widely read April 7 2012
By G. Polley - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am willing to bet that most people know very little about the Ukraine and its history beyond the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and perhaps its independence when the Soviet Union unraveled. Fewer still may know about Stalin's brutal campaign to starve the Ukrainian people into submission in the years before World War 2. That is the world into which Andy Szpuk's father, Stefan, was born and where lived until, as a young teenager, he and his father were forced to flee their home village to avoid execution at the hands of the invading German army. After a few months with his father's sister and her family in a town further west, the whole town was forced to flee to the west to avoid the now retreating Germans. From there, Stefan and his father are pretty much on their own.

Imagine being 14 or 15 years old, being on the run, wondering what has happened to your mother, and what will happen to you as you flee into the Carpathian Mountains, cross into Slovakia (Czechoslovakia), into the Czech region ... and then your father is killed in an air raid, leaving you absolutely alone and knowing only one thing: you must find food, and you must continue going west until you reach Germany just as the war has ended and you are at the very end of your rope.

This memoir is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat, make you cheer and weep and give a high five to Stefan when he makes it to England and begins a new life. Then another high five when he and his family visit his old home village to meet family members he has never seen.

My hat is off to his son Andy for writing his father's story down so the rest of us can read it, and to the Ukrainian people for never giving up no matter what the obstacles are.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9943d1f8) out of 5 stars Sliding on the Snow Stone July 29 2013
By Gloria Honea - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I remember so many of the atrocities he writes about but I cannot imagine living through it like he did. I have to admit, I had to stop reading many times because of the tears.

I don't often read biographies, but am so glad I found this one.
The book was full of accurate information and detailed just enough that I felt like I was walking with him.

Going back home with all the memories is never the same.

I'll read this book again soon.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9943d3e4) out of 5 stars An extraordinary story! May 26 2012
By Bajasunrise - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an awesome story of love and survival, courage and persistence and, of course, faith. I was born just after the war and knew very little of the history of the Ukraine or of the persecution of its people. I can't even begin to imagine my family being torn apart by war never knowing, and yet always, always wondering, every day of my life, what happened to them.

The book was beautifully written with amazing detail about unimaginable circumstances. If I could give it more than five stars I would. I will never forget this story.