Writers Inspiring Change feature book review: CONTRA-ODESSA
CONTRA-ODESSA is an interesting read on several counts. First, it reveals to the reader the hypocrisy of war and ideologies, as the author pulls back the curtain on how former SS and Nazi's of Hitler's regime, escaped to Argentina and bought their way into a society which essentially forgave their black-deeds against humanity because they brought considerable funds with them which a cash-strapped Argentina happily accepted. Secondly, it is quite brutal. Markman doesn't sugar-coat the scenes where former SS are tortured for information and then ruthlessly killed by the Russian spies. It is cold and it is very real. And lastly, the book reads like a documentary, very detailed, very lucid, and very much reflecting the dispassionate and disloyal nature of communists themselves - an "all-for-one" attitude which justifies betraying anyone, friends and lovers, in the pursuit of their objectives. A revealing and intriguing read with an historical spin which is eye-opening.
Review by International Writers Inspiring Change
About Alex Markman
I was born in the Soviet Union, the country where people were taught grammar but had no freedom to write. I was the witness of the well-known phenomena that press is a powerful disseminator of ignorance. This was a tough environment for someone who believed that his mission in life is literature. I graduated University, economic faculty, and, after immigrating to Canada, worked many years in the field of software development in large corporations. I traveled a lot, in the vast wilderness of Russia, Canada and the US, and European megalopolises. I studied history, global social, economic and technological trends, but my passion has always been fiction writing. I hope it is good entertainment and the source of wisdom to my readers.
What prompted you to become a writer?
As far as I remember, I always wanted to tell a good story. In my childhood, when I did that, my mind was hardly able to distinguish the reality from fantasy. Perhaps it was necessary to make my story interesting and logically complete. My mother called me a “fantasizer” and often was appalled with the absurdity or intensity of my account of events. I was not a liar, although it took me years to avoid non-existing twists when I told the audience a true story. In my adolescent years I just wanted to entertain, make people laugh, feel compassion for heroes of my stories, but with passing years, when it came to serious writing, this attitude was merged with ideas of humanity, justice and respect for fellow humans. In my colorful life I got acquainted with people from all walks of life: from the very bottom of society to the very distinguished, who in some way made history. They gave me both inspiration and material for my writing.
What do your readers like about your writing?
This is a tough question. There are different opinions, from very flattering to highly negative. In both cases, expression of strong reaction to the story is a good sign that my writing touches the sensitive strings of the soul.
How do you inspire others with and through your writing?
There is an eternal fight between Good and Evil. I try to show the reader how ugly the devil is, and how beautiful is the a soul of integrity and virtue. I hope that my writing leaves a trace in my reader’s minds.
Tell us about your most recent book(s) and why you wrote it.
My latest published book, The Drama and Mockery of Fate, is a collection of short stories and novellas, some of them published before.
These stories had been inspired by real-life events. Some of them are funny and hopefully will make the reader laugh; others are tragic, revealing the drama of loss, love, and shattered dreams, so often tormenting our souls. And, of course, erotica and epicurean indulgence in sensual pleasures, which reward us occasionally for our deeds and misdeeds.