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Radio Underground
by Alison Littman

Published: 2018-11-28
Paperback : 352 pages
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With swift, bold and powerful writing, debut author Alison Littman tells the story of a family ripped apart by revolution, illuminating a time when news, rock ‘n’ roll and underground journalism forever changed the lives of those living behind the Iron Curtain.

After years of ...
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Introduction

With swift, bold and powerful writing, debut author Alison Littman tells the story of a family ripped apart by revolution, illuminating a time when news, rock ‘n’ roll and underground journalism forever changed the lives of those living behind the Iron Curtain.

After years of suffering under the communist regime in Cold War Hungary, Eszter Turján—fanatical underground journalist—would sacrifice anything, and anyone, to see the government fall. When she manipulates news broadcasts on Radio Free Europe, she ignites a vicious revolution, commits a calamitous murder and is dragged away screaming to a secret underground prison.

Her daughter Dora, then a teenager, cowers in her bedroom as the secret police arrest her mother. Haunted and hurt, Dora vows to work against everything Eszter believes in. But, it’s not that simple.

After nine years, Dora meets a strapping young fan of Radio Free Europe and is unwittingly drawn back into Eszter’s circle. She finds her mother, driven mad by years of torture, is headed for death.

On the brink of losing Eszter again, Dora must decide if she should risk her life to save the mother who discarded her—or leave it to fate.

Radio Underground is a beautiful, relevant novel that explores the lengths and limits of love, family and the power of expression.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Excerpt from Radio Underground
A black Zis-110 idled ahead of me, the car’s curtains drawn on its passenger windows. I shivered at the sight of the secret police’s hallmark car, thinking of all the friends who had disappeared for no reason, taken away by henchmen in the middle of the night, never to return. It was no coincidence the Zis looked just like a hearse. I scurried onto a side street, dodging the car and the poor captives I assumed sat, trembling, inside of it. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. If you were in Eszter's position, would you have made the same sacrifices she did to bring down the regime?

2. Was Eszter justified in manipulating news on Radio Free Europe?

3. Is Radio Underground a story of redemption?

4. What are some of the turning points that led Dora to shift the way she had behaved under the regime for most of her life?

5. How did Mike's character influence your view of Cold War Hungary?

6. What role did Mike play in pushing Dora and Eszter to change their situations?

7.How is Eszter's struggle to shape news on Radio Free Europe similar or different to the issues we are facing today with fake news?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Member Reviews

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  "Books"by TPAYNE22 (see profile) 04/01/19

I found this book to be very interesting. This book gives a very good view into what it would be like to live in a communist country. In this story Ester is the one always trying to be the h... (read more)

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