I am reading Fall of a Titan by Igor Gouzenko. I’m enjoying it very much even though it depressingly depicts life in the totalitarian Soviet Union. The author has done an excellent job creating moods and describing people. Below is one example I liked.
Rouen, without noticing it, had become infected with a disease very common among so-called broad-minded intellectuals—the disease of subconscious egoism. It expresses itself in a desire to stand apart from society, to contradict. As a rule it turns “broad-minded intellectuals” into narrow Philistines; into the exact opposite of what they imagine themselves to be.