The Bornholmers' experience with Russian communism is all the more ironic because its greatest literary figure, Martin Andersen Nexo
, perhaps second only to Hans Christian Andersen in fame and the number of books sold, devoted his career to the struggle on behalf of the working class and was hailed by the Soviet Union as a great author of international stature.
Thus, the book can be read both as a bildungsroman of the author (or of any young man) and as a period picture, but the two genres are blended together in such a unique way that the work is raised to the level of such masterful memoirs as those by Henrik Pontoppidan and Martin Andersen Nexo
Silanpaa, Roger Martin du Gard, Grazia Deledda and Miguel Asturias (all these writers happen to be Nobel Prize winners), as well as authors like Robert Walser, Martin Andersen Nexo
, Giovanni Papini, Dino Buzzati and Horacio Quiroga.