Victor Erofeyev, a well-known author and dissident who is one of the leading lights of the new Russian literature, grew up at the heart of the Soviet political elite, and his autobiographical novel Good Stalin is inspired by his experiences in this prestigious, yet precarious position. His father, a staunch Stalinist who dedicated his life and soul to the party, works as Stalin's personal interpreter before rising rapidly to the top and enjoying an illustrious diplomatic career.
Unquestioning loyalty to the Communist Party does not come so easily to young Victor, however, and as he grows older he begins to write stories which are classified as 'obscene literature' by party apparatchiks. When Victor throws himself into the world of dissident literature, his actions threaten to bring his father's career to an end - at the very moment when he had been hoping to be made Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Good Stalin looks at several decades of Soviet history as seen from both a child's and an adult's perspective, chronicling the emergence of a prominent and important writer and seeking to explain the evolution of the Soviet dissident movement amongst the nomenklatura.