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Moscow Stations [Paperback]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Jan 1998

Moscow Stations, Venedikt Yerofeev's autobiographical novel, is in many ways the successor to Gogol's Dead Souls. The two works are comic historical bookends, with Gogol's novel portraying the sloth and corruption of feudal Russia and Yerofeev's novel portraying the sloth and corruption of feudal Communism. The truth is that while the streets of Moscow may be clogged with Volvos and Mercedes sedans these days - in keeping with the new capitalism - the anguish and dissipation of the late, coruscating empire are still the real fact of life for most people. Moscow Stations remains a lesson in the current events of the Russian soul.

The novel is a mixture of high, drunken comedy - a portrait of a soul filled with wisdom and pickled in Hunter's vodka who spends his days traipsing around Moscow but has never once seen the Kremlin. With this cheerful admission we are off on a hallucinatory ride through the increasingly desperate mind of Venedikt Yerofeev. He once remarked that Moscow Stations was 'ninety pages of funny stuff and ten pages of sad stuff' but it is mostly about a clear-eyed man who can still say, no matter how much he has drunk: 'I, who have consumed so much that I've lost track of how much, and in what order - I'm the soberest man in the world.'

Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New Ed edition (19 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571192041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571192045
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,074,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian existentialism at it's very best! 13 Aug 2004
By A Customer
I love this novel. It is probably my favourite ever read. This is a short read by a seemingly little known author, Venedict Yerofeev, but he really packs this fantastic novel full. The best I can do to conjure up an impression of what this is like is to say it combines Dostoyevsky's insight and guile, Millers' lust for life and wreckless outlook and Bulgakov's dark and hilarious satire. The setting is a train journey across Russia and as the train nears it's destination, the narrator descends further and further into a dream-like delirium, between the realms of sanity and madness, happiness and depression, ecstasy and death.
If I could grumble about this book in any way it would simply be that it must stand alone as it is the only pubished work by this underrated genius.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alcoholic Roller-Coaster 25 July 2000
First of all I should comment that I did not read the english translation of the book and I cannot testify as to its level. My review is based on reading the book in hebrew. However, since I think this book is a must for every book lover I decided to post this review anyway.
This autobiographical novel is a sharp critique of Soviet horrors, Lennin's follies and the human spirit. Centered around a short train ride from Moscow to a nearby town, the book is broken into chapters titled by the station names. The book itself is a colourful mixture of vivid description of the writers' co-travellers, philosophical and psychological reflections, fragmental memories, and above all massive consumption of alcohol (varying from beer and vodka to eau de cologne based cocktails), all written in delicate prose relying on unbelievable depths of cultural background embedded with gems of dark humour.
This book should be read by everyone.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark, yet enlightening journey 26 May 2001
By Wozzy
A train journey through a soul-crushing system, seen through alcohol-tinted eyes. At once subversive, sad and funny, this book ranks alongside The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and thought provoking 5 May 2002
By A Customer
Parts of this book make you laugh and other parts stop you in your tracks and you want to cry. In many ways it reminds me of Catcher in the Rye, only this book is somehow deeper. The translation is very good as well and it reads like a dream.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic translation 26 April 2004
By A Customer
This is the most excellent translation of an unusual novel. It capturesthe spirit of Erofeyev's tragi-comedian style perfectly.
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