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Rachel
 
 

Rachel [Kindle Edition]

Andrei Gelasimov , Marian Schwartz

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Product Description

Product Description

With icons like Chubby Checker and Yuri Gagarin, the Moscow that Svyatoslav Semyonovich inhabits at the onset of the Cold War brims with the flashy visual textures of capitalism. A Jewish teenager on the hunt for black-market tight pants and rock records, Svyatoslav somehow fails to develop his undying love for Lyuba into a happy ending. He finds work in a mental institution, runs off to Kiev with one of the patients, marries a few times, has a son, becomes a professor, and halfheartedly runs interference for the KGB. Always taking great pleasure in the experiences of others, including his patients and lovers, Svyatoslav flounders through his own life but never loses sight of Lyuba, his biblical Rachel, his great love. A professor and close reader of both Russian and American literature, Svyatoslav tries to interpret his eccentric life as if it were a text to be read, only to learn that life happens off the page.

About the Author

Born in Irkutsk in 1965, Andrei Gelasimov studied foreign languages at Yakutsk State University and directing at Moscow Theater Institute. He became an overnight literary sensation in Russia in 2001 when his story A Tender Age, which he published on the Internet, was awarded a prize for the best debut. It went on to garner the Apollon Grigorev and Belkin Prizes, and his novels have regularly enjoyed critical and popular success in Russia and throughout Europe. This is his fourth novel to be published in English, following Thirst, The Lying Year, and Gods of the Steppe, winner of Russia’s National Bestseller Prize in 2009 and praised by Bookslut as “a very rich, good book.” Gelasimov adapted Thirst for the screen, and the film, directed by Dmitriy Tyurin, won first prize in the Moscow Premiere Screenings at the Moscow International Film Festival and the Jury Prize at the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2114 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161109075X
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (22 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H8UTBMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #595,031 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Epiphanies, Eccentric, and Modern Russian Literary Novel 21 May 2014
By Joy Cagil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Svyatoslav Semyonovich, an elderly and well-rounded professor of American and Russian literature, mulls over his life, which he feels he couldn’t get it right somehow. During his present-day difficulties the only person he can really relate to is his pregnant daughter-in-law who is a kleptomaniac.

The professor has married three times and his first wife Lyuba, whom he calls Rachel for the Biblical Rachel, still has an emotional hold on him. His memories ebb and flow through his life, as a Jewish teen at the onset of the Cold War, through his marriages in which the three wives appear as if they are omnipresent, in a job as a workman in a psychiatric hospital because of his undying love for Lyuba who was hospitalized there, then running off to Kiev with a patient, and to protect his daughter-in-law, his stint with a KGB man, until Yeltsin’s coming to power.

Svyatoslav Semyonovich, although his own eccentric life disappoints him, seems to enjoy the others’ experiences greatly. He is sarcastic about his own self and mocks himself greatly, but his views have great psychological depth and his words startle the reader through sudden and profound epiphanies, as he attempts to look at his own life as if a text.

Although the story starts during the time of the professor’s old age with his daughter-in-law taking care of him and keeping him company, it dips back and forth through the several different stages and decades, and at times, its frequent back and forth motion surprised and at times stunned this reader as if a jolt.

I recommend this book to readers who love world literature because I found it to be quite different and somewhat eccentric than any book I have read recently. I also think, reading this book can give us a tiny peephole into the present-day Russian literature.
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