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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good novel for intermediate+ students, 26 April 2010
By 
Andrew Sillis (Worcester Park, Surrey, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Russendisko (Mass Market Paperback)
Russendisko was recommended by my German Teacher. I've been studying German for 3 years, now at level B2 / A-Level.
This book is grammatically straightforward with new and useful vocabulary, but not so that I'm looking up every other word.
It is about the experiences of a russian jew, coming to live in East Berlin in the Honecker era. Happy to commend it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Berlin (and Germany more broadly) from the point of view of a Russian immigrant, 3 July 2012
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AK (London) - See all my reviews
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Wladimir Kaminer is by now an established author in Germany, with most of his books dealing with his experiences as a Russian immigrant, arriving amongst the first waves. The book consists of vignette length essays, which highlight particular aspects of the experience, from being a Jewish immigrant, to dealing with authorities, the pros and cons of a Russian wife (for a German husband), eating, drinking, culture, etc.

Having been amongst the first, and arriving on the Russian Jew ticket (something that briefly worked in the very beginning only), he has two decades of experience to look back on, and his active involvement in the community as well as his fine observation gift make him an excellent commenter on what Berlin (and Germany more generally) is like for an outsider.

The stories are occassionally slightly surreal but not per se unbelievable and the author has a wry sense of humour. This, together with the short length, makes the book a good read. And while it is certainly possible to finish it in one go, I suppose one will be better served by ejoying it in smaller chunks, especially since the stories do not build on one another.

The book has recently also been filmed (same name - a hit in Germany) and translated into English (Russian Disco: Tales of Everyday Lunacy on the Streets of Berlin), if German is not your forte. If you like it, also try his earlier Es Gab Keinen Sex Im Sozialismus: Legenden und Missverständnisse des vorigen Jahrhunderts by all means.

So overall a much recommended social commentary on the immigrant experience, on Berlin, Germany and the Russians. And really good fun, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, charming, evocative., 8 Dec 2013
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I'm really enjoying this book, which is more a collection of interlinked short stories - very short, in fact, just 3 or 4 pages each - than a novel. The German is a bit of a challenge - I did A level more than thirty years ago and very rarely speak the language - but the book is so much fun that it doesn't feel like hard study when you're reading it. A good choice for learners and people who, like me, would like to revive their old German.
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Russendisko
Russendisko by Wladimir Kaminer (Mass Market Paperback - 29 Jun 2002)
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