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I Heard Lenin Laugh Hardcover – 7 Jul 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (7 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405041218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405041218
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,006,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'I recommend you will read this book because you will be laughing your stockings off' -- Guardian

'a very funny book' -- Daily Telegraph

Book Description

Hello. And pleasure to meet you. My name Yevgeny. Yevgeny, yes. But my friends they call me Zhenya. Now, where was I born? In Vitebsk. You want know about Vitebsk? OK. Start thinking about famous painter, Marc Chagall. Now you see Vitebsk: it got cows flying over roofs of houses playing violins and green sheep smiling very large. Alright, only joking. In the looking glass world of the old Soviet reality, the future is certain. But the past is unpredictable and the truth a negotiable commodity. Into this changeable environment comes young Zhenya Gorevich, struggling to embrace a supposed Communist utopia. When his mother confesses the unlikely secret of his parentage, he determines to escape Russia and find his long-lost father. His impossible quest will take him from provincial Vitebsk to Moscow and beyond, as he tries desperately to find a way to get to swinging London and reclaim his noble birthright. Culminating with the 1966 World Cup in England, Martin Sixsmith has written a playful, yet strikingly poignant story of one man’s life journey combining the classic tradition of Russian satire with his own wry humour.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This novel is really good fun. You might not think there is much scope for humour from a theme that involves a young fellow from Stalinist Russia looking for a better life, but Martin Sixsmith wrings out every drop of it, from satire to political jokes to belly laughs as his hero ends up in the swinging London of the 1960s, smoking wacky cigarettes and demonstrating with the hippies, meeting Mick Jagger and playing a big role in the World Cup Final (you'll have to read it to figure that one out). I bought this book because the Guardian said it was 'guaranteed to make you laugh your stockings off'. It did!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on Saturday morning and I read non-stop till I finished it at dinner time. It's a real laugh a page experience (with a few sadder bits - but I won't give too much away). The narrator, Zhenya, is lovely: the story is told in his very idiosyncratic and charming Russian voice. He travels through all these weird and wonderful events, in Russia and England, and he thinks he knows what is going on, but we - the reader - know he doesn't really understand a thing. A great, breezy picaresque novel: I didn't think Martin Sixsmith had it in him (I'd always thought he was a very serious, high-brow type). Like the Guardian reviewer, it made me laugh my stockings off!
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with the previous reviewers that this is a really funny book. It's written in a fantastic style -- the real voice of the naive Russian hero -- and it's full of great jokes. But I think there is always an undercurrent of sadness in the story. Zhenya is trying to escape from the Soviet Union looking for a happier life he is convinced must exist somewhere. His adventures on the way there are hilarious. But you never really know if he is really finding the happiness he is seeking. The Daily Telegraph review got it right for me: this is laughter through tears.
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