Natasha and Other Stories
I got the opportunity to meet the author a few years ago; real nice guy. Kind of quiet, though. Met his agent, too -- dude had a mohawk, which was kind of weird. I thought that maybe he lost a bet. The agent, not Bezmozgis, whose hair was uninteresting.
Truly exceptional realist short stories. It's so easy to write bad short stories, even really good short stories that at times ring a bit false, but I felt almost no missteps while reading Natasha. Bezmozgis sympathizes with his characters but doesn't pity them, choosing instead to appreciate the irony of their lives as if he were their friend rather than their author.
המהגרים/ עולים (תלוי בזווית הראיה) יצרו בדמיונם את החיים העתידיים שלהם: הם דמיינו כיצד במדינה החדשה הם הופכים לאזרחים מהשורה, ממשים את החופש מהמשטר ומעינו של האח הגדול, מרוויחים כסף וחיים בנוחות.
אבל המציאות טפחה על פניהם. קשיי הקליטה מתחילים בדברים אלמנטריים כמו השפה. העדר יכולת לתקשר עם הסביבה והמאמץ המתמיד והמתסכל ללמוד ולהדביק את הפער. אני משע ...more
The title story is one of initiation into adulthood of a 1 ...more
I don't think I have a favourite short story, which might be way I didn't love the book. Although, The Second Strongest Man, Tapka and Natasha were all well done and stand out as memorable reads for me. The stories are all ...more
Natasha, and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis has traveled with me for a long a time. Published in 2004, I'm pretty sure I grabbed the small hardcover off the shelf the first time I saw it. I read it and forgot I'd read it, even listing it as one of the books I own but haven't read.
How could I forget?
Natasha has nearly everything I love: it is a novel in short story form, each story connected to the other but inde ...more
He's six years old in the first story, "Tapka," in which he and a cousin are put in charge of dog-sitting a Russian ...more
Aside: Between this guy and Chabon and Foer I’ve now accidentally read enough contemporary fiction on The Jewish Experience (TM) to exceed my exposure to my own cultural narrative(s) several times over. It’s great writing, and broadening and all … but I guess sometimes I feel a little left out.
the stories that i liked best were an animal to the memory, natasha, and minyan. aside from natasha these stories have the immigrants' condition at the center, but something kind of universal shows through, like the appropriation of victimization (hitler and stali ...more
This book is completely on the top of my list of favorite books of short stories. I couldn't put it down. I would start reading it as soon as I got on the train, and would almost miss my stop every morning. The writing is awesome, the central character felt so incredibly familiar to me, and I feel like I got a window into a community of people (Ea ...more
Bezmozgis, as is the case with many 'new' writers, is compared to just about every living and dead writer that has made their mark in the literary world... well, forget about the comparisons. Bezmozgis speaks his own voice... oy, eh.
Short story collections are hard for me to rate. Some of these stories deserve 5 stars some 3 ...more
DB: Well, I have another one here that’s pretty good.
JC: OK, so that’s two. But we need more.
DB: Hmmm…..well, here’s a bunch that aren’t so great, but they’re okay, I guess. Can we use them to fill up the pages?
Hmph. The title selection is great. There’s another (perhaps two) that are alright. The rest wasn’t worth it, but at least they were short. I r ...more
It is short, a volume of 7 short stories that are all about a Russian immigrant family in Canada in the 1980s. All the stories are told from the point of view of the young son, who is about six in the first story and an adult in the last one.
Some of the stories are rather quirky. A few have some funny lines ("Old people are no better than children. Worse, because they should know better.") The reader gets a sense of ...more