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Waiting for the Electricity
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Waiting for the Electricity

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In the republic of Georgia, the Communists are long gone, replaced by . . . well, by what? Something much more confusing, that’s for sure. There are no jobs in the cities. And when there are jobs, employees aren’t compensated. And when they are compensated, it’s because the jobs are . . . not strictly scrupulous. In the village, life goes on much as it always did, but thes ...more
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published June 26th 2014 by Overlook Books (first published May 29th 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 556)
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L.A. Starks
Put Waiting for the Electricity at the top of your TBR list. This sweet, quirky, well-informed book is set mainly in the country of Georgia. The protagonist is a Georgian writing letters to Hillary Clinton about starting a business. He wins a chance to spend six weeks in the U.S. at a uniquely-Californian seed business conference. Upon his return to Georgia he must navigate his own new expectations.

What I liked best about the book is how completely it envelops readers in Georgian surroundings. L
very funny debut novel of georgia making the transition from ussr satellite to goerge shurb bush favorite to post post naughties crisis hangover. the humor is black though, like this Day of the Oprichnik the humor is 'laugh-from-crying', broad brushed, sexist, stereotypical. funny too.

so a toast to you author nichol, for channeling all the good things about georgia, and a toast to electricity, for illuminating the modern world and driving the good people back into the mountain villages!
James (JD) Dittes
An insightful look at Georgia in the last year of the Shevardnadze Era, a time where corruption is rife, the electricity is spotty, and characters like Slims Achmed take to writing to Hillary Clinton to find a way out of Dodge.

Georgia comes across in the opening chapters as a terrible place. Slim's taxi is robbed as he returns from a fruitless job picking hazelnuts. His corruptible friend, Malkhazi, solicits his help in staging the kidnapping of a British pipeline worker. His boss, Mr. Fax, hasn
I thought I would like this book more than I did. It was amusing and largely enjoyable, but I wasn't wild about it. It is the story of a man in Georgia (country, not state) dealing with the post-Soviet chaos and the new economy. I can't imagine that anyone who hasn't spent time in the USSR would really understand much of this novel, but if you have, you'll certainly appreciate the world Nichols describes. The title refers to the periods of time when the main character and his friends/family wait ...more
Waiting for Something to Happen.

80 pages in, and I am giving up. So painfully slow, so disjointed. And is this "accent" really Georgian? Because the narration sounds just like the 4 (count them 4) different Russian appliance repairmen that Whirlpool sent to fix my lemon of a range this summer. Did they fix it? No, not one even tried. One was nice and said he would ask for a longer appt time (and his boss yelled at me on the phone for saying such a thing), 3 didn't even try. Trying to read this b
Sarah Furger
This book was delightful. By the second chapter, I totally forgot that it was written by an american woman and was totally caught up in Slims' Georgia. In addition to bringing a wonderful cast of characters to life, Nichol sheds new light on issues like pollution, the dark side of capitalism, the problems of importing American democracy to a non-American setting, the possibility for peaceful revolution (and how it can go terribly wrong), and relationships to boot. I adored this book and can't wa ...more
Tim Bailen
Fun read. I love the glimpse into the Georgian culture. The protagonist is lovable and we get to see him express love, doubt, nostalgia and more in his letters to Hillary Clinton, in his interactions with his family and friends, and while he shares his private thoughts with us.

I picked a couple of short passages to convey a flavor of the book. The first here is an exchange between a western visitor whom the protagonist has formed a friendship:
"You want me to just drive through the red light?" he
If this book doesn't win some major awards then the world is truly unfair. It's like A Visit from the Goon Squad crossed with Nabokov. It's genius-funny. I laughed aloud more times than with any other book I've read in the past ten years or so. I mean it was FUNNY and so smart. The narrator is so much part of Georgian culture that he doesn't bother to tell you things that can be assumed, like that he would steal pens when he visits a commercial ship. It's like, of course he would steal the pens, ...more
There's a gentle humor about this book, with the occasional, gasp-inducing zinger of satire or political criticism. Good at sinking you into the protagonist's paradigm & cultural logic.
Insane!? Funny. But somehow not really an enjoyable read. I can't put my finger on it but I couldn't get into it
I read Christina Nichol's article in a recent issue of Lucky Peach (which also contained a second article about wedding toast traditions in Georgia). Those two article together made me immediately add this book to my to-read list. I think I enjoyed the book more since I spent time reading about Georgian traditions in Lucky Peach. There is a lot to enjoy in Nichol's novel, but it felt like some of the details would slip past without a little extra information.

I also totally blew one important pa
There is so much that I could say about this book but I will try to be brief. The author has taught English in the Republic of Georgia, where most of the story takes place. It really is an exceptional novel to me because even though it is satirical it shows the common experiences of being human no matter where in the world one happens to live. It is well worth the read.
I was bored with this book. I get that its rambly nature was supposed to mirror the unpredictable, disorganized nature of life in Georgia, but it was kind of hard to discern the plot. Plus I felt like the author was trying to be the Georgian Gary Shteyngart, so it felt like an imitation.
Set in Georgia - no, the other one - in the 1990's, this is a wonderfully vivid account of daily life for a maritime lawyer enmeshed in bureaucracy who finagles an internship in America. Much more playful than The Orphan Master's Son but with some of the same sensibility. A real find.
The plot felt all over the place, and parts I loved and parts bored me. Definitely a funny book, though! And I did find it interesting to think about this country being "Undeveloping". Not a must read, but if you like satire, why not.
Summary: "I am Georgian. We are Georgian, so we relish being Georgian". The end.

If you read two sentences, you have read the whole thing.
Kate Leupin
Really, really funny. Good doses of ethnic hilarity, and a mordant view of happiness in America.
Booooring. Overwrought wanna-be satire. It's totally going back to the library unfinished.
A very enjoyable read. Was happy to be immersed in Georgian sensibility for a time. I learned a lot about the country and the region. Slims was smart, funny and witty, and had a big heart. I was happy that he found his place in the end. The only thing that prevented this from being a 5 stars is that it wasn't a 'must read', in terms of story and action; it was just really enjoyable to read.
Doug Reese
Irritating characters.
James A
Not a strong plot
Dec 14, 2014 Mkb marked it as to-read
Becky Bosshart
Witty writing. Interesting idea, seemingly inspired by Safran Foer. I couldn't get into the story, though I tried. I feel like it may have been all the jokes. It's like the writer was trying too hard. Lots of witty dialogue, spurts of action, but it just made me feel odd and disconnected from the culture and character.
Tedious. One concept repeated to the point of nails on a chalkboard: life sucks here in Georgia, but that's okay, because that's what makes us Georgian. So let's toast to it until dawn, then drive around a lot and be generally hapless and indolent because that's what makes us Georgian. If I didn't have this compulsion to finish books, I'd have saved myself a lot of irritation.
John Mackenzie
I usually am not the biggest fan of satire but I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed and it really made you think about the beauty of tradition versus the intrigue of modernism.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Entertaining? Yes. Gripping? No. It took me a long time to read simply because it wasn't a page turner. I recommend it if you're looking for a break from heavy intellectual reading. It's satire and it won't wear you out.
Buck Swindle
2.5 stars. Georgia is a hot mess. Georgians love it regardless.
Katherine Way
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Nov 23, 2015
Michel Kolijn
Michel Kolijn marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2015
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