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The Galosh

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  174 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In his prime, satirist Mikhail Zoschenko was more widely read in the Soviet Union than either Pasternak or Solzhenitsyn. His stories give expression to the bewildered experience of the ordinary Soviet citizen struggling to survive in the 1920's and `30s, beset by an acute housing shortage, ubiquitous theft and corruption, and the impenetrable new ideological language of th ...more
Hardcover, 213 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by Overlook Books (first published December 2001)
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This is one of the best collection of short essays I've ever read. I'm not always a fan of short essays, but these cracked me up.

The author was a satirist writing in the 1920s and 1930s, just after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. The essays were all published in Russian newspapers, both mainstream and satirical.

All the essays are humorous but also heart-breaking musings on the state of post-Revolution Russia, and in particular how people deal when official propaganda and ideology don't matc
This collection of short short stories (almost all of them come in at less than three pages) is an enjoyable satire of life in early Soviet Russia. While the don't have much in the way of linguistic or literary merit, they are, from a sociological perspective, very much worth reading. Insight can be drawn from them about the concerns of the average Russian citizen during this period, and the biting social commentary is still relevant today, even 80 years, thousands of miles, and a political and ...more
Erma Odrach
M. Zoshchenko is my favorite satirist of all time. These very short stories (1-3 pages) were written in the 1920's, providing a glimpse into the then modernized Russia. Zoshchenko, a Ukrainian writing in Russian, was the most popular satirist of the Soviet period. In 'What Generosity' (one of my favorite stories), Soviet brewery workers are rewarded with two free bottles of beer, but the beers are rejects with woodchips, flies, hair, and other inedible items in them. When home, the workers open ...more
I would have really loved these stories if I read them they way they were intended and originally printed: as occasional treats published individually in magazines. However, in a collection of 65, they're harder to take. The stories, each only 2-4 pages long, are generally very funny although the "proletarian" writing style and the topics become repetitive after more than a few stories in a row. All in all, they're great, fun stories, but they require a lot of dilution with other reading.
Brief sketches of life in the early Soviet Union
Side-splitting satire of Soviet life.
Some of these brief stories are quite good, though not everyone packs a punch. Still, it was nice to find this collection of tales by a writer famous in his lifetime and pretty much unknown by us here in the States.
Alina Stefanescu Coryell
A sharp and mind-numbing stroll into life in Soviet Russia, where the joys the the revolution seemed unappreciated by the happy workers waiting in 5 hours lines for their bread rations.
I didn't like the translation - the guy seemed like a jerk. The stories were hilarious, some even laugh out loud funny. I think they would be much better pa rooskie.
Some of the short stories are the same as "Nervous People." I think this translation is funnier, but the other book has more content. Pick one or the other...
brilliant. I think when I read the other translation I made the mistake of reading them too quickly.
I don't think I understood all the references despite google. Parts were genuinely amusing.
Fantastic Russian satire. I have actually laughed out loud because of this book!
Vincent Saint-Simon
Oct 14, 2007 Vincent Saint-Simon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: other translators
Sirs and Madams,

Good translation, but not the best.


Just about the only Russian satire worth reading that I know of.
Page after page of chuckles, absolutely brilliant.
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Mikhail Zoshchenko (Russian: Михаил Зощенко) was born in Poltava, Ukraine, on 29th July, 1895. He studied law at the University of Petersburg, but did not graduate.
During the First World War Zoshchenko served in the Russian Army. A supporter of the October Revolution, Zoshchenko joined the Red Army and fought against the Whites in the Civil War.
In 1922 Zoshchenko joined the literary group, the Ser
More about Mikhail Zoshchenko...
Nervous People and Other Satires Scenes from the Bathhouse: And Other Stories of Communist Russia Голубая книга Аристократка: Рассказы Before sunrise: A novella

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