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The View from Stalin's Head
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The View from Stalin's Head

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The ten stories in The View from Stalin’s Head unfold in the post–Cold War Prague of the 1990s—a magnet not only for artists and writers but also for American tourists and college grad deadbeats, a city with a glorious yet sometimes shameful history, its citizens both resentful of and nostalgic for their Communist past. Against this backdrop, Aaron Hamburger conjures an ar ...more
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Published March 9th 2004 by Random House (first published 2004)
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The ten stories in Hamburger’s lovely debut collection focus primarily on Americans in Prague—a new lost generation on a quest for something they can’t quite name in a world that makes even less sense to them than their own. Throughout, Prague is depicted as a city scarred by its recent communist past, as the collection’s ominous title suggests. The title story, in fact, is perhaps the most disturbing, in which an elderly victim of the Soviet regime hires a young man to humiliate him in an S/M g ...more
I read Faith for Beginners, Hamburger's first novel, this past summer. I had a lot of problems with it, though I would not go so far as to say I did not like it.I picked up this book not initially realizing that had been written by the same author. I was pulled in by the subject matter as I don't know a whole lot about queer life in Eastern Europe.

As with many short story collections, you start to get inside the head of the author as they explore similar themes and sometimes even the same plot p
The Spanish writer, Baltasar Gracián y Morales wrote, "Good things, when short, are twice as good." I loved Aaron Hamburger's faith for beginners: a novel and I was eager to see what he could do with the short story.

Most of the stories in this collection are set in Prague, (with the exception of a tale about cousins, "Law of Return," which takes place in Israel). Mr. Hamburger's characters are brilliant and, with a feat of sorcery, he transports the reader to their world. The last time I respon
Picked up this enchanting collection of short stories in a museum shop in Prague and had it half finished by the time I got to the airport. Young Americans come to post-Cold War Prague to escape bourgeois backgrounds and find identity, faith, love, and/or sex. Their quests for the real Bohemia turn out differently than they imagine. A few stories focus on Czech characters with the title one--about a former dissident who can't get used to the lack of police intrusion and abuse in his life--perhap ...more
Awarding a star for style. 10 stories about Jewish and ex-Jewish expatriates, some gay, some straight, in Prague in the early nineties. They are beautifully written and interesting character studies, but not exactly plot-driven, falling more into the uncomfortable/awkward encounters after which nothing much happens school of short story telling. Not a terrible book, by any means, but hard to connect with.
The book cover says the connection between these stories is Prague, but it could very well be homosexuality, Judaism, or anything we cling to in order to effectively ostracize ourselves because of our own insecurities.
nice stories about usaer in Czech land. looking for love in all the wrong places. very matter-of-fact but made surreal by us weird humans.
This is the best short story collection I've read in years! I'm surprised this didn't receive greater acclaim.
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