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The Time: Night

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  254 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
From one of the most acclaimed writers at work in Russia today comes a funny yet heartrending portrait of a Russian everywoman and her majestically unstable extended family.

Anna Andrianova barely makes a living as a poet, but whatever she gets, it is too little to support a household that includes a son fresh out of prison camp, a daughter with terrible taste in men, and t
Paperback, 155 pages
Published 1995 by Vintage International (first published 1992)
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Stephen Durrant
"The Time: Night" is a gritty and sometimes grotesque depiction of an impoverished, desperate family in Soviet Russia. The filth and squalor literally screams out from the pages as the narrator, a middle-aged woman who fancies herself a poet, strives to sustain her dysfunctional family. "Sandwich generation" indeed! The narrator feels responsibility both for a mother, who is insane, and for two children, a promiscuous daughter who produces one illegitimate baby after another and a petty-criminal ...more
Dec 25, 2010 Daisy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
But what did nine-year-old Alyona have to say, wise little girl, when the door closed for the last time on their father and I stood there with a fixed grin, tearless, with burning cheeks, about to throw myself out the window so I would meet him there, for the last time, a shapeless carcass on the pavement. To punish him.
"Mum," Alyona said, "do I love you?"
"Yes," I replied.

p. 67

Bleak. Depressing actually. Pretty cover though.
Fast-paced language; stream-of-consciousness; very spare punctuation but
Beautifully-written (even in translation, though I am told by Russian friends that the original is absolutely masterful) portrait of one woman's struggle to survive as a poverty-stricken poet in post-communist Russia, while supporting a wayward daughter, three grandchildren, and a recently released ex-prisoner son. Petrushevskaya is a master at depicting the dreariness, hopelessness, and despair of post-communist life, especially for those left to scrounge for food, to beg favors of their friend ...more
May 22, 2008 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book disgusted me in the same way as Naipaul's A House For Mr. Biswas - a story about a family that, for lack of a better term, sucks, and just gets more decrepit over time. What's worse is that the narrator is inexcusably powerless in the face of the rest of her family. The reader can only watch her kowtow to her children, can only trace the impotent rage that seethes beneath her skin, can only observe silently her feeble attempts to articulate boundaries, attempts which come far too late ...more
Jan 22, 2016 Alyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I am a little more insane after reading this.

The writing is outstanding, truly great. The book is hard to get through despite this. The narrator gives us her life story in bits and spurts, not chronologically and obviously not an honest out self aware account, and in between these delusional histories she gives emotional and one-sided rants and streams of consciousness. And yet she is still sympathetic. This crazy, mean, self deluded old woman is still a sympathetic character that y
Jul 12, 2007 Namrirru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, womens
Chatty, stream of conscious, sarcastic writing. The tone changes and flows by the event. Sometimes well-thought out and poetic, other times frantic and neurotic. Very artfully written.

It's very depressing though. Her cynicism is only a thin veneer of a deeply wounded mother.
Nov 28, 2014 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really did not like this book. Granted, I've never had to read a stream-of-conscious writing style before, but still. Rough book. More than mildly depressing, I'd describe it as "oppressively bleak". Like, objectively, I might say it is a "good" book, solely because it achieves this hopeless somber atmosphere so successfully. However, on the other hand, I don't really want to have to read a book like that. Without exception, from beginning to end, the entire novel reeks of crumbling family rel ...more
Shanda Carlsen
This book was very hard to follow along with at times, almost like one long run on sentence. However that could be the intent of it, being in the mind of the writing, just pouring out all these crazy thoughts.
Mar 27, 2014 Madziar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nużąca opowieść o rosyjskiej babce "wychowującej" wnuczka jak swego własnego syna, bezgranicznie zakochanej w rozpuszczonym bachorze.
Jan 08, 2016 Phil rated it it was amazing
"The emptiness howls in my stomach like wind in the chimney."
Nov 05, 2014 Olga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So sardonic that it is difficult to find something to clasp onto. This is a bleak, satirical portrait of a financially unstable and emotionally destructive family in the post-Soviet era. I prefer Petrushevskaya's work in its shorter forms, which allow her macabre wit, sarcasm, and grotesque humor to pack a better punch. I found it sociologically, historically, and personally interesting, but found her writing style to be less engaging in the form of a longer narrative
Sherry Hall
Apr 01, 2013 Sherry Hall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Angela's Ashes with more mental illness and no Frank McCourt humor or hope.

All of the characters have overwhelming burdens to bear. The adult children of Anna, the narrator,

constantly take advantage of her. Anna in turn is controlling and manipulative.

It reads like one long run-on sentence with no breaks for air.

I read all the way to the end hoping for redemption and only got the joy of being done with the book.
Jan 13, 2009 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Mark
This narrative is from the perspective of an aging poet in Russia whose children take advantage of her (her small amount of money, willingness to look after her grandson, etc.). Much of the book is her complaining about it, which is annoying, but underneath the narrator's whining are some good points about how we are constantly aging and making room for a younger generation.
Sep 07, 2010 Carolyn rated it it was ok
Hmm. I'm not sure how to rate this. It's one of those books that makes me feel a bit thick --I'm sure there's a lot there, but eh. It's written first person, stream of consciousness-style, and to be honest, that annoyed me. I had a hard time feeling immersed in the story, and didn't have the context to appreciate it beyond that.
Mar 16, 2008 Betsy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by a Russian friend. The author is considered one of the best contemporary Russian authors. The sarcastic humor does not help to alleviate the depressing mood of the book. However, it was interesting to read and written in the style of a diary.
Leigh Koonce
I liked the off-center style and structure. I think I shall read more of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.
Jun 30, 2011 Gatsby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
um terrifico caminhar pela pobreza, pela dor, pela miséria, pelos fins de tempos
Jan 19, 2012 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Katie - thought I would try one of her books!
Jul 15, 2015 Colby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really depends on the translation
May 22, 2016 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Ludmilla Stefanovna Petrushevskaya (Russian: Людмила Стефановна Петрушевская) (born 26 May 1938) is a Russian writer, novelist and playwright.

Her works include the novels The Time Night (1992) and The Number One, both short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize, and Immortal Love, a collection of short stories and monologues. Since the late 1980s her plays, stories and novels have been published in
More about Ludmilla Petrushevskaya...

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