A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put asid...more
But instead of fun with tractors I got the above - the family squabbles, elderly abuse, well-hidden family secrets that nobody wants to unearth, the pent-up years of anger and frustration, and the misery of life. In a nutshell, it is a story of a very dysfunction
This novel left me feeling like one of those class members.
This is the story of old...more
I knew that this book existed for some time. However, something about the title didn't attract me.
I think I have always assumed that I would prefer a book about American tractors.
Then one week I saw it again, bought it and read it within a week. I was ready for it. Our lives had mysteriously moved into alignment.
Not So Secret Family Business
Although it is set within a Ukrainian British family and it takes hilarious advantage of this fact, it reveals a lot about families gener...more
Hal inilah yang tepat untuk menggambarkan seorang kakek berusia 84 tahun bernama Nikolai. Karena seorang wanita berpayudara besar bernama Valentina, dia kehilangan akal sehatnya. Valentina adalah seorang imigran asal Ukraina yang hanya ingin mendapatkan kewarganegaraan Inggris dengan cara menikahi Nikolai. Dengan senjatanya berupa payudaranya itulah, dia mulai menipu Nikolai dengan menguras hartanya sedikit demi sedikit. Untung saja ada dua anak wanita dari Nik...more
My thoughts on that after reading the book: What the fuck?
The quick synopsis of the plot is this: Gold-digging Ukrainian immigrant hussy latches on to an elderly Ukrainian widower in England, marries him, and tries to take his money and his house. H...more
Quick summary: Two sisters are estranged because of a mysterious event that happened 40 years ago in the Old Country. But their mother is dead and their father has taken up with a Ukrainian hussy. Also, he is writing a book about tractors. In Ukrainian. Hussy terrorizes father, sisters must get over the...more
1 - write about what you know. Check! She's British Ukrainian and this is all about British Ukrainian stuff.
2 - Decide on a strong central narrator and give them a winning personality. Check! Boy oh boy does our first person narrator want you to like her. When I was reading this today and the doorbell rang I thought that was her come round with some freshly baked pampushky. As the story rolls along s...more
I disagree with the reviews, however, which invariably claim that this is a hilarious book. It was funny and sad at the same time. When it was funny, it was chuckle-funny, not lough-out-loud. It's more of a real-life story about people and their problems, blown out of proportion with (slightly) oversi...more
Ini murni ce...more
We have very picturesque characters: a voluptuous & outrageous blonde, two desperate/bitchy sisters, a helpless old man, uncomfortable ironies, immigrants, family anecdotes, canned food and a lot of plum wine. A...more
"wanita yang memberi sixpence pada ibu."
Ibu, ibu kami, tidak melemparkan koin itu ke wajah pemberinya; dia menggumam, "terima kasih, nyonya," dan menyelipkannya ke dalam sakunya. betapa malunya!
"oh, itu. kupikir si wanita agak mabuk. kau pernah m...more
Nikolai Mayevskyj pria berumur 84 tahun, setelah 2 tahun kematian istrinya; Ludmilla..Dahulu.. mereka berdua beserta kedua putri mereka melarikan diri dari negeri Ukraina;yang hancur karena perang dan kelaparan karenanya..pergi kesisi sebelah barat.. ke negeri yang dikatakan lebih liberal dan demokratis serta terjamin kesejahte...more
The characters are Ukrainian and living in England, but don't expect to learn much about what that means for them. There's a lot of family drama, elder abuse, and not much characterization. The first person narrator, the old man's adult daug...more
Warum ich dennoch nur 3 Sterne gebe, ist ganz leicht erklärt. Erstens werden in der Geschichte derart platt typische flache Klischees über den habgierigen Osteurpäer bedient, dass es wirklich so unrealistisch ist, bis es...more
Through the pages of the book, I learnt to love Nikolaj, Nada, Vera, Stanislav and even Valentina! I wonder how do her high heeled fluffy pink slippers look like?! Ha ha ha ha It is a warm comical book, with some grotesque elements, lots of family secrets.
I imagined a different closing, just because I am soooo romantic. It is still warm and positive.
It could be a good base fo...more
cerita nya sendiri, tidak terlalu luar biasa, tentang laki2 jompo (nikholai) yang jatuh cinta pada perempuan yang jauh lebih muda (valentina). padahal si laki jompo ini punya 2...more
It was certainly not quite what I was expecting - because it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize last year, I guess I was expecting something a bit heavier, more depressing. But this boo...more
The overall idea of this book is great, with the connection between mid-twentieth century European disaster and present-day society, including Lenin´s view of capitalism extending into contemporary global greed and local or individual experience of its consequences. The counterpoint of a...more
I can't figure out the target audience, how was it shortlisted for the Orange prize (just a pun on Ukraine's Orange Revolution?) or selected as Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime?
An adult plot, but written with limited vocab (except for...more
Here is a summary of the book: Hey! We're Ukrainian! We have a dark family past! But we're really sardonic too! Hey!...more
Imagine if he met a woman who desperately needs (or wants?) to never have to return to the chaos and despair (and lack of fun?) that is the Ukraine.
Imagine if everyone in the world--except your father--knew what she was up to, and he married her. Imagine her being the exact opposite of your...more
Lewycka was born in a refugee camp in Kiel, Germany after World War II. Her family then moved to England where she now lives. She was educated at Keele University and works as a lecturer in media studies at Sheffield Hallam University.
In addition to her fiction, Lewycka has written a number of books gi...more
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Ferguson was a clever and mischievous man, who also had a passion for aviation. It is said that he was the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own aircraft in 1909. But he soon came to believe that improving efficiency of food production would be his unique service to mankind. Harry Ferguson’s first two-furrow plough was attached to the chassis of the Ford Model T car converted into a tractor, aptly named Eros. This plough was mounted on the rear of the tractor, and through ingenious use of balance springs it could be raised or lowered by the driver using a lever beside his seat. Ford, meanwhile, was developing its own tractors. The Ferguson design was more advanced, and made use of hydraulic linkage, but Ferguson knew that despite his engineering genius, he could not achieve his dream on his own. He needed a larger company to produce his design. So he made an informal agreement with Henry Ford, sealed only by a handshake. This Ford-Ferguson partnership gave to the world a new type of Fordson tractor far superior to any that had been known before, and the precursor of all modern-type tractors. However, this agreement by a handshake collapsed in 1947 when Henry Ford II took over the empire of his father, and started to produce a new Ford 8N tractor, using the Ferguson system. Ferguson’s open and cheerful nature was no match for the ruthless mentality of the American businessman. The matter was decided in court in 1951. Ferguson claimed $240 million, but was awarded only $9.25 million. Undaunted in spirit, Ferguson had a new idea. He approached the Standard Motor Company at Coventry with a plan, to adapt the Vanguard car for use as tractor. But this design had to be modified, because petrol was still rationed in the post-war period. The biggest challenge for Ferguson was the move from petrol-driven to diesel-driven engines and his success gave rise to the famous TE-20, of which more than half a million were built in the UK. Ferguson will be remembered for bringing together two great engineering stories of our time, the tractor and the family car, agriculture and transport, both of which have contributed so richly to the well-being of mankind.”