The Dream Life Of Sukhanov
At fifty-six, Anatoly Sukhanov has everything a man could want. Nearly twenty-five years ago, he traded his precarious existence as a brilliant underground artist for the perks and comforts of a high-ranking S
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Even better, it's a Russian novel written in English. What more could one ask for?
I only want to say all this, I will say it for sure when I've finished.
By the way, I'm gobsmacked that only one of my friends has read this.
Now for the informed opinion...more
I don’t know about you, but as I grow older, I rarely read a book with the total abandonment I used to experience as a child or a teenager. Olga Grushin, a young(ish) American writer who emigrated from Russia at eighteen, must have some special powers in order to cast this spell with both her novels, The Line and The Dream Life of Sukhanov.
The first thing that separates Grushin’s novels from those written by her American contemporaries is t...more
Truly, this book is sublime. It's like a breathtaking painting put into words. Grushin has an incredible talent for merging the real with the unreal, a current life and a dream. You smoothly drift from reality to dream and...more
Simply put, hahaha, this is a dark, colourful novel, bleak, dripping wet, grey, heavy and light as snow flakes, bright, slow, annoying in parts, and rising to flights of fancy so beautiful, painful, and inspiring in its anguish and salvation that...more
In the beginning it was fire...
I've rescued this book from a mouldy crate (which once contained Portuguese tangerines) left on the floor of a firemen station in a provincial English town on a placid Saturday afternoon of early May.
The first novel by Olga Grushin was lying on her meek ivory back crushed beneath a pile of heavy-weighted low-browed gaudy rubbish labeled Sophie Kinsella, Danielle Steel and E.L. James.
(BBC Oxford set the mood broadca...more
My other comment is that it frequently reads like a Chagall painting. And while I didn't necessarily care for Chagall before I read this book, I think I like his work now. I need to go to the MOMA to check.
I really enjoyed this novel and would give it four and a half stars if the website so allowed me. Following in the tradition of most Russian novels, I feel like I could read this novel a few more times and still not entirely obtain all the symbolism and meaning behind it. There are certainly layers upon layers within this text.
The story revolves around the middle-aged character Sukhanov during glasnost period Moscow. At first, we learn that Sukh...more
and damn this Olga Grushin is a good writer.
as the story progresses, Grushin switches between a first and third person narrative and flips through time like on...more
Our hero, if we may call him that, is Anatoly Sukhanov, a Soviet bureaucrat of the arts who gave up painting for criticism and has become, at the novel’s beginning, editor of an impo...more
Let me compare this novel - because I want to - with another first novel by an American writer.
Which novel? 'Everything is Illuminated' by Jonathan Safran Foer.
The advantage Grushin has over Foer is age, and maturity.
Where 'The Dream of Sukhanov' scores over 'Everything is Illuminated' is in its sincerity to its subject, which on one level of abstraction is similar to Foer's novel: a third generation exploration of...more