Lavinia's Reviews > A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
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Mar 15, 16

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, fiction
Read in May, 2010

Many times, before I read the book (or at least I had a clue what it is about), I wondered if it really treats the subject of tractors or it’s just a funky title. Well, for those of you out there who might have the same dilemma, yes, it is about tractors. But fortunately, not only. :)

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. And the tractors. Every now and then Lewycka inserted pages from a short history of tractors; unfortunately I don’t remember if they are her own (she has an entire list of websites she consulted during the writing process) or they belong to her father (he really did write such a history and she based the novel on some real facts). And of course, there is the delicious language plus funny dialogues and quips, which make me sad for reading it in Romanian, but, even in translation, it sounds incredibly well. As someone around here put it, Lewycka really has an ear for English as a second language (imagine Lady Di pronounced Lié Di Di).

Speaking of the Romanian edition, I definitely must rant about the cover, showing four Matryoshka dolls, which are so not Ukrainian but Russian. Useless to say I prefer the original cover, a mix between Constructivism and Eastalgia, a trait the author has preserved for her next books, as well.

P.S. I wouldn’t be surprised if the book was made into a film, it has a lot of potential.
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Reading Progress

05/17 "It might not be deep, but it reads fast and it's funny. 2 bad I'm reading the translation. But I have "We are all made of glue" in En. Yey."
03/15 marked as: read

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