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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  2,450 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Er kam Anfang der neunziger Jahre von Moskau nach Berlin, als Teil einer Welle jüdischer Emigranten. Im ehemaligen Ostberlin besetzte er eine der vielen leerstehenden Wohnungen und machte erste Bekanntschaft mit Lebenskünstlern jeglicher Couleur, die in Scharen aus dem Westteil der Stadt herüberströmten und die Gegenden rund um den Alexanderplatz oder Prenzlauer Berg bald ...more
Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,450 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Sabrina Chapadjiev
If you're in Berlin, and ask around for a good book featuring Berlin, chances are- you'll be recommended Russian Disco. It's not that good. It's a series of short observations from a Russian Jew who came to Berlin after the fall of the wall, and the *hijinks* of the looney characters he meets along the way. Poorly written, with no thread for a true narrative- the best you can get out of this is a vague sense of the disarray of Berlin post-communism. "We came, they gave us identity cards!" "We sq ...more
I had high hopes for this but was sadly disappointed. The stories were neither as funny nor as interesting as some of his other books. Maybe if I'd read it first before reading some of his other books it might have made this a more entertaining read.

It wasn't bad, just didn't quite hit the mark for me.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is difficult to evaluate, because it's more about Russians (or post-Soviets, if you want), than about Berlin. To the ones who is familiar to both of them, the book has better chances to be liked.

I liked a lot, although there's no a big plot line within the book. Highly recommended to all Russians who want to explore Berlin and to all Germans, who want to understand Russians.
Ben Siems
Dec 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone loves a well-told story and witty writing
Rather than writing about this book, I'm kind of tempted to sit down and read it again. Kaminer's very quirky, nonlinear quasi-memoir of his life as a Russian expatriate in Berlin consists of about fifty 2-6 page vignettes that range from the poignant to the hilariously ridiculous. You are guaranteed to laugh out loud more than once along the thoroughly entertaining journey.

Kaminer is a brilliant observer of the day to day struggles of life who genuinely admires humanity for just getting up and
Rainer Berak
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice and easy read if you like the mash of Russians in Berlin and how cultures clash in a relaxed way. Having lived in Poland, i.e. Warsaw I consider it being "in the middle" - knowing that Poles don't necessarily like that view...(forgive me my Polish friends). You do learn about your place if you have a look to the left AND the right - and recognize how much you are influenced (or an influence). So... as this is a book about a Russian and his story in Germany, this is quite a Warsaw book for m ...more
Mark Dickson
Jun 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a bad book.

Reading this book feels like asking that person in the office a question about work, and then having them tell you all of the random stories that pop into their head. They repeat themselves and stop halfway through a story because they get to the punchline that they wanted to say.

Do not read this. You will learn nothing other than a single man’s ill-natured opinions on his “friends” and neighbours.
Jun 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kaminer takes his inspiration from the grand tradition of Russian short stories by the likes of Chekhov and Babel. Not to be confused with the heart-rending prose of his literary predecessors, Kaminer's Berlin stories are light and amusing. These read like an anecdote someone tells around the kitchen table over a glass of vodka. Brilliant insights into the quirky culture of the German capital.
Allix Davis
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Russian that immigrates to Berlin tells some great stories of the what he experienced in Berlin for the first few years
Mar 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
no insights, repetitive, not funny...I do not know why it was ever published.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book in German, so I liked it - more for the language itself, than for the style or the content.
Marthe Amalie Gjelstenli Eikenæs
Not the best thing I`ve read, but it`s funny... ...more
Every story feels like the synopsis to a longer, more interesting story. Way to suck the life out of what must have been fascinating times.
Maria Leonor  Vera
Very nice for chilling. Funny and familiar for people living in Berlin
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A strange one. It started off quite funny, then got really bad in the middle and just stayed plain boring from then on...
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nihilistic funny.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My friend from Berlin does not recognise many of the things in this book.
The film was really disapppointing.
A great read !
I didn't find it as good as his other books. Usually they are more diverse.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One chapter at a time when going to the bathroom. Good toilet read, not much more to add.
Jul 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: verwirrte Ausländer in Berlin
I have to agree with Irina's review of this book. Kaminer's no timeless, earthshaking writer but you have to admit, he tells a good anecdote - the kind where, while reading them, you might shake your head a bit at the silliness, but that you then find yourself retelling on more than one occasion, with as much conviction as if they had actually happened to someone you know.

The book is a collection of Kaminer newspaper columns about living the foreigner's life in Berlin - he came to Berlin in 199
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
entertaining, easy to read and well-written with good anecdotes and funny stories
Una grande delusione dopo il bellissimo Militärmusik: questo libro è molto meno divertente e non di facile lettura, spesso ripetitivo, visto che sembra essere un'antologia di pezzi e articoli di Kaminer sulla vita degli immigrati russi nella Germania da poco riunita, non, come il precedente, una storia lineare.

A real disappointment after the very good Militärmusik: this book is far less funny and not easy to read, it often repeats itself, since it seems to be an anthology of various Kaminer's ar
Red Haircrow
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take it for what it is: an ancedotal view from an immigrant in Berlin. If you expect a grand, heavy-handed and pedantically detailed reference book you won't get it. This is quirky conglomeration of a certain person's perspectives which did rather catch the mercurial qualities of Berlin and the mixed of nationalities, lifestyles and adaptations people have made whether they are indigenous or foreigners.

I've read this in Russian, German and English. The English version does lose a bit of twistin
Vanessa Wu
Do you find yourself checking your email ten times a day and all you get is junk mail? What are you hoping for? A love letter? News from a friend? Confirmation that someone has bought your ebook?

When I find myself checking my mail too often and nothing arrives, I pick up this book and randomly make a selection. I don't know what they are. Stories? Episodes? Anecdotes?

To me they are like entertaining letters from an old Russian friend in Berlin. If you get letters anywhere near as good as these i
Kitty Red-Eye
I think the last time I was this bored with a book, was in 2005 or so, when I read a book by a Norwegian "author" who had gone to New Orleans a couple of times, hung around the French Quarter and felt edgy, cool and as if he was diving into the hidden underworld of chaos, sin and scariness. "Russendisko" isn't quite as annoying as that book, but only because the author doesn't try to pose as any of those, he's just writing about people he has met - fictional or not, I don't know, and I don't car ...more
Gemma Davis
In Berlin I went into a beautiful bookshop in the fashionable Mitte area and asked the owner if he could recommend any novels by German authors. Kaminer is in fact Russian but he moved to Berlin in 1990 and is now deemed to be one of their most successful novelists. This book is made up of short stories and anecdotes about his experience in Berlin and Russia and is quite funny. You do get the feeling that something was lost in the translation but it was enjoyable nonetheless, and it was wonderfu ...more
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: looking for the short & sweet
It started out at pop literature, but the finish was a little more charming than expected. Episodes from Kaminer's move to East Berlin highlight the diaspora around the fall of the wall, and through short chapters, you hope to get to know the neighbors: small, personal tales of Mafiya, early stabs at capitalism, and good times in the squatter-underground culture.
In the way that all strangers are at home with each other on foreign soil, Kaminer's style drifts pointedly toward the Russian shrug--
I think I liked this better when I read excerpts of it senior year of college. I don't know if it's just been too long since I read anything in German (about 9 months) or if this collection just wasn't as humorous as the last Kaminer book I read, but I just didn't find it as enjoyable in the end. Also, it's really apparent that he wrote each short story for something other than a book, since he tends to repeat himself. But that's okay. It's not supposed to be a novel, and it means it's easy to p ...more
The back cover made me think this was going to be more absurd than it was. The Russian dry wit is alive and well in this collection, stories of real people and situations the author encountered in the 1990s in Berlin, Germany. It's interesting to look at an immigrant's take on other immigrants, and (I'm wondering how many times I can use the word immigrant in this review!). I liked reading the perspective of immigration in countries other than my own -- a book written in Germany, presumably in R ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me back to arriving in East Berlin late at night not so long after the wall came down, stumbling around unlit streets and staircases in Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg looking for the newly-squatted rooms of friends of friends whose names I had scribbled on a sheet of paper. A collection of short newspaper-column length anecdotes from a Russian in Berlin - before and after the wall came down. A quick amusing read that captures the strange life of the immigrant on the margins.
Suncan Stone
A quick read... fragments of a Russian living in Berlin. I suppose I was drawn into it because I am always interested in living in foreign places... I mean how other's perceive it... As I always feel like a stranger... when I am in ljubljana I feel like an Englishman, when I lived in London I felt like a Slovene... not at home anywhere... and I suppose the last chapter (Why I still haven't applied for German citizenship) is sort of appropriate for this... explains it a nutshell ;)
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Russian-born German short story writer, columnist, and disc jockey of Jewish origin. Kaminer emigrated to Germany in 1990.

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