Sergei Dovlatov’s subtle, dark-edged humor and wry observations are in full force in The Suitcase as he examines eight objects—the items he brought with him in his luggage upon his emigration from the U.S.S.R. These seemingly undistinguished possessions, stuffed into a worn-out suitcase, take on a riotously funny life of their own as Dovlatov inventories the circumstances...more
“Everyone who leaves is allowed three suitcases. That’s the quota. A special regulation of the ministry…
A week later I was packing. As it turned out, I needed just a single suitcase.
I almost wept with self-pity. After all, I was thirty-six years old. Had worked eighteen of them. I earned money, bought things with it. I owned a certain amou ...more
It becomes clear each item in the suitcase has outgrown its usefulness, the suitcas ...more
All ruined peoples are twins...
We greeted each other. She asked, "They say you've become a writer?"
I was bewildered. I wasn't prepared for the question to be put that way. Had she asked, "Are you a genius?" I would have answered calmly and affirmatively. All my friends bore the burden of genius. They called themselves geniuses. But calling yourself a writer was much harder.
I said, "I writ ...more
Set in the Soviet Union, the bitter-humorous acceptance of the failures of Communism makes for great short-chapters and stories of life within a failing system, lubricated heavily with vodka and other alcohol.
The story starts with the author's son finding an old suitcase in his closet (in America). Insid ...more
It's supposed to be funny? I didn't see the fun.
It's supposed to be super interesting? Well, I was bored to the extent of almost falling asleep while reading.
I hoped for 8 short stories that I could somehow understand... instead I got a short book filled with nonsensical situations that almost no sense and made me think that there's simply too much vodka-drinking going on.
The Book Challengers blog // The Book Challengers Instagram // The Book Chall ...more
But the voyage isn't over. And at the end of my allotted time I will appear at another gate. And I will have a cheap American suitcase in my hand. [...]
"There's a reason every book, even one that isn't very serious, is shaped like a suitcase." >>
You are the sum of your experiences and every book is the expression the author's experiences take. You know som ...more
He writes about how small and ridiculous the Soviet Union government, or any entity where empathy is absent, can make a person feel, without having to explicitly say it, and he associates and describes people you never in a million years would want to associate with, but you want to read about his association with them.
He does not spare either the world or himself. Despite being an alcoholic, money borrower, min ...more
Over-rated for reasons other than good writing. If you're a Russian literature fan or trying to get into it, this is not for you!
Bought this in a book buying spree (yes, lemurs do that) when my wife and I were shocked that we didn't know this Russian writer. She read it first and said it's bad. I read it and said it's not tha ...more