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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  413 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A "brilliant, astonishing modern love story"* and an acclaimed literary debut... 
A young Cuban woman passes her nights dancing in a seedy Florida strip club; a Russian orphan loses everything, then builds a new and prosperous life for himself in New York; a woman struggles to maintain her dignity and hope after a life-changing accident—these are the three members of the t
Published (first published May 1st 2014)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  413 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Ayelet Waldman
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this fucking book. And that is the blurb I gave it.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quality debut novel, with three strong and well-developed characters: Julian, a Russian orphan, lucky enough to emigrate to the U.S. and become very successful, Perla, a down-on-her luck Cuban-American stripper, and Sophie, a woman trying to adjust to a life-changing accident. The three (troika) interact in an unusual, but mostly satisfying manner. I really enjoyed the poignancy of Julian's Russian childhood and Perla's struggles in the first half of the book; however, I did not like Sophie's ...more
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, literary
I typically do not enjoy romance novels and yet Troika by Adam Pelzman is not an ordinary cookie cutter love story, but rather a well thought out and brilliant work of literary fiction. Pelzman’s characters are quite different and interesting: Julian was a orphan in Russia until he was taken under the wing of a rich businessman and then made it big in Manhattan on his own, married to a woman who is paralyzed; and finally Perla, the young Cuban-American woman who lives with her mom and who has a ...more
Julie Timmer
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book and I *loved* it. It's one of those un-put-downable books that will interfere with everything you had planned for the weekend-->the mark of a fantastic novel, imho. The book is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two main characters, one a wealthy man living in Manhattan (limited third person) and the other a young female stripper living in Miami (first person). It's the perfect way to tell the story and Pelzman nails both voice ...more
Kasa Cotugno
This amazing debut has it all -- three exceptional characters provide the Troika of the title, but it's their interaction that provides the tension and heart at its core. Justin, who having led a life overcoming unusual challenges starting with his Russian childhood meets Perla, a young dancer in a seedy Little Havana strip club. Told from three points of view what unfolds is a story of powerful originality and force. It just misses a 5 star rating because some of the segues are not as smooth or ...more
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really surprised! The story was not at all what I was expecting but I am happy! This story made me angry, hopeful, confused ad all in between. I really liked how the author introduced the three characters separately, then blending them together towards the end. I was really hoping for more at the end, maybe more of a closure of each character. But that is what imagination is for. Bravo!!
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to receive an early copy of this book to review. It is,simply put, marvelous. A compelling read, with beautiful and striking prose, Troika's characters engage you from the first page and never let go. Read this book--you will thank yourself for it.
Deb Lewis
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not your normal love story, but as messy and unpredicatable as real life is. The characters will haunt you, and you will cheer their courage in the end. Recommended.
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
" Troika" by Adam Pelzman which I won from Goodreads Giveaways is a romantic journey into the human heart that begins with Perla, a Cuban-American stripper at a not too fancy or sleazy nightclub called Paris Nights. A beautiful, but aloof young woman who doesn't drink and brings "grace, dignity and professionalism" to a fruitless job Perla never expects to meet a man who could win her heart.

Julian Pravdin , a Russian orphan who was taken under the wing of a Jewish businessman before immigrating
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perla is a stripper in a middle-of-the-road strip joint. Not too fancy, not too sleazy but just the right mix of both for Perla. Perla left Cuba with her parents as a child and was raised in Miami. After losing her father at 14, Perla and her mother had to work together to make ends meet. As the book opens, Perla is working at the club and sees a man come in. This man is Julian.
Julian was born in Siberia, the son of a successful hunter who is one day killed by the tiger he is hunting. Julian's
Apr 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free advance copy of this book from Penguin through a Goodreads first reads giveaway.

I will be upfront in saying that my thoughts on this book vacillated as I read it. On the one hand, I found it a bit "tropes ahoy" - the main characters are a stripper with a heart of gold and the aloof wealthy man with the complicated and troubled past who charms her. Also, the narrative switches from first person to third person. This, in itself, was fine; however, when a second first-person narra
Christen Lee
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won an advanced copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

This was great!!!! I almost want to give this 4.5 stars. Basically you've got the rich Russian guy, his paralyzed wife, and a young stripper originally from Cuba. You get some background into each of their pasts, and you get to see how it all works out for them moving forward.

The first half was kinda drawn out and I almost gave up on it, but then later it introduced a third point of view, that of the wife. At first I resented her
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some of us, there comes a point in life when you realize that love doesn't come in a one-size-fits-all package. It is messy and complicated because we are messy and complicated.
If you are okay with stepping away from conventional love stories, then you will love this book. It starts with a simple and sweet affection/love between two improbable characters that spirals into a larger circle of love and friendship among several triangles (troikas).

The writing is superb. You will find certain pa
Sarah Troxel
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adam Pelzman's Troika sucked me in from the very start. It's a beautifully written unconventional love story written in large part from the point of view of a woman named Perla. I surprised myself by relating to and empathizing with this likable character, an attractive young Cuban American stripper. Equally unexpected was my willingness not only to accept, but even to applaud the novel's uniquely clever ending. I credit my pleasantly surprising reactions to the sensitive and beautifully develop ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unconventional love story... kept me engrossed from the start
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book did not go at all the way I expected it to, and I am very pleased with that. The book starts off with Perla's current situation where she is striving in a strip club. She meets one man at the club, Julian, who surprises her by stirring up strong feelings (physically and emotionally). Julian's story starts to unfold, his tough upbringing with his widowed mother who turned to drugs and prostitution to deal with her grief. Julian then went to an orphanage, but makes 2 friends that define ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adam Pelzman's novel Troika is an unquestionably relevant work for contemporary readers, as it could be for readers of many (if not all) ages. From the first sentence to the very last, Pelzman signals the radical primacy of humanity to this work. What in the world do I mean by that?

First of all, on a basic level, Troika is a story about a complicated relationship between a wife, a husband, and the woman with whom he is has an extramarital liaison at the beginning of the book that is told in firs
Tatiana Maria
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-favourites
I devoured this book. What a stunning read. The heroines are as different as can be from one another, and yet both equally sympathetic and beautiful, and the hero is so heart-wrenchingly human and broken that I felt for him instantly. Reading the POV of a disabled character -- she's paralyzed from the waist-down -- was an entirely new experience for me, and the way she sees things, as well as the way she's seen, never left me feeling anything as disrespectful as pity for her, but rather I felt a ...more
Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books
The beginning of Adam Pelzman’s debut novel Troika, can’t help but feel like a Carl Hiassen novel—seamy Miami strip club, bored but earnest stripper, wealthy mysterious customer walks in—you get it. Pelzman definitely understands the feel of what such an environment must be like and so it is no surprise that the undereducated but bright and inquisitive Perla, a Cuban immigrant, has a fresh faced look that allows her to catch the eye of Julian, an older gentleman who has wandered in to kill time ...more
Samarth Bhaskar
I found an early-release copy of this lying around a book review desk at work, read the blurb on the back and picked it up. There was nothing especially compelling about the premise, but a free book, hey, why not.

Pelzman's background as student of Russian literature is pretty clear in how he chooses to portray the main male protagonist in this novel. A man defined by hardship, heir to the throne of courage and valor, and someone who keeps his closest friends/loved ones at arms distance is about
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to Put Down Book About 3 People

Troika is a Russian word that means triumvirate or a set of three. That is what this book is about, a set of three people.

One is Julian, who starts in life as a Russian orphan and ends up a millionaire in New Jersey and then New York City. Second is Sophie: Julian’s high school sweetheart whom he marries and they have a car accident after which Sophie is paralyzed below her chest. And third is Perla, a Cuban dancer whom Julian meets in a strip club in Fort Lau
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rated 4.5 stars.

Received this book from for review.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but it sounded interesting. The book starts with 2 alternating POVs and I was wondering why the title "Troika" since that means 3. Well, that question is answered a little later. This was really well-written, there was a kind of beauty and humanity to it, even though the subject matter is tough. I'm always unsure of male authors who write the female perspective, like they can't really
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read an advanced copy of this book and the more I sit here and think about it the more I dislike it. The story began with potential but progressively became more patriarchal. The novel has a non traditional relationship which some might applaud but the two women in the relationship are determined to please the male protagonist, Julian. Additionally I had a hard time stomaching the author's writing from Perla's perspective. It lacked the authenticity of novels such as The Color Purple.

Mostly i
This was an unexpected and complicated love story, and I found myself completely engrossed in it while reading. Troika takes the sort of cliche story of the stripper with a heart of gold and rich businessman who fall for each other (a la Pretty Woman) to a surprising and different level. A soon as I thought I knew how the story would go, a massive twist completely changed the story and made it a much deeper and more interesting rumination on love and the things we do for the people we love. It h ...more
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(ARC received as part of the First Reads program)

I've got to admit, this book went in directions that I certainly didn't expect, and that's what made it so enjoyable!

It has all the ingredients of a fascinating social commentary--Perla, the smart, take-no-shit stripper with a heart of gold and Julian, the tortured man with a shady past and a strange blend of tenderness and confidence that Perla can't resist.

Their casual relationship can't last forever, particularly when a new player is introduce
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, library-thing
This is by far the best book I've received from librarything's early reviewers. It was fast-paced, well written and totally engrossing. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was the graphic nature of a few scenes that seemed a little excessive and made me feel like I was suddenly reading another book. Aside from that, though, I loved it. The different narrators weren't distracting and they all made sense and the characters were well developed and I liked that there was an extensive buildup ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Beautifully written with complex and completely unique characters, reading this novel was a pleasant surprise. Perla, a stripper of Cuban descent, and Julian, a former Russian orphan and current millionaire, form an unlikely pair and their relationship has consequences that change the course of their lives. I found the ending to be a bit unbelievable but the beauty of the book lies in the rich characters and their backstories. I received this book through LibraryThing.
I'm going to have to put into words what this book has done to me. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon. I've always thought that a good book makes you feel, while a great novel makes you think. While a forth of the way in I though of it in the good book sense, considering the romantic modernization. In the end it turns into a great novel, that I honestly had to sit back and re-evaluate some of my opinions on matters that seemed to always be set in stone.

review coming soon...
Dan Radovich
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Julian and Perla are two characters that will be talked about after TROIKA is published. Pelzman has crafted a tale, a non-traditional love story, that will have people talking. His writing is brilliant. I wanted to know more about the characters. He could have added more backstory, but nothing he writes is wasted. I do not read romance or erotica - and TROIKA cannot be classified as either - yet it is a dark love story. What a gorgeous story it is.
Marc Leonard
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rare find. I typically gravitate towards the genres I like and from the description this sounds nothing like the kinds of books I read. But every so often you encounter something so beautifully written that it doesn't matter what it's about - when the writing is this strong and the characters are so powerful I'm down for the ride no matter where it goes.
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Adam Pelzman studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania and received a law degree from UCLA. Born in Seattle and raised in northern New Jersey, he has spent most of his life in New York City.
“That's one of the things my dad taught me-that one of the most respectful things you can do for another person is be on time. 'Cause what's more valuable than one single minute in a human being's life? Time is finite, he used to say, the most precious and limited resource.” 2 likes
“Just a minute of perfect darkness before he pulls me out of a place I really had no business going.” 1 likes
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