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Hotel USSR: Memoirs of a Soviet 'Non-Artist'
As a child, he was promised abundance and freedom in a communist paradise. In that bright future, he dreams of being an artist. But as he grows up, he discovers that his dream is based on a fraud and that his country is really a dictatorship governed by bullies, liars, and thieves. He and the girl he loves find themselves trapped in a labyrinth of a dysfunctional utopia th ...more
Kindle Edition, 211 pages
Published September 20th 2018
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At the risk of hyperbole, I'd like to state that this is a remarkable autobiography. Even if you're not a particular fan of this genre, there's something you can glean from the story of an artist whose vocation was thwarted because his political philosophy ran afoul of Communist apparatchiks. Even as someone who has read countless memoirs and non-fiction accounts of life in totalitarian, Communist states, I still find myself dumbfounded by some of the anecdotes recounted by individuals that were ...more
Living in Israel, I have met many people who grew up in the former Soviet Union. They all have different takes on the experience, some more positive than others. Oleg Atbashian writes of his personal experiences, and of the deadening bureaucracy and government control of nearly every aspect of life. There are some funny episodes -- I particularly liked his remarks about how "Caucasian" in the West means a white person, but in the Caucasus itself, members of the various Caucasian ethnic groups ca ...more
It was interesting to read about life in the USSR from the point of view of someone whose "crime" was simply wanting to be an artist. Because of the subject matter there are some parts that are pretty dark, so I wouldn't recommend this book for teens without a parent reading it first. However, for anybody else it is an eye-opening look at life in the Soviet Union. I would also recommend going to the author's website, atbashian.com, to see more of his art and read the stories behind the pictures.