Christopher Rex's Reviews > The Suitcase

The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov
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really liked it

If you're looking for a dry, sarcastic humor in a fast-paced and funny "novel", this is your book. Though it is called a "novel", it is hard to believe the book isn't almost entirely non-fiction.

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). Inside are a handful of crappy, seemingly useless items the author brought with him upon emigrating from the USSR. The items create the basis for the short-story-chapters which tell how the items came in to the possession of the author. But, the reality is, the book/chapters are less about the items than the characters and tales that randomly surrounded their acquisition.

The writer is great at dialogue among characters. The humor and dry-wit is hilarious and the author really captures the "hopelessness" of life in Communist system (or at least within a somewhat crappy, but acceptable life). The only shortcoming of the book is that it is simply too short. Only 120+ pages left me wanting more. The guy is outright funny and I wanted to hear more of his tales of degradation, drunkeness, failed scams and the characters that surround his life.

A great book for just about anybody. Impossible not to get into this book. Read and laugh.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 31, 2011 – Shelved

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