Jenny (Reading Envy)'s Reviews > A Terrible Country

A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen
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really liked it
bookshelves: read2019, tournament-of-books, around-the-world, location-russia

This is one of the books that was lingering on my stack at home from the Tournament of Books long list. It's is the story of Andrei, an ABD in Russian Studies in 2008 just as universities are cutting Russian Studies programs and his job and romance prospects are bleak. His brother asks him to return to Russia to care for their grandmother, and that's where the story begins.

I liked this more than I expected. Andrei is a sympathetic and imperfect character who seems to be a product of circumstances outside his control, and really so is his grandmother. It is her fault that Andrei and his brother moved to the United States, because she would tell her that Russia is "a terrible country." Andrei hasn't had much more luck in his new country, but navigating the new capitalist Russia isn't easy either. He struggles to get into hockey games and successful social situations, and to try to figure out where he fits.
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Reading Progress

March 5, 2019 – Started Reading
March 5, 2019 – Shelved
March 16, 2019 –
page 55
April 14, 2019 – Shelved as: read2019
April 14, 2019 – Shelved as: tournament-of-books
April 14, 2019 – Shelved as: around-the-world
April 14, 2019 – Shelved as: location-russia
April 14, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Alexander I've been looking forward to this.
I appreciate the author's sister's journalism.

message 2: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren I was curious about this one - and like Bryan mentioned, even more so because I really appreciate Masha's work.

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