Punk's Reviews > A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
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's review
Oct 12, 2009

it was ok
Read in November, 2009

Fiction. This book isn't nearly as charming as its title, which, I'll confess, is the main reason I bought it. Mostly it's about a horny, pathetic old man who is being exploited by his much younger, practically mail-order wife. I finished it, but just barely.

The characters are Ukrainian and living in England, but don't expect to learn much about what that means for them. There's a lot of family drama, elder abuse, and not much characterization. The first person narrator, the old man's adult daughter, is practically see-through she's so flimsy. It's obvious she's just an excuse to tell her father's story and not an actual person in her own right.

The book actually does contain a short history of tractors in Ukrainian. Set against the backdrop of communism and its exploitation of the Ukrainian people and land, these parts were simple and well-done, tying into the current narrative without too many anvils to the head.

Two stars. I enjoyed the renewed sense of family toward the end, but it didn't make up for the extended abuse and neglect.
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Reading Progress

10/12/2009 page 22
7.48% "I bought this book just because of the title."
11/24/2009 page 254
86.39% "These last chapters don't have as much elder abuse in them! Consequently, I am enjoying them more."
08/07/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Writerlibrarian Patrons at the library seem to love it. I had to add 2 more copies. Now we have 3 copies that are always out.

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