Back to Moscow

Back to Moscow

Book - 2016
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Recalling the open-hearted honesty of Ben Lerner and the whisky-sour satire of Bret Easton Ellis, Back to Moscow is a dazzlingly original, witty and ultimately haunting debut.
The early 2000s, and Moscow is storming into the century as money and an assertive political elite rise to power. Months after his arrival, expat student Martin hasn't written a word of his thesis on the heroines of the Russian classics because the cheap, bright lure of nightclubs, vodka and real women is predictably hard to resist. He finds himself torn between opposing sensibilities: on the one hand, the limpid appeal of Lena, and her insistence on the Mysterious Russian Soul; on the other, that of his research supervisor Lyudmila Aleksandrovna - diligent, serious, caught in the shadow of a soviet past. Can the fates of Anna Karenina, Pushkin's Tatyana or Chekhov's three sisters help him understand the women in his life?
Martin's restless explorations turn into a half-grasped search for meaning as Moscow leads him to dark and unexpected places tinged by Russia's ever-present sense of impending tragedy.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9781471149283
1471149285
9780865478374
0865478376
Branch Call Number: FIC ERADES 2016
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 22 cm

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LucasHill
Aug 20, 2017

"...I was wondering who, among men, is not superfluous."

Many men, looking back at the events of their misspent youth, shudder with disgust. Such will be the case with Martin, the central character in this story. Martin is lazy, a womanizer, a user, and a fraud. Hosts of stories are told about how these young men repent from those impulses, but Erades does it with considerable skill. I will be looking at this author for more.

A central character here is the city of Moscow. I imagine that many people who read this will want to travel there, even though Russia is not amenable to Americans right now.

m
mvanzuylen13
Aug 29, 2016

I liked this book. I checked it out because I needed a good book for a long flight. This book instantly interesting and kept my interest. I think the main character is a "superfluous man" as in the Russian literature he reads, and the stories are really about these women he becomes involved with and his relationship with them. I can't say I loved the ending, in fact, it seemed too rushed as if the author just needed to get out of the story. I also thought the ending was the least interesting part of the story. Yet I would still recommend reading it, as the other parts of the book stand alone in good writing, and some thought provoking situations and comparisons to Russian Literature.

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