Back to Moscow

Back to Moscow

Book - 2016
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Tuesday night: vodka and dancing at the Hungry Duck. Wednesday morning: posing as an expert on Pushkin at the university. Thursday night: more vodka and girl-chasing at Propaganda. Friday morning: a hungover tour of Gorky's house. Martin came to Moscow at the turn of the millennium hoping to discover the country of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and his beloved Chekhov. Instead he found a city turned on its head, where the grimmest vestiges of Soviet life exist side by side with the nonstop hedonism of the newly rich. Along with his hard-living expat friends, Martin spends less and less time on his studies, choosing to learn about the Mysterious Russian Soul from the city's unhinged nightlife scene. But as Martin's research becomes a quest for existential meaning, love affairs and literature lead to the same hard-won lessons. Russians know: There is more to life than happiness.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780865478374
0865478376
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 22 cm
Call Number: ERADES, G

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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.

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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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