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Anything Can Happen Hardcover – January, 1985


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 40 Anv edition (January 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312045247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312045241
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,783,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Book is fun to read.
Liliya Press
Papashvily was an amazing person and one of the few authors that I would love to have spent an evening with listening to his stories.
Howard B. Grossman
I owe them eternal gratitude!
Hope Mihalap

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of a man who loved America from the moment he set foot on our shores. He said, and never changed his mind that, in America, "Anything Can Happen." There are many vignettes in his book, telling of his adventures and misadventures in America, but he never changed his opinion that he loved America, even though he sought the companionship of other Georgians. This book was made into a movie which fell far short of the book, which dealt with his honesty, integrity, and love for all pertaining to America and his fellow men. This book is heart-warming, poignant, and often brings a tear to the eye; in other parts it brings a chuckle or a laugh or a general thumbs-up. I have read the book a number of times not only to myself, but aloud to my family, especially when traveling. Exceptionally enjoyable were vignettes about Dzea Vanno, the wager about fitting a Nash wheel on their vehicle, Luba--who had the disposition of a camel, and at a party, his saying, regarding food, that "...only too much was ever enough", plus being outside and listening to "...people being happy and enjoying themselves in his home" (paraphrased). I heartily recommend this book to anyone!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Howard B. Grossman on December 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book and have read it many times. When I have a friend who needs cheering up, I loan them my copy. It is usually passed around to their family & friends before I get it back. If ever one is in need of hope, this story provides a beautiful example of people helping, loving, laughing and eating together. It is the quintessential story of immigration to America with its deprivation, hard work and eventual success. With the help of Georg's wife, it is told with the indiosyncratic syntax of a non-native speaker of English which makes you feel the author is telling his adventures to you directly. Papashvily was an amazing person and one of the few authors that I would love to have spent an evening with listening to his stories. This makes a great gift of joy to anyone you know.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chara on July 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection of humorous short stories describes America as seen through the eyes of an immigrant from the country of Georgia who first stepped foot in the USA in the early 1920s.

First published in 1945, it was co-written by Mr. Papashvily and his wife Helen in the author's original style of "Georgian" English. The author was, according to Wikipedia, a famous writer and sculptor who was listed in Who's Who in the categories of both writing and art. Chapters in this book deal with topics such as getting a job (the author was trained in Georgia as a swordmaker and a decorative leatherworker), joining a labor strike, going to court for a crime he didn't commit, helping a friend work his way through depression (the cure: Uncle John's garlic sauce, freshly grilled shish kebobs, and a fight with a trio of Italian/American farmers who thought the Georgians' picnic fire on the beach was set by bootleggers to attract their boats, but later contributed their own homemade wine when invited to join the party), marriage (Uncle John, a restaurateur, catered the wedding feast and it sounds delicious!), and trying to find someone--anyone--who could speak the author's little-known native language (eventually he succeeded).

I highly recommend this book to anyone who remembers America as it was sixty-plus years ago, and/or who is ready for some thought-provoking humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By railfan on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many years ago I read this book and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, that book was lost when we had to move, so I was very glad to get this copy. It is told as if you were listening to George Papashvily actually speaking. The English is broken and the text is interspersed with phrases of his native Georgian which, by the way, he translates. This book tells the story of what happened to him from the time he landed in New york and covers the years that followed. It is a very warm and well-told story, one I feel deserves reading over and over. I highly recommend this story, because it happens to be true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Roberts on November 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This delightful book about the experiences of a Georgian (Russian) emigrating to America will give you a new perspective on American life on the home front during WW2. If you like Yakov Smirnov, you'll love Anything Can Happen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Uchtmann on May 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a fresh take on America and what it means to become an American. I loved this book the first time a read it and am delighted to have it on my bookshelf again. Have shared it with several friends. It is delightful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a classic depiction of all the best humans can be. It is an especially valued snapshot of sanity, proportion, and proper human behavior in light of the deplorable condition of the world today. It expresses the hope that humans can live together in joy and happiness if we chose to see past our superficial differences.
Several interlaced values are suggested through the adventures 'Georgi' has in his discovery of America, a great read. The brevity of the book is the only disappointment.
On re-reading this little delight, I was struck by how intact Georgi's world view and value system was. He quits one of the best jobs he is able to get when he discovers he is a scab. He bravely walks out of the factory into the midst of the strikers and risks being beaten and or killed, which he nearly is. You would have to have an evolved moral compass to do that. But he presents it as a very matter of fact decision, something any decent person would do. Actually it is a great depiction of real integrity and something we could use more of currently, a good example for all of us.
Later in the book, there is a brief moment where he tries to express his thanks for the joy that is in his heart, in being able to share with his friends and fellow Georgians,a good supper in his home. That was a touching moment for me. If we had more of his attitude, an old country attitude born of coming from a small village in Georgia,
the world would be a lot wiser. A very good depiction of what it means to be a real man.
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