“Charming, manic, and delicious. A caffeinated valentine from a New York already gone, but certainly not forgotten. I drank it right up and felt oddly comforted.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan
“Every quotable sentence in Michael Idov’s brilliantly funny first novel (First novel? How is this possible?) induced in this reader awe and jealousy. Ground Up’s narrator is a voice and sensibility I’d follow into any story, any neighborhood. There’s talent here of the Nabokovian kind, wresting truth, love, and mordant wit from delightfully misguided dreams. I loved every word.” —Elinor Lipman, author of Then She Found Me
“Ground Up is a rare breed—a sparkling work of light satire written by a ridiculously talented man. The book starts out funny, keeps being funny, then actually gets funnier. There is not a wasted word, not one lame passage. Mr. Idov likes to say that he is not a ‘serious’ writer. Meanwhile, his brilliant novel flips the bird to our humorless, insecure literary caste system and reminds us of another author of witty urban stories: the young Anton Chekhov. But, thanks to Idov, my pleasant habit of using a coffeehouse as an office is forever tinged with guilt.” —Anya Ulinich, author of Petropolis
“A fiercely funny yet frequently touching novel about the nightmare that the American dream can become . . . Idov . . . strikes all the right chords—both cultural and emotional. Narrator Mark Scharf and his wife, Nina Liau, decide to open a hip coffeehouse on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, based on their romantic memories of one they had visited in Vienna . . . Everything that can go wrong will, in a manner both hilarious (the coffeehouse) and poignant (the marriage) . . . Though the protagonist’s own book reviews are usually caustic, even he would give this debut a rave.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A sagely wry novel . . . Packed with insight and frequently hilarious asides, Idov’s debut mercilessly takes down ‘money is an illusion’ bohoism.” —Publishers Weekly
Great book. I liked its heroes. Very special atmosphere. I`ve read this book in Russian earlier (twice!) - there were more comments about NY life, very interesting.Published on March 28, 2012 by Olga, Kiev
What a waste of time. Too many personal details, too little plot development. Very uneven writing. Would put you to sleep even alongside a strong cup of coffee.Published on November 29, 2010 by sweet pea guardian
... I can't come up with anything I DIDN'T like about the novel.
I'm going to take the liberty to do what the author takes careful steps to avoid: indulge in cliche. Read more
Presumably the only review on Amazon not written by a relative of the author...this book is awful.
Here's the fundamental problem. Read more
I have always been interested in folks starting up a restaruant business and since this was pretty much autobiographical, it was facinating to know that pretty much everything that... Read morePublished on November 2, 2009 by D. Lee
For anyone who ever dreamed of how ideal it would be to run your own business -- a quaint bookstore or cute coffee shop -- this book should be read as a warning treatise waking you... Read morePublished on September 6, 2009 by J. Luiz
A very fun and engaging book - read over a weekend. At a basic level, it is superbly written - great language, references to anything that can be referenced in a sentence. Read morePublished on September 1, 2009 by M Mealand