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Moscow But Dreaming Paperback – November 27, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ekatherina Sedia is the author of "The Secret History of Moscow," Her short stories have been featured in a variety of publications including "Analog," "Baen's Universe," and "Fantasy Magazine," She lives in Hammonton, New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PRIME BOOKS LLC (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607013622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607013624
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,299,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is probably the best book of short stories I have ever read. The prose is excellent, finely honed and beautiful to read. The author skilfully uses words to paint stories with a memorable and distinctly Northern European atmosphere, somewhat reminiscent of the great Russian authors.

Although distinctly different to each other, these magical realism stories share a voice so similar that it could have almost been the same character speaking, particularly in the first half of the book. This gives it more unity than many collections of short stories and would make it more readable for those who prefer longer works.

These are stories to be savoured, like a fine meal not to be rushed, so much so that I read them over a long period of time, reading just one between longer works. As in all collections of stories, I enjoyed some more than others, but the image that remains with me most strongly is fox stoles, complete with glass eyes, seemingly coming alive in a shop full of musty old things.

I recommend this to anyone who likes magical realism and fine literature with a haunting flavour.
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Format: Paperback
Despite containing several stories I loved, this collection was a disappointment to me. Sedia is clearly a talented writer, but too many of the stories either took risks that didn't pay off or remained completely opaque to me, even after turning to Google to see if I was missing references. I was also confused by the inclusion of two distinctly non-Russian stories; one is a retelling of a Japanese folktale, the other is a pseudo-African folktale, and both seemed completely out of place in the collection and lacked the depth of history and mythology that Sedia brought to her Russian-set stories. And while Sedia has been lauded as a feminist writer, concerned with the place of women in the world and the power dynamics between women and men, these stories more often than not positioned their female characters as victims. Not agent-less victims, I will grant, and victimized more often by the patriarchal machinery of society as a whole rather than individual men, but still victims. Several of the stories also positioned fatness as grotesque and malignant, and there were hints of cultural appropriation and classism that made me uncomfortable.

Still, when Sedia was writing in what appears to be her comfort zone, magical realist and fairy tale influenced stories set either in modern-day Russia or among Russian immigrants elsewhere in the world, she was quite impressive. "Citizen Komorova Finds Love," "Tin Cans," and "You Dream" were all incredibly evocative, packing both significant thematic and emotional punches into not very many pages. None of these three are happy stories -- actually none of the stories in the entire collection is happy -- but they resonate the way short fiction ought, illuminating little corners of much larger worlds.
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