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The short-story collection suits Kalfus; its eclecticism let him come at his subject from as many angles as he can dream up (and that's a lot). It's harder to sustain the same kind of imaginative momentum in a longer form, which makes the book's final novella an unexpected success. "Peredelkino" follows two writers through an intricate dance of literature, politics, jealousy, and desire, and then closes on a lovely and moving image. The narrator--discredited, disillusioned, his career finished--stands outside his own house "in the dark nowhere place from where authors always watch their readers." Inside is his wife, to whom he has been repeatedly and flagrantly unfaithful, oblivious to his presence but transfixed by his book:
I knew that shortly there would be many explanations to be made, however imperfectly, and then confessions and recriminations, protestations of grief and loss, and then at last hard, practical calculation. Before that, I wanted to absorb, place in words that I would always be able to summon, an image of her like that, the passionate reader.In a sense, that's us he's looking at, absorbed in the book we've just finished. Kalfus is the kind of writer who can tip his hat to the reader--who can acknowledge our complicity--all without ever lifting us out of the world he's created. Most fiction speaks to either the heart or the head; his does both with ease. --Mary Park --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas heat up the screen in this stellar sequel to "Romancing the Stone." Danny DeVito provides plenty of comic relief. As good as the first!Published on December 20, 2008 by Yosuta
These are dark gritty stories of Russia's past, from pre-WWII to mid coldwar. They evoke a sense of familiarity of what we conventionally think of as an oppressive Soviet state,... Read morePublished on December 14, 2007 by MotoGPTech
I ran across this book entirely by accident. While scanning the shelf for yet another author, the title caught my eye, and being a Russian language undergraduate and traveler; I... Read morePublished on November 22, 2003
This is the second collection of short stories written by Mr. Kalfus, and additionally includes a novella as the final installment. Read morePublished on March 20, 2001 by taking a rest
Don't expect this collection of short stories to be anywhere as good as the author's first work Thirst. Read morePublished on September 20, 2000 by Tyler
this is the most absurd collection of short stories i have ever encountered, and i don't mean in the danill kharms sort of way. Read morePublished on July 21, 2000
I found this to be a great collection of short stories, and I think those who are interested in life in the Soviet Union/Russia of the 20th Century will also find it to be a... Read morePublished on June 23, 2000 by Buckeye