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The Lying Year Paperback – January 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611090717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611090710
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A more contemporary Moscow is revealed in one of 2013’s best new novels in translation, Andrei Gelasimov’s The Lying Year, which satirizes the lives of Russia’s new rich. Mikhail Vorobyov’s old boss hires him to look after his teenage son, Sergei, whose own diary entries describe the pain beneath his pampered life. He charts death, abandonment, infidelity and isolation, in a heartbreakingly simple style, laced with the violent, suicidal impulses of youthful disaffection.” —Russia Beyond the Headlines, Great Books of 2013

About the Author

Andrei Gelasimov was born in Irkutsk in 1965 and studied foreign languages at Yakutsk State University and directing at the Moscow Theater Institute. His first novel, Thirst, garnered the Apollon-Grigoriev Award and was nominated for the Belkin Prize; upon publication in English the Telegraph hailed it as “a haven of both comedy and horror.” Two further novels are forthcoming in English: Gods of the Steppe, winner of the 2009 Russian National Bestseller award, and Rachel, winner of the Booker Student Prize.

Marian Schwartz is an award-winning translator of Russian literature. She is the recipient of two translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. Her translations include the New York Times bestseller The Last Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky, Andrei Gelasimov’s Thirst, Olga Slavnikova’s 2017, and Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov.


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Customer Reviews

Maybe a translation thing, or just a poor read, whatever it is I wouldn't recommend this book.
belle
I have to believe that despite this supposedly being a quality translation maybe something was lost between the nuances of the Russian and English languages.
Susan K. Schoonover
Except his rotation was disjointed as character development was predominately superficial and with numerable examples, expedient rather than evocative.
mateo52

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alan L. Chase VINE VOICE on January 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have long appreciated Russian novelists, especially the "usual suspect" classic writers like Dostoeveksy, Turgenev, Gogol, Tolstoy, Bulgakov. I am less familiar with those who are writing in contemporary Russia. I also find it difficult to judge the quality of the original Russian language writing when reading a work in English translation. Thus, I ordered "The Lying Year," by Andrei Gelasimov, not knowing quite what to expect, but having been intrigued by the description of the book's plot and theme. While awaiting the book's arrival, I wrote to a close friend in Moscow to ask if he had read any of Gelasimov, and his curt reply was: "We consider this writer to be 'airport reading'!" So, my expectations were lowered to anticipate something along the lines of a novel by James Patterson or David Baldacci.

The actual experience of reading "The Lying Year," exceeded my expectations. Since I have visited post-Soviet Moscow on almost a dozen occasions, I have strong opinions and vivid memories of the place and of the ethos that has grown up in that city in the past 20 years. I found that Gelasimov's writing - and Marian Schwartz's very lucid translation - painted a very accurate picture of the life in Moscow that I had either seen with my own eyes or had heard about from trusted Russian friends.

The action centers on some petty thieves, a few struggling business men, a wealth oligarch who is concerned that his teenage son grow up to be a "proper" Russian man - scheming, drinking and womanizing. Mikhail is hired by Pavel Petrovich to instruct his son, Sergei while also spying on him. Things become complicated when Mikhail falls in love with the girl, Marina, that Sergei is dating behind his father's back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dick Johnson VINE VOICE on June 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The translator seemed to think that readers of English are dumber than we really are. The Westernized slang usage is more humorous than anything. But, converting money in Russia to dollars was just ridiculous - and unnecessary.

The reader is given some guy who is about twenty-three who is hired by the big boss of the company (that had recently fired him) to baby-sit, er, uh, make a man of the seventeen year old son of the boss. What was I thinking when I picked this to try? Well, on the surface it seems quirky enough to be interesting. Also on the surface, it seems quirky enough to be a disaster.

The second possibility turns out to be the winner. It seems to be a multi-generational coming-of-age novel that has nowhere to really go. And, that's where it went.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Lying Year is an interesting novel. It made me want to continue reading, and it interested me in these characters. There were some quirks, but it's difficult to know whether these were due to fundamental flaws or things that the author intended.

At times, there did seem to be a problem with flow. It was difficult to say where it came from. The translation might have been a part of it, but if it was translated exactly as intended it's difficult to point to that. And there is no real way to know without comparing the original text with the translation. Having said that, I mostly found this to be a very good read.

There were some things that irked me. Among them was an excessive emphasis on the "good looks" of the characters. When Mikhail meets Marina, he goes on about her looks when one sentence would suffice. When women meet him, on more than one occasion they ask to sleep with him before even knowing his name. This kind of superficial sexuality may just be a part of the author's ego-driven imagination. Or, it could be an accurate reflection of Russian culture of the period. I don't know which is which, but it didn't seem to really aid the story. It appeared gratuitous more than anything else.

As we go deeper into the story, the plot has some moments that strain believe-ability. But I was satisfied with how the author executed those. Still, there are some story elements that might irk people.

But what interested me most about the story was the interaction between Mikhail and Sergei. Each of them is created as a unique character, and in many ways they are polar opposites. Yet we begin to see their commonalities as the story progresses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I can't read or write Russian so reading a translated work is always a bit of a risk. I was eager to read this since I like reading stories set in Russia, describing its people and culture. Unfortunately, it was difficult for me to follow this story, and since I have read other translated works, I wonder if this had to do with problems in translation. The format of having different narrators who tell the story from their individual perspectives may also have resulted in some confusion here, at least on my part.

The flow of the story appeared choppy in many parts, and some elements of the plot stretched the limits of credibility. Of all the characters, I felt Sergei and Mikhail's were the best developed, and the way these characters play off against each other was the most compelling aspect of the novel. On the whole, I can't say I enjoyed the novel since I felt like I was stumbling through most of the narration, but it wasn't all bad either.
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