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Troika Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039916748X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399167485
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Troika opens in a strip club, an unlikely setting for a love story. Author Pelzman plays with reader expectations throughout his debut novel, delaying the introduction of the third member of his love triangle until deep into the book. The payoff is significant and surprising. Pelzman inhabits each of these characters with an intimate first person, and each point of view sounds authentic, as well as distinct from the others. The front story moves from seedy south Florida to gilded Manhattan, with occasional glimpses into the protagonist Julian’s violent Russian upbringing. Although Julian is the romantic fulcrum of the novel, his two love interests emerge as more compelling characters. Pelzman draws Perla, a Cuban American dancer, particularly tenderly, though her introspection grows repetitive and her reactions can be cartoonish. The novel’s strongest passages view love and longing through a hopeful lens, even amidst tragedy: “During these fleeting moments of divine inspiration, I believe that somehow I’m going to turn this catastrophe into something spectacular, something joyous and unexpected.” --Kevin Clouther

Review

"Riveting drama and sensuous prose make for an unforgettable love story." —Kirkus Reviews

“I. Love. This. Book. It's fucking fantastic.  Poignant, painful, impeccably realized, and ultimately joyful. I am so grateful to Adam Pelzman for creating this gem of a world.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure

“What a great gallop through the landscape of the human heart, what a brilliant, astonishing modern love story, what a beautiful pair of heroines, what an amazing journey from the plantains of Little Havana and a Ft. Lauderdale strip club to Fifth Avenue and Easthampton, what a ride to a complex and satisfying redemption, what a glorious testimony to the way damage can become a lovely destiny, what a book!” —Susan Cheever

“… fascinating…the writing is so beautiful and powerful and the premise so unusual and interesting…Pelzman’s talent and vision are formidable…” —Publisher’s Weekly

“An electrifying read. Pelzman plunges us deep into the lives of his characters, makes us feel their joys and sorrows on a visceral level, and beautifully renders the mysteries of love.” —Alice LaPlante, New York Times–bestselling author of Turn of Mind

 

Customer Reviews

I am hoping for a Part Two!
Jill
The character development was intense...the stories told from the perspectives of all the main characters make the reader love them all the more.
Dana Y. Bowles
Pelzman gives us three amazing characters whose lives intersect in unexpected ways.
Wilhelmina Zeitgeist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sometimes you come upon a novel that is so intense and personal, and has the potential to bond you to the characters so much, that you find your fingers gliding through the pages feeling each and every moment as your own. The characters jump off the pages and live right next to you, confiding their narratives for your consumption. Their stories keep you ever fixated like a friend retelling the most amazing story. Rarely does a debut author offer these types of mature characters.

Adam Pelzman has achieved being many things in his life --- a software entrepreneur, an attorney, a private investigator --- and now he can add author to that list thanks to his debut novel, TROIKA. Pelzman’s story is a beautifully painted mural that twists together the many different colors of people’s lives into one magnificent experience. He varies the perspectives every chapter, stringing you along every important moment right when it was needed. His characters bleed through the pages, and their energy reaches into your body.

It’s not one character’s story, but three. It begins on a normal Miami night, within a hole-in-the-wall strip joint, when Perla is working her regular shift scouting the crowd. She notices a man come through the door wearing a gold watch and immediately jumps at the opportunity. After an exchange at the table, she and Julian abscond to the Champagne Room and share a moment of passion.

Julian is the son of a famous hunter in a small village in Russia. His father was killed valiantly by a tiger, and it sent his mother spiraling into a whirlwind. She became addicted to drugs and began selling herself to get her fix. Consequently, Julian was taken from her. After killing a man and reuniting with her, they are forced to live life as different people.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By knittingmom VINE VOICE on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I typically do not enjoy romance novels and yet Troika by Adam Pelzman is not an ordinary cookie cutter love story, but rather a well thought out and brilliant work of literary fiction. Pelzman’s characters are quite different and interesting: Julian was a orphan in Russia until he was taken under the wing of a rich businessman and then made it big in Manhattan on his own, married to a woman who is paralyzed; and finally Perla, the young Cuban-American woman who lives with her mom and who has a quite a secret. How the lives of Pelzman’s characters intersect and interact is brilliant. Troika is exceedingly well written, keeps the reader fully engaged and does not let up from the first page. I truly enjoyed Troika, it is not a book one will want to put down and I highly recommend it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE on May 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Perla, one of the three narrators in Adam Pelzman's "Troika," (hence the title), is a young exotic dancer, whose family is originally from Cuba and who lives with her widowed mother in Miami. (Their relationship is not really explored, although I immediately started wondering what it was like. For the record, her mother thinks she has a more respectable job.) Perla still misses her father, who was poor but self-educated and who introduced his daughter to good literature. As a child, Perla is befriended by a neighbor who keeps parrots and who recommends, among other advice, that she should ultimately find a man who takes care of her needs before his own (just as the two birds whom he "gives" Perla do).

Perla is experienced in handling the issues of her job, but it's clear that she's looking for more. One night, she meets a customer, a Russian immigrant named Julian Pravdin, with whom she feels an instant connection. The novel's second narrator, Julian, whose every biographic detail reads like something out of a folk tale (his father was a Siberian hunter, he lived in an orphanage in Siberia, he later came to America and was educated there, etc.) is the husband of a Sophie (the third narrator). Julian, after trying a number of careers, is currently a wealthy entrepreneur. He inherited a temper and a protective streak from his father, which sometimes leads him into trouble. Sophie is paralyzed from the waist down due to a accident, and is still deeply In love with Julian, who still loves her, but believes he may need a sex surrogate. You can probably fill in the rest of the blanks yourself.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on February 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The three characters that make up the "troika" of this novel come from vastly different backgrounds. Perla, a young Cuban-American, is bright and smart but makes her living pole dancing and lap dancing in a slightly seedy club in Miami. Julian has escaped a terrible upbringing in an orphanage in Siberia to make it to America and become a wealthy property developer. Sophie, his wife, is a quadriplegic whose life was ruined by a horrible car accident. These three become linked in a relationship that could be called love - but is still very unequal.

This novel has some very courageous writing which tackles difficult and distasteful matters head-on. The passages that describe Julian and Sophie's attempts to maintain a sex life despite her disability leaves nothing to the imagination. We see the elaborate preparations that Sophie has to make prior to intercourse - which she knows will offer her little physical fulfillment - and we see the whole thing end in disaster. I admired these passages for bringing the reader face-to-face with the reality of being paralyzed without any attempt to soften or sentimentalize the picture.

Still I felt the book didn't quite work. Perla and Sophie narrate in the first person, Julian is described in the third person. He remains enigmatic and distant. We never really get to know him. His childhood privations seem highly melodramatic and his later heroics playing high school football in America, while amusing, seem contrived. And Perla's voice to me doesn't sound totally authentic, although her description of the life of a pole dancer is convincing enough and opens a door on her world. Sophie seems the most fully realized character, and one can understand how she wants Julian to get what she can no longer give him.
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More About the Author

Adam Pelzman studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania and received a law degree from UCLA. Born in Seattle and raised in northern New Jersey, he has spent most of his life in New York City, where he now lives with his son.

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