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The Man with the Black Coat: Russia's Literature of the Absurd (European Classics) Translated Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0810115736
ISBN-10: 0810115735
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian
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Product Details

  • Series: European Classics
  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; Translated edition (August 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810115735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810115736
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,425,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Mcmurray on July 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
By accident I ran across this book in the Cleveland public library, opened it to the middle, & began reading, then laughing, then nearly crying. This book is amazing. Kharms' prose is brilliant/hilarious/tragic. I give copies of his brief stories to friends, put them under windshiedls, or paste them onto bus stops. Little known, he deserves to be read by everyone.
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Format: Paperback
I don't know how effective Kharms was at making a points about Stalinist Russia, about art in the postmodern world or even about great literature. While you can certainly detect those elements in his short-short stories and his plays, they're more fun to read simply because they're so CRAZY FUN! Perhaps I'm taking some of the more serious portions having to do with death, rape, etc. too lightly, but at the very least you will be always surprised and captivated by these works. Try them out. Besides, when a story's only two paragraphs long (as many of them are) what do you have to lose?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hilarious. I laughed out loud a lot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is strange stuff! Decapitations, Suicides, Murders, Fetus-Eating Corpses... Reader Beware!

This is the first "Absurdism" material I've read. It certainly lives up to its reputation. Its certainly not my favorite literary style but it was a quick and interesting read. My favorite story was "The Old Woman" by Kharms. You've got to keep an eye on those corpse-containing suitcases!

I recommend this book to anyone looking for something completely out of the ordinary. It certainly earns a place in the libraries of those collecting Russian Literature. The book contains several poems in Russian at the end which may be of interest to those who know Russian.

On a side note, I've read many of the Russian literature books published by Northwestern University Press. All their books are good quality with sturdy covers and good quality paper. I highly recommend Northwestern University Press publications.
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