Rated of 5
by Amy O. (Scottsdale, AZ) Good story line but....
I appreciate the story that the author was presenting and the language. The difficulties of living in a "Post" communist Russia and the depictions of the characters based on other fiction and non-fiction I have read ring true. At first I found the switching between characters disconcerting and it took me to page 76 with Azade to get hooked. The people living in the apartments are a motley bunch and I empathize with their lot in life. I liked the book but would recommend it only to folks that can grasp the presentation of the message of escapism from life's difficulties. In terms of style and magical realism it reminded of "The Convalescent" by Jessica Anthony which I liked very much.
Rated of 5
by Jan B. (Driggs, ID) Russian Dreambook of Color & Flight
Here is a story of a group of folks who are neighbors in a derelict apartment building in Russia. In this depressed part of the world, truth is considered too depressing, so it is changed. Life is not even decent enough for indoor plumbing, or even paychecks to happen despite hours of work. A museum of replicas, an odd juxtaposition of icons to deformed foetuses, plays a central part in this story, as several of the characters "work" there.
The characters are incredible! I loved how the author created these people who must live in their heads, and in their dreams because of the depravity of their real lives. When one of the characters dies from a leap from the roof, and comes back as a ghost we fall into the world of magical realism. What he brings is backstory, love from the harshest of places, and the truth.
The writing is wonderful. Her characters are full of instinct and survival. I loved these people who live in such a dark place, yet with a bit of magic and lots of character from them the story soars above their harrowing part in the world.
When I finished reading, I immediately picked it up to re-read again.
Rated of 5
by Cheri W. (Grand Rapids, MN) One of those Books that Leaves a Mark
I loved this book! And why, because it was simple, well-written with extraordinary language, and just one of those books you hate to finish. The main characters are strong, real women who face day to day in regular ways. There is no super powers or descriptions of snide out of this word antics, just regular women trying their best to survive the lemons life gives. I loved that.
I loved that Tanya, a heavy-set girl, kept her head in the clouds even when the earth threatened to bring her back down. Olga, an older mom, kept her wits about her as her life continues to spiral out of her control. Which is the way it is. How many of us have full control?
So many books written show the women as either a control-freak or shy and afraid. This book shows women and men as they are in a situation they did not choose (the downturn of the Russian economy) and how they, like us, live everyday by getting up doing our thing and going home. Very Good Book, Highly recommend it! One of those books you continue to revisit long after the book covers are closed.
Rated of 5
by Laura H. (Los Angeles, CA) The Russian Dreambook
A beautifully drawn tale of Soviet Russia centered around a small group of people trying to live in a crumbling condemned housing project. Each chapter follows one of the residents, examining the defenses and denials necessary to live and survive in a society where the official version of truth cannot be questioned. When lies public and private become a way of life, the only escapes are in fantasy, tradition and whatever hope can be gathered that change can still happen. Ochsner skillfully recreates life in this oppressive time, but because her characters are fascinating and the stories liberally infused with black humor, it's a fun and compelling read.
Rated of 5
by Debi B. (Charleston, SC) The Russian Dreambook
This was a hard book for me to get into, but once I got to know the characters, it captured my interest enough to want to read a little more to find out what was going to happen next. If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be bleak. Often I found myself in places I didn't want to be, but interested enough to keep reading.
Rated of 5
by Vicky S. (Torrance, CA) At Times Bizarre, Thought Provoking and Tedious
Reading this book is like listening to someone else's dreams - at times very strange with what the characters choose to do, to how they interact with each other or interesting when characters are faced with difficult circumstances without good options. But is also like listening to another's dreams since at times I didn't care - it was a bit tedious particularly with the focus on negative odors from toilets, latrines or a hole in the ground. These odors are at work, home and waft off of the characters - yuck!
I enjoyed that the story took place in Russia since I am not familiar with this country. I also appreciated that the author alternated between the characters perspectives for the different chapters.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...