Advance reader reviews of The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight

The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight

by Gina Ochsner

The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book


Page 1 of 3
There are currently 16 member reviews
for The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight
Order Reviews by:
  • Mark O. (Wenatchee, WA)


    Surviving with grace
    Like the labels on wine bottles, this book has flavors of Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground and of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate with a hint of Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. The setting is a Russia so squalid that people are almost feral. The inhabitants of the story live in a derelict apartment building. Daily life has its price, especially for use of the latrine in the courtyard of the apartment building. One of the characters is Undead, not as a sexy vampire but simply harder to get rid of than athlete’s foot. Reading this book took a long time, not because it is literary fiction (and so more about character than plot) but because I stopped to take lots of notes - quotes to add to my commonplace book and examples of gorgeously-constructed writing. One of the characters keeps a notebook always at hand (we get an occasional look at the contents), a reminder to all of us readers and writers to Pay Attention. The apartment building is a microcosm of the Russian melting pot but the older inhabitants haven’t melted and so have the solace and burden of ancestral identities. Perhaps the best gifts of this book are the reminders that dreams are the most substantial things we can have and that color can be found in the drabbest places, if looked for.
  • Kate S. (arvada, CO)


    Quite a Read. I Loved it!
    The title alone was appealing to me; the book did not disappoint. The author is certainly gifted, and has a wonderful way with words. I enjoyed how each chapter was written from a different characters point of view. Many readers have stated how it was depressing or hard to read. To me, it followed real life. A life many of us cannot imagine. People are unpredictable, they react differently under stress. I think the character Tanya stated it perfectly. "Whether we are savage or civilized, I can"t say. But we are authentic, this much I know." I think it would make a wonderful book for book clubs. Good discussion, good characters,a Russia many of us know little about.
  • 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.
  • Kathy S. (DeForest, WI)


    Russian Learning
    The story was extremely interesting, but my favorite thing with this book was what I learned about the Russian culture. We are very blessed here in the U.S. and we often forget that.
  • Lori J. (Nutter Fort, WV)


    Entertaining
    Dreambook was entertaining to read. I am not very familiar with Russian culture, but a relative recently spent 3 months in Moscow, and his views of the Russian population's collective psyche were mirrored in the book. Recommended reading.
  • Lisa E. (Cincinnati, OH)


    Engaging but Unsatisfying
    Gina Ochsner has created several engaging characters in this book set in post-Soviet Russia--Olga, the translator still pining for her lost husband; Tanya, the young woman who writes beautifully about color but is unbearably lonely; and Azade, whose husband died but won't leave her alone. We come to care about all of the characters, but the ending--pat but yet unbelievable at the same time--is deeply unsatisfying.
  • 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.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Stalin's Daughter
    by Rosemary Sullivan
    "There is something fatal about my life. You can't regret your fate, though I do regret my ...
  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!