[[ download ]] A Short History of Tractors in UkrainianAuthor Marina Lewycka – Circuitwiringdiagram.co

This book has such a long blurb that I don t want to use it here Suffice to say that it is a perfect summary of the book But here it is for those who would like to read it as part of my review view spoilerA Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianwas bestselling author Marina Lewycka s bestselling debut novel which has sold over one million copies worldwide Lewycka tells the side splittingly funny story of two feuding sisters, Vera and Nadezhda, who join forces against their father s new, This book has such a long blurb that I don t want to use it here Suffice to say that it is a perfect summary of the book But here it is for those who would like to read it as part of my review view spoilerA Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianwas bestselling author Marina Lewycka s bestselling debut novel which has sold over one million copies worldwide Lewycka tells the side splittingly funny story of two feuding sisters, Vera and Nadezhda, who join forces against their father s new, gold digging girlfriend Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorc e He was eighty four and she was thirty six She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their migr engineer father from voluptuous gold digger Valentina With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil in the bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth.But the sisters campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe s darkest history and sends them back to roots they d much rather forgetIt s rare to find a first novel that gets so much rightLewycka is a seriously talented comic writer Time Out Hugely enjoyableyields a golden harvest of family truths Daily Telegraph Delightful, funny, touching Spectator hide spoiler COMMENTSThis book was as much a funny, as a sad story about Ukrainian immigrants in Britain Messy, chaotic lives with a dark, heartbreaking undertone Refugees after WWII, they were a typical family who must start over in modern England living out the immigrant experience Part tragedy, part comedy, the story present the typical life of people who plastered a smile on their faces during the day and relived the horror of the war in their nocturnal dreams Two sisters have to save their octogenarian father, with an extremely stubborn streak, from getting married to a thirty five year old gold digger after his wife s death two years before The two sisters do not have a good relationship due to the family history that was not shared between them One was a war baby and the other a peace baby with a world of untold horror lying between them But as they start to work together as a team, the healing and understanding comes and the family can find love and support within their own small circle again Despite the dark memories and family feud raging between the sisters, it was still a warmhearted story There were moments in the book that I simply allowed the tears to silently run down my face But by the end, I smiled and wished the book did not end.The book dragged a bit with too much historical information thrown in as page fillers But I thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance and the good writing It was absolutely worth the read I will read this author again, for sure In fact, it is one of those book that I would love to read again, simply because I am going to miss this family a lot My literary tastes revolve around two extremes the high brow stuff and utter trash usually called something like To Marry a Duke and I don t find much enjoyment in the safe, middle of the road, commercial fiction Either challenge me properly or provide with the cheapest kind of thrills Knowing that about myself, I don t know what possessed me to suggest this book as our book group read Not only did I force myself and everybody else to read this questionable work but also now all my recomm My literary tastes revolve around two extremes the high brow stuff and utter trash usually called something like To Marry a Duke and I don t find much enjoyment in the safe, middle of the road, commercial fiction Either challenge me properly or provide with the cheapest kind of thrills Knowing that about myself, I don t know what possessed me to suggest this book as our book group read Not only did I force myself and everybody else to read this questionable work but also now all my recommendations are treated with distrust See, my book club is not really into your typical book group reads and The Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian has book group read written all over it.And of course, the quirky title Don t we all love quirky titles They are so quirky Some reviewers mentioned how confusing this title was for them, because, you know, it says A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and yet it s not If you are the sort of person who is confused by the fact that a Booker longlisted bestseller called Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is not in fact a history of tractors written in Ukrainian, then this book will probably be intellectually satisfying for you.It s a rather unimaginative and banal satire on Ukrainian immigrants in UK, a story of a young and pretty gold digger, an old besotted fool and his two daughters who try to prevent the catastrophe and even resort to putting on hold old grudges, while uniting against this common enemy The secret to good satire is to make fun of your characters but to do it with affection and affection is sorely missing from Lewicka s narrative The characters are farcical caricatures who are nothingthan the laziest of stereotypes and copies of cliches the British reader was already familiar with However, when the narrative switches to flashbacks from Ukraine decades ago, everything is very real and the same characters are supposed to be taken seriously, which produces a rather grotesque effect There are also characters who are not even given this most basic, two dimensional personality, they only exist as their name and function like the completely superfluous narrator s husband.The execution is equally lazy the style is tedious, it s as if Lewycka used up all her creativity on inventing the pidgin English Valentina, the gold digger, speaks in What s interesting is that she seems unable to speak in grammatically correct sentences even if she is among other Ukrainians and the assumption is that they are speaking Ukrainian because why would they be speaking English This is not a Hollywood film Of course, Valentina s dialect is quite amusing but completely unrealistic from a linguistical point of view if you don t understand the most basic English grammar, you won t know words like shrivel.As far as books on immigration go, this brings nothing new to the table It brings back yesterday s bread that is now stale The only potentially interesting thing about it is the mini reflection on how our sanctimonious left wing, liberal views can conveniently disappear if we find our very personal interests threatened All in all, though, there is nothing to shake us in this book, nothing to challenge us Nothing to see here Move along I hated this book It took me so long to read it I was recommended this book by my friend in work who is also a big reader We had been discussing the 100 year old man that stepped out the window and ran away as we had both read it and loved it I explained how I had a soft spot for books about old men He suggested I read this book as he said it was similar I can see the similarities but I just hated the old man in this story.He angered me and so did his stupid daughters I hated all the ch I hated this book It took me so long to read it I was recommended this book by my friend in work who is also a big reader We had been discussing the 100 year old man that stepped out the window and ran away as we had both read it and loved it I explained how I had a soft spot for books about old men He suggested I read this book as he said it was similar I can see the similarities but I just hated the old man in this story.He angered me and so did his stupid daughters I hated all the characters Didn t like anybody.I got where it was trying to be funny but I just didn t like it Parts of it when I read it just made me really sad and hurt when reading about the old mans struggle during the war and then with his new bride The taunting and the bullying was cruel and made me feel awful reading it I recently picked this book up used at my local library for 1 The cover burst advertised that it was nominated for a Man Booker Prize, and the back cover copy boasted that it was an international bestseller that was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.My thoughts on that after reading the book What the fuck The quick synopsis of the plot is this Gold digging Ukrainian immigrant hussy latches on to an elderly Ukrainian widower in England, marries him, and tries to take his money and his house H I recently picked this book up used at my local library for 1 The cover burst advertised that it was nominated for a Man Booker Prize, and the back cover copy boasted that it was an international bestseller that was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.My thoughts on that after reading the book What the fuck The quick synopsis of the plot is this Gold digging Ukrainian immigrant hussy latches on to an elderly Ukrainian widower in England, marries him, and tries to take his money and his house His two adult daughters Vera and Nadezhda try to prevent it from happening And that s pretty much it There is an attempt at incorporating many zany characters along the way, and we learn about Vera and Nadezhda s strained relationship, and their relationship with their kooky father Oh, and every single character is disgusting and hate able I almost found myself rooting for the hussy.Man, this book needed an editor, or at least oneruthless revision But it was nominated for the Booker, so what the hell do I know What I do know, though, is this manuscript as is would never have made it out alive if presented to my writer s group.For instance, the author doesn t seem to have much confidence in her own writing Written in the first person of the Nadezhda character, the narrative is constantly interrupted by the character s explanation of things in parenthesis Even during dialogue And it is a constant interruption More than a handful of times I just wanted to scream out, Let the fucking characters talk Stop interrupting The other no no that the author does is to somehow allow her lead first person narrator to know what someone else is thinking This is after the old man s young wife is treating him particularly bad Maybe he would beat her if he could, but he cannot For the first time he realises how helpless he is His heart fills with despair.Oh really How do you know this, Nadezhda My writer s group would have taken me to task if I had presented them with this.As a writer, you are influenced by many authors and countless books Sometimes you ll read something so good think John Irving in his prime that it inspires you, and shows you just how transcending the written word can be Then you have a novel like this which also influences you as a writer By showing you what not to do.I need to read some Owen Meany now to cleanse myself I feel so dirty But what do I know This thing was a best selling, award nominated novel This book had so much going for it First a quirky title Second crazy Ukrainian immigrants Third a love story involving horny old people And it managed to fail miserably on all three counts.Quick summary Two sisters are estranged because of a mysterious event that happened 40 years ago in the Old Country But their mother is dead and their father has taken up with a Ukrainian hussy Also, he is writing a book about tractors In Ukrainian Hussy terrorizes father, sisters must get over the This book had so much going for it First a quirky title Second crazy Ukrainian immigrants Third a love story involving horny old people And it managed to fail miserably on all three counts.Quick summary Two sisters are estranged because of a mysterious event that happened 40 years ago in the Old Country But their mother is dead and their father has taken up with a Ukrainian hussy Also, he is writing a book about tractors In Ukrainian Hussy terrorizes father, sisters must get over their past to drive her out of the country Lessons are learned The end Still doesn t sound so bad The reason I hated this book and, in fact, completely forgot about it until recently is because these are some of the worst characters ever to be described Both sisters are self absorbed and vicious, but not in a humorous way The father is worthless and completely incapable of helping himself out of the situations he got himself into in the first place The hussy is over the top and obnoxious So instead of sympathizing with all the characters, you feel like they all deserved what they got, and should just go on being miserable Only, without you reading about them.In sum Horrible, horrible book Hopefully I can go back to forgetting about it now There is an episode in the comedy sitcom Mind Your Language, where Jeremy Brown s motley crew of students drawn from all over the world to learn English tell jokes to pass the time Juan Cervantes, the Spanish bartender, tells a hilarious joke at the end, he is in stitches, unable to stifle laughter, because the joke is so funny The problem is, it is wholly in Spanish, so nobody else in the class can understand.This novel left me feeling like one of those class members.This is the story of old There is an episode in the comedy sitcom Mind Your Language, where Jeremy Brown s motley crew of students drawn from all over the world to learn English tell jokes to pass the time Juan Cervantes, the Spanish bartender, tells a hilarious joke at the end, he is in stitches, unable to stifle laughter, because the joke is so funny The problem is, it is wholly in Spanish, so nobody else in the class can understand.This novel left me feeling like one of those class members.This is the story of old Nikolai Mayevskyj pronounced Mayevski , eccentric immigrant engineer from Ukraine who falls in love at the age of eighty four with a sex bomb, Valentina, who is thirty six Valentina has the only goal of finding domicile for herself and her genius son, Stanislav, in the UK and the recently widowed engineer is an easy target Nikolai s daughters Vera and Nadehzda the first person narrator are appalled, and set about rescuing their father from this scheming vixen, burying their running feud about their mother s legacy temporarily In the process, a lot of dirty family laundry is unearthed, a lot of distressing events take place, but true to the tradition of comic literature, things pan out in the end.If one believes the blurbs on the jacket, the novel is extremely funny The Times , mad and hilarious The Daily Telegraph and a comic feast, a riotous oil painting of senility, lust and greed Economist But I found it to be nothing of the sort The deliberate comic tone of voice that the author adopted was jarring, in view of the fact that extremely serious matters like the abuse of the elderly was being described You can t laugh such things off.Also, there is the matter of portrayal All the characters were seriously lacking in sympathy there is hardly a one there the reader will care to identify with Many of the conversations especially where a kind of pidgin English was used to parody the Ukrainians imperfect grasp of the language were narrated in a tone of mockery and when an author mocks her own creations, how can the reader take them seriously The book Nikolai is writing, A Short History of Tractors in the Ukrainian, is included as a sort of metaphor for the journey historical, mental and physical of the East European expatriate engineer, interested only in machines, from the communist East to the capitalist West Nikolai s reading of excerpts of the book is interspersed with the main narrative throughout the novel, which though informative, failed to meld with the main story The unspeakable horrors suffered by the family under Stalin and the Nazis somehow fail to make the impact they should, mainly because of the author s insistence on keeping up a comic tone However, three stars for a worthwhile story, and a social problem well presented But one is forced to think Ms Lewycka would have createdof an impact if the book was written in dead seriousness There is nothingdistressing than a joke which falls flat Adult sisters warring over parent s , money, step mother etc The extracts about the history of tractors are a gimmick that ought to haverelevance to justify its inclusion the characters and plot are unoriginal and superficial and the attempts at humour feel lame I can t figure out the target audience, how was it shortlisted for the Orange prize just a pun on Ukraine s Orange Revolution or selected as Radio 4 s Book at Bedtime An adult plot, but written with limited vocab except for Adult sisters warring over parent s , money, step mother etc The extracts about the history of tractors are a gimmick that ought to haverelevance to justify its inclusion the characters and plot are unoriginal and superficial and the attempts at humour feel lame I can t figure out the target audience, how was it shortlisted for the Orange prize just a pun on Ukraine s Orange Revolution or selected as Radio 4 s Book at Bedtime An adult plot, but written with limited vocab except for susurration , short sentences, short paragraphs and short chapters It would be ideal for an adult literacy or TEFL group In contrast, some YA books e.g Harry Potter requiretime, language skill and thought than this A beach read, perhaps Can anyone enlighten me as to why it s so popular what aspect have I overlooked Tractor AttractionI knew that this book existed for some time However, something about the title didn t attract me I think I have always assumed that I would prefer a book about American tractors Then one week I saw it again, bought it and read it within a week I was ready for it Our lives had mysteriously moved into alignment.Not So Secret Family BusinessAlthough it is set within a Ukrainian British family and it takes hilarious advantage of this fact, it reveals a lot about families gener Tractor AttractionI knew that this book existed for some time However, something about the title didn t attract me I think I have always assumed that I would prefer a book about American tractors Then one week I saw it again, bought it and read it within a week I was ready for it Our lives had mysteriously moved into alignment.Not So Secret Family BusinessAlthough it is set within a Ukrainian British family and it takes hilarious advantage of this fact, it reveals a lot about families generally Particularly, the interactions and dynamics between family members.Relentlessly Un Self Pitying Tolstoy said Happy families are all alike every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way at the beginning of Anna Karenina.I think this book goes one step further Although there might be happiness and unhappiness in this family, I don t think they stop to think and dwell on it that much It isn t a cause of self pity They just get on with their lives in a relentless way.Uniquely FunnyWhat is different about them is that they are funny.Maybe unfunny families are all alike, but every funny family is funny in its own way.Senses of humour vary enormously.But humourlessness doesn t change that much.Beyond TractorsI hope the author can make a transition away from the Ukrainian migrant subject matter and still be insightful and funny.That must sound terriblewhat I mean is that she has enormous skills and I d love to see her apply them to any topic of her choice Does that sound better Originally posted Feb 22, 2011 Never before have I bought a book because of title alone Plus, it was sandwiched between Nicholas Sparks ughhhand Eat, Pray, Love blerghhhI rescued it from this ghastly company and expected a grateful dose of funny in return.But instead of fun with tractors I got the above the family squabbles, elderly abuse, well hidden family secrets that nobody wants to unearth, the pent up years of anger and frustration, and the misery of life In a nutshell, it is a story of a very dysfunction Never before have I bought a book because of title alone Plus, it was sandwiched between Nicholas Sparks ughhhand Eat, Pray, Love blerghhhI rescued it from this ghastly company and expected a grateful dose of funny in return.But instead of fun with tractors I got the above the family squabbles, elderly abuse, well hidden family secrets that nobody wants to unearth, the pent up years of anger and frustration, and the misery of life In a nutshell, it is a story of a very dysfunctional family, hiding its true nature behind the veil of dark comedy Our little exile family, held together by our mother s love and beetroot soup, has started to fall apartTo quote Leo Tolstoy, Happy families are all alike every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way Narrated by a middle aged sociology professor Nadezhda, this is a story of her small British family of Ukrainian immigrants which thrown into utter chaos by an unexpected arrival of a Ukrainian bombshell tart Valentina, she of short denim skirts, high heeled mules, Botticellian breasts, and an infamous green satin braTwo years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorc e He was eighty four and she was thirty six She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backsideThe Mayevskij family has never been really happy The father, obsessed with technology and Ukrainianism , the feuding sisters, a mutual hatred between father and daughter, and the death of the mother who kept this little dysfunctional family together All of this does not exactly spell harmony, even without the addition of an oversexed buxom blonde who is clearly after a British visa and not as much after the charms of a man five decades her senior All for the following reasons Valentina is ready for anything to obtain the coveted comforts of Western life that the Westerners take for granted Can you blame her Can you NOT blame her But isn t the idea of comfort and security what we are all after at some point in life The funny that I was expecting from the back cover blurb isof a smile through the tears and throw your hands up in the air in resignation kind than simple side splitting laughter After all, there is nothing funny about elderly abuse or the loneliness that comes with age And there is nothing funny about the old grudges that tear families apart And so I think the sad humor that Lewytska chose for her book works very well in setting the perfect atmosphere, which is definitely the strength of this story The characterization is quite interesting as well None of Lewytska s characters are quite likable they are petty and vicious and often quite ridiculous but you cannot help but sympathize with them, even the intended villain Valentina The author accomplishes it well by always pointing out the other side of the story, the other point of view, the alternate take on the events Caricaturish at first, Lewytska s characters develop, show new sides of their personalities and come to life in an unexpected way all while remaining surprisingly outlandishMy mother had known ideology, and she had known hunger When she was twenty one, Stalin had discovered he could use famine as a political weapon against the Ukrainian kulaks She knew and this knowledge never left her throughout her fifty years of life in England, and then seeped from her into the hearts of her children she knew for certain that behind the piled high shelves and abundantly stocked counters of Tesco and the Co op, hunger still prowls with his skeletal frame and gaping eyes, waiting to grab you the moment you are off your guardThe chaos of the Majevkij family present day life is interspersed with the exerpts from a titular book about tractors in Ukrainian written by old Nikolaj which shed some light on a sad history of Ukraine in the 20th century, as well as bits and pieces of the sad history of Nadezhda s parents and grandparents in the middle of wars, famine, and concentration camp As expected, the dark secrets help Nadezhda grasp the origins of the peculiarities of her kin, and help her finally come to understand where the ultimate differences between herself and her seemingly obnoxious sister Vera are coming from the War Baby vs the Peace BabyDoesn t she realise how time and memory fix everything Doesn t she realise that once a story has been told one way, it cannot be retold another way Doesn t she realise that some things must be covered up and buried, so the shame of them doesn t taint the next generationI did have a love hate relationship with the writing I loved Lewytska s ear for the characteristic Ukrainianisms in the speech of the characters I did raise my eyebrows, however, at the predominance of Russian names in the family of the supposedly Russian hating man, a mistake that a woman raised in Ukrainian family should not make I did also notice quite a few instances when the first person narrator suddenly became rather omniscient, giving us the emotions and feelings of the people she comes in contact with even though she has no way of actually knowing them Overall, this book gets a solid 3.5 star rating from me I enjoyed it quite a bit I liked the story, but could not overlook the writing flaws However, I really like Lewytska s narrative voice, and I will definitely be on the lookout for her other works A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was bestselling author Marina Lewycka s bestselling debut novel which has sold over one million copies worldwide Lewycka tells the side splittingly funny story of two feuding sisters, Vera and Nadezhda, who join forces against their father s new, gold digging girlfriend Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorc e He was eighty four and she was thirty six She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backsideSisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their migr engineer father from voluptuous gold digger Valentina With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil in the bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealthBut the sisters campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe s darkest history and sends them back to roots they d much rather forget