Petropolis

Sasha Goldberg is the ultimate outsider she s a chubby, biracial Jewish girl from the Siberian town of Asbestos 2 Her father takes off for the United States, and leaves Sasha to navigate adolescence in a bleak apartment bloc with her overbearing mother Sasha falls in love with an art school drop out who lives inside a concrete pipe in the town dump Following her heartSasha Goldberg is the ultimate outsider she s a chubby, biracial Jewish girl from the Siberian town of Asbestos 2 Her father takes off for the United States, and leaves Sasha to navigate adolescence in a bleak apartment bloc with her overbearing mother Sasha falls in love with an art school drop out who lives inside a concrete pipe in the town dump Following her heart gets her into trouble at home, so she flees Russia as a mail order bride and lands in suburban Arizona Sasha manages to escape her Red Lobster loving fianc and embarks on a misadventure filled journey across America in search of her father Anya Ulinich has crafted an unforgettable story of familial fault lines, cross cultural confusion, and the beguiling allure of new beginnings Petropolis is a funny and poignant debut marking the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.
Petropolis Sasha Goldberg is the ultimate outsider she s a chubby biracial Jewish girl from the Siberian town of Asbestos Her father takes off for the United States and leaves Sasha to navigate adolescence i

  • Title: Petropolis
  • Author: Anya Ulinich
  • ISBN: 9780670038190
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Hardcover
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    1 thought on “Petropolis”

    1. Great! Loved it!I read this a long time ago .I had given it 4 stars.I was WRONG! (I had posted 4 --wrote no review). I've come back to rate it 5 stars! I can remember this book like yesterday. I knew 'nothing' about it when our Jewish book club picked it(our Rabbi picked it)Reading a book --that you know nothing about --discovering its hilarious -weird-sad-weird-funny-weird-hilarious-sad--DIFFERENT-- ABSOLUTELY delightful 'can't-put-down' reading. is PURE JOY!Why more people have not read and ra [...]

    2. (My full review of this book is much longer than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter].)It's no secret that I'm a fan of novels that use international travel as the core of their story; and one of the reasons I like such books, as is the case with a lot of other fans of the genre, is that it gives a smart author a great opportunity to examine the various cultures that exist around the world, the various sets of [...]

    3. Petropolis tries very hard to be dark and satirical and paint a picture of America and Russia that is both brutal and touching. It partly succeeds, in that there were many moments in the book that I thought perfectly conveyed the grimness of living in impoverished post-Soviet Russia, and the grimness of living as an outsider in the "land of opportunity" when you have no status and are reliant on the strings-attached charity of those who always have more money and power than you. Russia and Ameri [...]

    4. Well, I always think i have a weakness for books about Russian immigrants, Russian-Americans, or other Eastern Europeans in America. However, i've noticed a trend lately among contemporary novels written by Young Russian Immigrants or Young Americans of Russian Descent. The trend consists of books that try so hard to be satirical, lovingly mocking both Russian and American culture, while also trying to hard to be _current_ and capture minute details of contemporary pop culture so perfectly, that [...]

    5. What the heck, FIVE STARS! Eh, maybe 4.5 stars. I could not put this book down despite the Siberian chill it put in my bones. The writing is exquisite. Although some who read this may see its category (Russian/American Jewish young emigre writers of the 21st century) more than the book itself, it bears looking at on its own merits. That said, it's hard not to draw parallels. This may be the most "Soviet" thing I've ever read, including Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart. The book is not so much an o [...]

    6. This book kinda reiterates a general rule of thumb with me and Russians - tread lightly. They grow up in the land of broken if they're growing up in Siberia. Government, pipes, houses, spirits-you name it, broken and nothing to mend them. There's no whining though, there's acceptance and later craftiness and than above all, and intense resourcefulness. Guess that's where the crafty starts ro really take off. Lucky for us Sasha, born and raised in Asbestos2 in SIberia, also brings to the table th [...]

    7. Reading this was like visiting granny. She's a nice sweet old thing and all, but I could be out doing something. Sorry granny. Have another peppermint.Oh, by the way, you have to forgive me tonight, I'm at work and I'm totally not working. I bet you noticed already!! I'm trying the break the most-would-be-amusing-reviews-in-one-evening record.

    8. As with Life After Life, this was a book I needed to read. 10x’s better than Goldfinch, 12x’s better than most books that have much more hype. The characters are surreal! Some of them are so human it’s hard to think they aren’t real people. And the character of the Russian village — Asbestos 2, the main character, the Petropolis, the crumbling symbol of Soviet Russia — is so powerful it becomes a part of each character in the book, even the “Americans.” Some of this book was poet [...]

    9. A few days ago, a friend instant messaged me from Ukraine. I was terrified. I often email in the language—when I can take the time to check my grammar and spelling—but have never before engaged in a real-time written conversation.Not only was I trying to remember vocabulary and declensions, but I was also dealing with typing in an entirely different alphabet. My deficiencies were mortifying, and I was sure my friend thought I was a complete moron.At the same time, I was reading Anya Ulinich [...]

    10. Dark and funny. This book is about life; not all terrible, but not all rosy. The main character, Sasha Goldberg, was a black, Jewish Russian. She grew up in a small town Siberia called Abestos 2. Her decisions in life took her to different situations that I could completely relate to. Growing up with a mom who worked all the time to put food on the table and did her best to give you the best opportunities; seeking a father who you long to be close to but yet leave you with disappointments after [...]

    11. Perhaps I really liked this book because it told me what has happened when you have lost everything. Sash Goldberg is an outcast - living in post-Lenin Russia, in poverty with her mother, growing up with a father who walked out on her, and to add to it - she is both black and Jewish, and overweight. This calls for some serious discrimination (such as she can't be a "snowflake" with her classmates in the school play). The book follows Sasha through her life - her first love, her schooling struggl [...]

    12. "Anya Ulinich's Petropolis is a coming-of-age story, a novel about outsiderness, about being a Jew and an immigrant, a Lost Girl trying to find the father who left when she was a child. That Ulinich steers clear of sentimentality may seem like a minor miracle. It's the real trick of Petropolis, and she pulls it off by sending her heroine—an awkward, intelligent teenager from Siberia who becomes a mail-order bride—on a comic odyssey through a United States populated almost entirely by despera [...]

    13. This book was an easy read about a young girl finding her way through life. Growing up in an impoverished area in Siberia, she encounters many obstacles but continues to move on trying to make a better life for herself. She actually had many things going for her, but the usual rebellious teenage behavior steps in and takes over. I don't usually read books centered in Russia, so I found the geographical aspects interesting as well. I don't want to give anything away, but I was happy with the way [...]

    14. The more I read, the more I felt I had to read. This is good stuff. Funny, honest, heartbreaking, fo real. Its a coming of age story about a biracial jewish(ish) girl who emmigrates to America as a mail order bride. She has lots of fascinating experiences. The writing is wonderful, beautiful.The title is taken from a Russian poem by Osip Mandelstam:“At a terrifying height a wandering fire,But is this how a star sparkles, flying?Transparent star, a wandering fire,Your brother, Petropolis, is dy [...]

    15. I think I lied this book more than I realized after immediately finishing it. Although I wasn't crazy about where the story was heading I always found it enjoyable to read. I think its partly because of the great characters that are so different and well depicted. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it!

    16. Ein Hoch auf den Bücherschrank in der VHS, der mir dieses Schätzchen zugespielt hat. Das Buch hat mir sehr gut gefallen und besonders berührt hat mich der Versuch von Alexei, sich um Verhütung zu kümmern. Jake fand ich auch sehr sympathisch und es freut mich, dass die Geschichte letztlich ein Ende gefunden hat, das zumindest irgendwie okay war und womit Sascha vermutlich zwischendurch niemals hätte rechnen können. Das namensgebende Gedicht von Ossip Mandelstam (ihn kannte ich vorher nicht [...]

    17. An interesting blend of horrifyingly true, distorted and improbable - a lost soul in a ghost industrial town somewhere in Russia's freezing North, a lost soul in St.Petersburg and - yes, a lost soul in New York. But our of this sometimes grotesque debacle emerges a strong woman ready to return and confront life in her native Russia. I didn't LIKE the book, I didn't LIKE the heroine, and the plot seemed awkwardly contrived but I couldn't put the book down and couldn't stop wondering afterwards wh [...]

    18. ***SPOILERS****Given my love of Gary Shteyngart's novels, and my general Russophilia, I picked this up. It's a grittier story — not devoid of humor, but missing the laugh-out-loud farce of an Absurdistan. It's also a simple story about growing up under complicated circumstances. The main character is likeable; you root for her and her misfit friends, but it was her mother who I most felt for — the woman who is left behind, who does the hard and sometimes awful things that she thinks will mak [...]

    19. This book was profoundly great-- a Russian version of Adichie's Americanah (though it was earlier). It takes you to so many different places, not just in milieu but in psyche, and even the morals shift. The beginning is atmosphere, strangely cozy and dark like a Jan Svankmajer film. Then, upon Sasha's calamity and move from Siberia to Arizona, there were times when I wanted to walk away from the book, when all seemed hopeless and I thought it was going to be a dreary monument to the full range o [...]

    20. This is a strong debut from an author who shows herself to be, above all, an excellent storyteller. It is at its heart the story of a woman--Sasha Goldberg, a teenage, dark-skinned, Russian Jew raised in a forgotten and eroding Soviet town called Asbestos 2--trying to find a place for herself in the world. Some might call it a coming-of-age piece, taking place as it does in Sasha's late teens, but I think it is more aptly described as an immigrant's story, one of seeking a home.What makes this s [...]

    21. I had a little trouble getting started with this book, as I did not quite get an idea of what the tone and storyline was about. I thought the protagonist, Sasha, was possibly a female version of Ignatius J. Reilly, and the story similar to a Confederacy of Dunces, only with a female, Black, Russian, Jewish, bumbling idiot/genius and her life of random encounters, both tragic and comedic. And, in some ways, that is what this book was. But, oh I loved it! The pace definitely picks up after Sasha f [...]

    22. Like most books that aim to imitate life and reflect it, I'm not sure how to feel about this book. Like in life, people are loving, irrational, make bad decisions, don't make decisions at all or are downright bizzare. This story is about Sasha Goldberg, a Black and Jewish Russian girl. She is the child of a father who doesn't feel or react to much of anything, a cosmic plaything and a figure often defined by the women in his life. She is the child of a mother who wanted more of life and wanted m [...]

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