Customer Reviews for

The Black Russian

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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  • Posted April 23, 2013

    Who knew ? A black man from Mississippi hits the big time in Cza

    Who knew ? A black man from Mississippi hits the big time in Czarist Russia ! How ? By business smarts and good ol' Southern hospitality. This is a great read about a spectacularly successful entertainment entrepreneur who parlayed his savvy into millions of rubles. Totally researched, it provides first hand accounts by people who crossed paths with Frederick Bruce Thomas (aka Fyodor Fyodorovich) as he made his way across America, Europe and Russia as well as fact based narrative providing a scintillating glimpse of this historical character. On his extensive travels, stopping for awhile in notable place like London, Paris, Cannes, Berlin, Monte Carlo, Venice and Vienna, Frederick continued to hone his skills and acquire business acumen. When he finally settled in Moscow, he used all that he'd learned to build an entertainment empire. For years he enjoyed unimaginable success and social cache until the Russian revolution took it from him. Making his way to Constantinople, he endeavored to build again. His story is a testament to the human spirit, and a fascinating look at 19th and early 20th C America, Europe and Russia. The author has rendered Frederick's life in 3D. This book should be optioned for a movie. It cries out for translation to the big screen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    An Interesting Life and Read

    Narrative non-fiction. Interesting story about an African American man who was born in the south, moved north to several places in the U.S., and eventually ends up overseas. He settles in Russia, and has an interesting life and career there in the restaurant and club scene, around the time of WWI and its aftermath. I do not want to say too much and ruin it for others because it is most definitely worth a read. I highly recommend this one, fascinating stuff!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexa

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov, who recounts the life of Frederick Thomas. Thomas was an individual who was driven to succeed in spite of immense obstacles that he encountered ranging from being a black man in the US following the civil war to the calamity of unstoppable world events. The book is very well written and engages you from start to finish. It is certainly one of the best books that I have read in a long time.

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  • Posted April 30, 2013

    The first part of the book was really interesting and absorbing.

    The first part of the book was really interesting and absorbing. By the middle, it started to sag and I was hard-pressed to continue reading. The last 90 pages were excruciating. There's not a whole lot of information on Frederick Bruce Thomas (no writings, no papers) so much of what is written here is conjecture. Thomas constantly reinvented himself and exaggerated events that may not have even happened. It's certainly admirable that he was able to create this wonderful life for himself. His work ethic came from his parents. Since there is not much about him, the book has plenty of chapters on the history of Russia and Turkey and this filler can become interminable. You don't really get a sense of who Frederick Bruce Thomas really was because the writing is just not that engaging.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

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