A Soviet emigre novelist now living in Washington, D.C., Aksyonov ( The Burn ) describes here alienation from and gradual acceptance of his adopted homeland, in what PW characterized as ``a perceptive potpourri that is mildly witty and affecting but also disjointed and underdeveloped.'' (Jan.)
Exiled Russian writer Aksyonov has written an exhilarating book about his emigration and coming to terms with American life. The author's remarkably perceptive chronicle shows an extraordinary grasp of the American character that only an outsider could possess. Taught to hate America, Aksyonov reveals the secret idolatry his generation of ``Critically Thinking Soviets'' held for that country. The book's title nostalgically recalls a popular American jazz tune from Aksyonov's youth. In search of the American character, Aksyonov humorously recounts his attempts to master America's wondrous gadgetry, his experience with customer service representatives, and even his uncomfortable encounters with U.S. immigration officialswho ironically remind him of Soviet apparatchiks. A warm, funny, and wise tribute to America, highly recommended. Alphonse Vinh, Yale Univ. Lib.