Memoir of a Russian Punk

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's 1958 in the factory city of Kharkov. Krushchev is in power, the communist economy seems firmly entrenched and Eddie-baby, the streetwise hero of the author's two previous semi-autobiographical novels ( His Butler's Story ; It's Me, Eddie ) is on a collision course with the law. At age 15 Eddie is already a borderline alcoholic--gathering nightly with the rest of the neighborhood at grocery store #7 to drink fortified wine--and a thief. His skin-tight clothes, his arrogance and misplaced use of his gifts--Eddie-baby is a poet after the fashion of Rimbaud--have caused his disillusioned parents to cut off his pocket money. In this absorbing novel, Limonov expertly captures the horrifying boredom of working-class Soviet urban life, and uses just the right hip, offhand tone to describe Eddie's adventures in the demi-world of teenage gangs and small-time hoods. The graphic street violence which punctuates the narrative seems almost shockingly mundane as Eddie, attempting to steal a few rubles to take out his girlfriend, participates in gang rape and murder. Limonov leaves us with hope that Eddie, blessed with intelligence and a cocky assurance will, unlike his friends, eventually make a successful life for himself. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Eddie-baby is 15 and drowning in the city of Kharkov. Until now the thin, nearsighted boy has buried himself in books. And he writes poetry with great talent. But life erupts in a flash of hormones, heavy drinking, and crime. Eddie becomes a punk. With his new friends, he dreams of vast criminal empires and final showdowns with the other knife- and chain-wielding gangs in the city. He postures, steals, drinks, fights, and drinks some more, yet through everything he can't escape the poetry, the realization that he is different from his friends. This novel is the third volume in Limonov's fictionalized autobiography. While It's Me, Eddie ( LJ 7/83) and His Butler's Story ( LJ 6/15/87) follow Eddie-baby after his emigration to New York, this new novel shows the boy mired in 1958 Russia. Limonov's portrait of this sensitive poet lost in violence shows a new depth in an already stunning talent. Highly recommended.-- Paul E. Hutchison, Pequea, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802110268
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/7/1990
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 320

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