A World Elsewhere

A World Elsewhere

by Masha Spivak


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A World Elsewhere by Masha Spivak

This tender and unusual modern love story, written in a style peppered with literary allusions and riddles, is Russian novelist, Masha Spivak's first foray into English. Katia, born in the old USSR, has two dreams: Love, and the Freedom of the West. Although already married, she wants to marry a foreigner and embarks in the 90s on a passionate affair with a Dutchman, only to be used by him. Then in 2009 her husband leaves her for a younger, bustier piece of eye-candy and she is alone - husbandless, childless and in Moscow. A recuperative trip to the States to visit her oldest friend, Dora, who emigrated in the early 90s, leads to Katia finding true and mutual love with her best friend's husband. Katia ends up lost in a moral labyrinth, trying to cope with her ethical dilemma as she fights her love for Lev. At the same time, she supports another good friend Vava, who dies unexpectedly quickly of cancer, while reflecting on the memories of her indomitable grandmother. The finale blends past, present and future, with plans for murder and suicide, before Katia learns what is most important in life and what true freedom means. Check out our other books at www.dogstailbooks.co.uk

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780957338425
Publisher: Red Axe Books
Publication date: 09/30/2012
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)

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A World Elsewhere 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My dad asked me to read this novel, and I did. It is well-written and I wanted to read on - I stayed up late to finish it in one sitting. HOWEVER, be warned - it describes middle aged people falling in love and showing the passions of younger people -so it was very embarrassing and slightly laughable for a younger person to read. Surely sex stops at forty? It was embarrassing as those excruciating, skin-crawling bumps and groans that emanate sometimes from your parents' bedroom and you do your best to ignore, and wish you'd never heard. Nauseating!Vomit-inducing romantic pap! :-)
martinzwinkler More than 1 year ago
This is the best novel in English that I have read this century and as a university professor I know my field. For lovers of life the heroine bears comparison with Austen's Emma and Flaubert's Emma too. Katia is human, delightful and I empathized with her every tortuous step of her way - through the agony and the ecstasy. For lovers of literature this novel is a feast of puns, allusions, neologisms, and in-jokes. Shades of Nabokov indeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From a woman's perspective this a novel that tells it like it is. Much more serious than your average chick lit, it describes with sensitivity and profundity the way that even now in the early 21st century women are still the toys and play things of dominant males - seemingly doomed to subservience and discarded when they have reached their sell by date. The heroine is an Everywoman whom any woman will identify and empathize with. Tell your friends and tell your female relatives - this is a modern 'Madame Bovary.' But with a ... No, I won't give away the ending:-)
outraged67 More than 1 year ago
It is impossible to deny that this book is beautifully written and I would have to admit that I could not put it down. But for me it is a classic example of European moral decadence - it drips from the heroine and may well be seen as something of a classic on the other side of the Atlantic, but it is too morally dubious for American tastes. I was shocked and scandalized by the immoral behavior of the heroine, and would not be happy if my children read such a book - even though they are in their twenties. I am considering writing to the ALA to try to have this book banned from public libraries. I can now see the truth of what my grandfather used to say - that God created the Atlantic to save us Americans from European moral decadence and excess. Read this at your peril!
Ivan_Krylov More than 1 year ago
I am familiar with this author's Russian novels - which are very good and beautifully written - but I was astonished at the quality of her writing in English. I thought the novel was superb - engaging, and, even for a male, thought-provoking. What stands out is the heroine, Katia - such a tantalizing, yummy and sexy thing. There were so many moments and climaxes in this novel where I wished, beyond everything, to be in the shoes of the male characters who are sufficiently lucky to enjoy her charms. Oh, help, have I said too much? My wife might read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel so much on an emotional level (the characters and plot are intriguing and gripping) and on an intellectual level because the style is a constant surprise and delight, and there are lots of allusions to other famous writers' works. I don't want to give the plot away, but I would say that some passages made me cry; others made me laugh out loud; and generally I found a smile on my face - again because the writing is fresh, witty and original. This novel also contains probably the best writing in English on the fulfillment of consummated, mutual passion. And all this from a writer, Ms Spivak, for whom English is not her mother tongue. She is a master of the English language and is capable of writing sentences of which Nabokov would have been proud. She captures the nuances of love and attraction with a precision and depth of feeling rarely seen in American or British literature. If you value novels and literature, if you are human and have ever been in love - buy this book. It is such good value and such a good book.