Read A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen Online

A Terrible Country

A literary triumph about Russia, family, love, and loyalty--the first novel in ten years from a founding editor of n+1 and author of All the Sad Young Literary MenWhen Andrei Kaplan's older brother Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their ailing grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. His dissertation adviser is dubious about his job prospects. It's the summer of 2008, and his bank account is running dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs. So Andrei sublets his room in Brooklyn, packs up his hockey stuff, and moves into the apartment that Stalin himself had given his grandmother, a woman who has outlived her husband and most of her friends. She survived the dark days of communism and witnessed Russia's violent capitalist transformation, during which she lost her beloved dacha. She welcomes Andrei into her home, even if she can't always remember who he is.Andre...

Title : A Terrible Country
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ISBN : 9780735221314
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 338 pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Terrible Country Reviews

  • Cecil Paddywagon

    It's strange, but I was captivated by this book, even though it was... well, boring. Boring in that the life of Andrei Kaplan, who narrates, doesn't quite lead an exceptional life. He's underemployed, lacking direction, and, when not taking care of his (brilliantly imagined) ailing grandmother, he's generally spends his time in a single coffee shop (buying the cheapest item each time). But he's in Moscow, after all, which, despite being largely indifferent (or outright hostile) to his presence-- ...more

  • Nathan


    Keith Gessen has excellent timing. His new novel, A Terrible Country, lands amid a strong national interest in his birth country, Russia. This is the kind of book that publishers rush into the hands of readers while the demand is high. It would be wrong, though, to treat this as just another Soviet story.

    While politics act as a force in much of the novel, it is not the politics of world leaders, but rather those of the everyday citizen; specifically, the s

  • Jennifer

    3.5 stars. In A Terrible Country, the main character, Andrei Kaplan, like the author is Russian born and from a young age was raised in America. The year is 2008 and 33 year old Andrei is called back to Russia by his older brother, Dima, to look after their 88 year old grandmother who lives in a "Stalin" apartment in the heart of Moscow, while Dima is away in London on business for an indeterminable time period. Andrei, a recent Russian Literature Ph.D. graduate with no solid job prospects and a ...more

  • Jenni Link

    So, so good. Wry, thoughtful, warm story about the American child of Soviet immigrants who returns to Moscow to care for his ailing grandmother. Born in 1919, she has borne the curse of living in interesting times all her life, although her dementia causes her to remember them only intermittently. Her adult grandson, meanwhile, has lived in the States since age 6, and finds the post-Soviet oligarchical Russia quite different from - though with new, previously unimagined hardships - the USSR his ...more

  • Jill Dobbe

    I enjoyed this book about Russia from someone who was born there, lived there for a time, and speaks the language. Reading about the author's Russian grandmother, and his relationship with her, was the highlight of the book for me. His writing was honest, true-to-life, and at times, very entertaining.

    The author knows a great deal about Russian literature and expounds, in parts, on famous authors and poets. He gives interesting details about getting around Moscow and how expensive the food, cloth

  • ❤Marie Gentilcore

    I loved this book! It’s been nearly a week since I finished and I miss it still and wish there was more. It is a novel but it reads like a memoir. It starts off with Andrei coming back to Moscow to take care of his grandmother while his older brother is out of the country. Andrei was born in Russia but immigrated to the US when he was a child and has been living there for the past twenty years of so. The story takes place in 2008 and I feel like I really got to know Putin’s Russia along with And ...more

  • James

    This was an amiable page-turner for most of the book, but it felt more like a long New Yorker article than a novel, if you see what I mean. I like that the author attempts to inject political urgency and ideas into the novel form, which seems to me like an important thing to do just now. I also LOVE the ending (spoilers below). The characters, though, never quite came alive to me, for some reason.

    *** SPOILERS

    The best part of this book is the total obtuseness the narrator shows at the end. He bet

  • Cflack

    A dryly humorous and at times touching story about a young man at a professional dead end who accepts his brother’s request to move back to Moscow to take care of his ailing 89 year old grandmother. Andrei encounters a Moscow very different from his memories of the city as a child. There is much more consumerism – lots of cafes and shopping for people with money, but there are still people like his grandmother, an ex-academic, who are not a part of the new capitalism. Although the grocery stores ...more