HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov
Loading...

The Suitcase (1986)

by Sergei Dovlatov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1138106,831 (3.76)6
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

English (5)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 5 of 5
a collection of short stories highlighting the depressing life led in a former SSR, each story brought about via the memories of an item packed away long ago as part of the author's emigration from Estonia. Some good satire, but overall, not as well written as "the Compromise" ( )
  jsoos | Oct 4, 2012 |
If Dovlatov was a worse writer and the plot less interesting, this might be considered a dry, ham-handed approach to a memoir. However, Dovlatov, a master of presentation, provides a wonderful approach to placing before the reader a series of vignettes of his life in Russia before he emigrated. He opens the one suitcase he brought to the West many years-it was never opened-and relives how he came to possess each item. The stories blend from black market socks to conniving the Communist State into buying him a black suit, and on to other items.

While Dovlatov makes merry with vodka aplenty, there is an undercurrent of struggle and hopelessness not only at the bureaucracy, corruption, grandstanding, and moral turpitude of life under Communism, but also within the author's own life, hinting at times at some greater expectations never fulfilled. Dovlatov's true-to-life account and wonderful characters make it easy to not be too touched by the regrets the book weaves in among the funny and sad stories. ( )
  shawnd | Mar 2, 2010 |
I no longer lend books by Dovlatov to friends because they never come back.

Maybe his collections of short stories are not great literature but I'll grab one when a laugh is needed. ( )
  Jay_Huhman | Oct 10, 2009 |
You receive an exit visa from the Soviet Union. You leave within the week--and you can only take one suitcase. What would you pack? Which material things from your life are really important? What is better left behind?

Such is the basis of exiled writer, Sergei Dovlatov's masterful collection of tales chronicling his forced exodus from the Soviet Union. This text, in true Dovlatov fashion, quietly and humorously reflects on the parts of our lives that matter, on the connections that form our identity. ( )
  dheintz | Feb 21, 2009 |
Russian
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
Zadie Smith wrote a whole novel White Teeth with a similar comic sensibility to Dovlatov's but it fizzes away relentlessly for over 500 pages and I do mean relentlessly. Dovlatov's Suitcase is much more laconic, more sparse, a collage of pinpricks that looks random, but, when you step back, actually paints a devastating picture of life in the madhouse that was Soviet Russia.

'I had once worked for a factory newsletter,' Dovlatov writes. 'My wife had been a hairdresser. There was very little that could still shock us.' Perhaps you have to live in a fundamentally, not just wacky, but evil system as Gogol did, as Dovlatov did to strike this kind of note of poker-faced levity. Dovlatov is a master almost Gogol reborn.

 
The mark of a book's ability to move, instruct and entertain is the way in which it is read. To say one can't put a book down is not the highest form of praise. It intimates that the prose is dispensable, that there are no turns of phrase worth relishing. A better book is one the reader would love to gulp down in one sitting, but chooses instead to savor. Sergei Dovlatov's new collection of interrelated vignettes, ''The Suitcase,'' adroitly translated by Antonina W. Bouis, fits into this second category. I predict most readers will roar through the first two-thirds of this novel, then, upon realizing there are only a few chapters left, stop reading in an effort to stave off finishing it. The final chapters will be hoarded and cherished, doled out one at a time as a reward after a bad day.
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sergei Dovlatovprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cabal Guarro, MiquelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A Russian immigrant narrates the humorous events behind the acquisiton of eight seemingly unimportant possessions which he has brought with him to the United States.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 wanted4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.76)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 7
3.5 6
4 15
4.5
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,364,202 books! | Top bar: Always visible