A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

Last week we finished reading Living in the House of God, and began to read Lev Golinkin’s memoir:  A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka.  The vodka refers to eight crates of it that his family fled with as they left the USSR in 1989.  Bottles of vodka were used to bribe officials along the way to the West.  (This is no doubt the most unusual title for a book we have read at table.)

While a sad story of living and leaving the Soviet Union as a Ukrainian Jewish family, Golinkin has an amusing narrative style.  Consider this passage from early on in the memoir:

“Parades were the gold standard of the Soviet Union.  Worker’s parades, women’s parades, Revolution parades, the Great Patriotic War parades, we had them all.  We had perfected parades; we had the best parades in the whole damn world.  St. Patrick’s Day?  Thanksgiving?  Please.  Macy’s had balloons.  We had intercontinental ballistic missiles rolling through Red Square.”

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This entry was posted in Current Table Reading, Laughter in the Refectory and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

  1. Renee says:

    Sounds like Cuba!

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