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5 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian: A Novel

by

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780143036746
ISBN10: 0143036742
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family.

When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their father's intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. As the hostilities mount and family secrets spill out, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian combines sex, bitchiness, wit, and genuine warmth in its celebration of the pleasure of growing old disgracefully.

Review:

"The premise of Lewycka's debut novel is classic Viagra comedy: a middle-aged professor's aging and widowed father announces he intends to marry a blonde, big-breasted 30-something woman he has met at the local Ukrainian Social Club in the English town where he lives, north of London. It is clear to Nadezhda and her sister, Vera, that the femme fatale Valentina is only after Western luxuries — certainly not genuine love of any kind. Smitten with the ambitious hussy, their father forges ahead to help Valentina settle in England, spending what little pension he has buying her cars and household appliances and even financing her cosmetic surgery. In the meantime, Nadezhda, a socialist, and Vera, a proud capitalist, confront the longstanding ill will between them as they try to save their father from his folly. Predictable and sometimes repetitive hilarity ensues. But then Lewycka's comic narrative changes tone. Nadezhda, who has never known much about her parents' history, pieces it together with her sister and learns that there is more to her cartoonish father than she once believed. 'I had thought this story was going to be a knockabout farce, but now I see it is developing into a knockabout tragedy,' Nadezhda says at one point, and though she is referring to Valentina, she might also be describing this unusual and poignant novel. Agent, Bill Hamilton. (Mar. 7)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Drawing on her own family, Lewycka has created a funny, tender, and intelligent novel that is as much social history as family saga. It is a delight." Booklist

Review:

"Not enough here to reinvigorate an old, old story." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"'There's no fool like an old fool' appears to be the theme here, but Lewycka skillfully teases out a more complex story, underpinned by Ukraine's horrors under Stalin and Hitler. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is a mischievous and smart book, casting a penetrating eye on the human predicament....[N]othing in Lewycka is self-indulgent....[A] breathtaking debut, one of a kind." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"The narrator's voice carries us along for a ride that, despite the bumps and curves in the road, never feels anything less than jaunty. While the plot drives the story in zany circles, an intriguing lesson drawn from the tragedies of the past emerges." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"An amusing, astonishing debut...about how a family learns to let go of the past and live and love in the present." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

"In the midst of these machinations — which include long-winded letters to solicitors, venomous gossip, and all-out spying — Lewycka stealthily reveals how the depredations of the past century dictate what a family can bear." The New Yorker

Review:

"This fine novel is funny, rings true, and teaches a lot about the origin and development of farm equipment — but its best bit concerns the narrator's dawning awareness of what makes people who they are." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Lewycka...displays a terrific comic eye here. Her story resembles a zany British sitcom; her characters' manic encounters with the stolid British bureaucracy are especially hilarious." Houston Chronicle

Synopsis:

This wise, tender, deeply funny novel is about an eccentric elderly Ukrainian widower in England and the struggles of his two feuding daughters to thwart the voluptuous young gold-digger from the old country who sweeps him off his feet.

Synopsis:

With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their father’s intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. As the hostilities mount and family secrets spill out, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian combines sex, bitchiness, wit, and genuine warmth in its celebration of the pleasure of growing old disgracefully.

Synopsis:

"An amusing, astonishing debut . . . about how a family learns to let go of the past and live and love in the present." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their father's intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. As the hostilities mount and family secrets spill out, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian combines sex, bitchiness, wit, and genuine warmth in its celebration of the pleasure of growing old disgracefully.

"A charming comedy of eros... A ride that, despite the bumps and curves in the road, never feels anything less than jaunty." Los Angeles Times

"Lewycka is a writer with a fundamentally optimistic vision of the future and a healthy curiosity about the past." Chicago Tribune

"Charming, poignantly funny." The Washington Post Book World

About the Author

Marina Lewycka was born of Ukrainian parents in a refugee camp at the end of World War II and grew up in England. In the course of researching her family roots for this novel, she uncovered no fewer than three long-lost relatives.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, June 10, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
Ultimately, a rather disturbing and tragic novel that is superficially about elder abuse, and more abstractly about the legacy of culture-wide trauma. Themes include reconciliation/redemption (of the kind that makes it a contender for Oprah's Book Club), connection and disconnection, stinginess and generosity, optimism and fear, and innocence and cynicism. It nicely illustrates how position in a family influences one's perspective on the family, as well as the oblique ways that family history is conveyed.

At times the narration is too self-conscious and at those points the book reads too much like a horrible Borat/Everything is Illuminated pastiche of goofy fractured English utterances from those wacky foreigners. It's certainly a fine first novel, however, and many sections are very enjoyable to read. The ending is particularly moving.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143036746
Author:
Lewycka, Marina
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Romance - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
April 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
7.64x5.82x.53 in. .45 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian: A Novel Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143036746 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The premise of Lewycka's debut novel is classic Viagra comedy: a middle-aged professor's aging and widowed father announces he intends to marry a blonde, big-breasted 30-something woman he has met at the local Ukrainian Social Club in the English town where he lives, north of London. It is clear to Nadezhda and her sister, Vera, that the femme fatale Valentina is only after Western luxuries — certainly not genuine love of any kind. Smitten with the ambitious hussy, their father forges ahead to help Valentina settle in England, spending what little pension he has buying her cars and household appliances and even financing her cosmetic surgery. In the meantime, Nadezhda, a socialist, and Vera, a proud capitalist, confront the longstanding ill will between them as they try to save their father from his folly. Predictable and sometimes repetitive hilarity ensues. But then Lewycka's comic narrative changes tone. Nadezhda, who has never known much about her parents' history, pieces it together with her sister and learns that there is more to her cartoonish father than she once believed. 'I had thought this story was going to be a knockabout farce, but now I see it is developing into a knockabout tragedy,' Nadezhda says at one point, and though she is referring to Valentina, she might also be describing this unusual and poignant novel. Agent, Bill Hamilton. (Mar. 7)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Drawing on her own family, Lewycka has created a funny, tender, and intelligent novel that is as much social history as family saga. It is a delight."
"Review" by , "Not enough here to reinvigorate an old, old story."
"Review" by , "'There's no fool like an old fool' appears to be the theme here, but Lewycka skillfully teases out a more complex story, underpinned by Ukraine's horrors under Stalin and Hitler. (Grade: B+)"
"Review" by , "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is a mischievous and smart book, casting a penetrating eye on the human predicament....[N]othing in Lewycka is self-indulgent....[A] breathtaking debut, one of a kind."
"Review" by , "The narrator's voice carries us along for a ride that, despite the bumps and curves in the road, never feels anything less than jaunty. While the plot drives the story in zany circles, an intriguing lesson drawn from the tragedies of the past emerges."
"Review" by , "An amusing, astonishing debut...about how a family learns to let go of the past and live and love in the present."
"Review" by , "In the midst of these machinations — which include long-winded letters to solicitors, venomous gossip, and all-out spying — Lewycka stealthily reveals how the depredations of the past century dictate what a family can bear."
"Review" by , "This fine novel is funny, rings true, and teaches a lot about the origin and development of farm equipment — but its best bit concerns the narrator's dawning awareness of what makes people who they are."
"Review" by , "Lewycka...displays a terrific comic eye here. Her story resembles a zany British sitcom; her characters' manic encounters with the stolid British bureaucracy are especially hilarious."
"Synopsis" by , This wise, tender, deeply funny novel is about an eccentric elderly Ukrainian widower in England and the struggles of his two feuding daughters to thwart the voluptuous young gold-digger from the old country who sweeps him off his feet.
"Synopsis" by ,

With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their father’s intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. As the hostilities mount and family secrets spill out, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian combines sex, bitchiness, wit, and genuine warmth in its celebration of the pleasure of growing old disgracefully.

"Synopsis" by , "An amusing, astonishing debut . . . about how a family learns to let go of the past and live and love in the present." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their father's intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. As the hostilities mount and family secrets spill out, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian combines sex, bitchiness, wit, and genuine warmth in its celebration of the pleasure of growing old disgracefully.

"A charming comedy of eros... A ride that, despite the bumps and curves in the road, never feels anything less than jaunty." Los Angeles Times

"Lewycka is a writer with a fundamentally optimistic vision of the future and a healthy curiosity about the past." Chicago Tribune

"Charming, poignantly funny." The Washington Post Book World

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