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Never stop reading. (Content originally posted at Blogger.)

Odessa Stories, by Isaac Babel

Odessa Stories (Pushkin Collection) - Isaac Babel, Boris,  Boris Dralyuk Dralyuk

Russian literature has (deservedly) a reputation for being utterly depressing and heavy—which is why it’s always a delight to find comic writers like Teffi and Isaac Babel. The humor in these authors’ stories and feuilletons is caustic and sharply observed, but still makes me smile and chuckle. This week I read Isaac Babel’s classic collection, Odessa Stories (translated by Boris Dralyuk), about Jewish life in Odessa in the early twentieth century. The collection is night-and-day from his collection Red Cavalry, as one might expect, but it shares similar themes of violence and chaos without being as gutting as Red Cavalry. Odessa Stories is packed with gangsters, tsarist and communist officials, pigeons, and a lot of slapstick...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.