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21 November 2018

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Book Review

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Diary of a Soviet Kid

By Vladimir Kozlov (Fiction Advocate: $18)

There is something to be said for seeing the world through the eyes of a child, and Kozlov (who happens to author an article in this issue of Russian Life) shows in this novel a gift for recreating a juvenile worldview – in particular the world as seen from Mogilev, Belorussia, as the Soviet Empire heads into its tailspin.

Briskly told through short, interconnected episodes, this is a work of autobiographical fiction that is full of rich, real (yes, sometimes obscene) dialogue and memorable scenes of a hardscrabble life on the periphery of empire. It evokes the sights and smells, sounds and language of that era when the Soviet Union was just cracking open, when a new world was dawning, and when the novel’s protagonist is coming of age.

A great read. Recommended.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: May/June 2015