Friday, March 29, 2013
Book Review: There Once Lived A Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, And He Hanged Himself by Lyudmila Petrushevskaya
I feel totally unqualified to evaluate the writing in this book, since my experience with Russian literature is limited almost exclusively to Crime and Punishment. I was largely motivated to read the book because of my lack of knowledge of Russian literature, but I think that also really limits my ability to critique the writing. So bear in mind that I am far, far from an expert.
That said, I wasn't really blown away by the writing like it seems many reviewers were. This could largely be due to my ignorance of Russian writing and what is lost in translation, but I just didn't see anything particularly appealing in the writing. It was very simplistic and at many point dreary. I felt like there was something there, but I wasn't fully grasping it. There was a disconnect for me that kept me from fully grasping WHY this is exceptional writing.
All of the stories were interesting and easy to read, but as with the writing, I felt like there was something I was missing. I liked them, but I didn't love them the way I usually love short stories.
I wasn't compelled to keep reading the way I was with Tenth of December or Shout Her Lovely Name, but I did find the book interesting. Also, I plan on continuing to explore Russian literature and see if my understanding changes any. I have the author's collection of fairy tale style stories on my TBR and definitely plan on trying them as soon as I get a copy of the book.
Posted by Julie G at 11:51 AM