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Mud and Stars

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Rts were less interesting thought it WAS FASCINATING TO SEE THE RUN fascinating to see the run to the Sochi Olympics through her eyes Mud and Stars Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age Wheeler follows in the footsteps of Dostoyevsky Gogol Chekov and other 19th century authors connecting them to Putin s Russia of today You needn t have read or well remember the writers detailed To Enjoy This Wryly Told Traveler S Tale Wheeler Reminds enjoy this wryly told traveler s tale Wheeler reminds a lot of Susan Orlean another writer who never seems to put her foot wrong I really liked the idea of this book in which the author follows in the footsteps of great Russian authors and while this did happen Sara Wheeler s own battles with the Russian language and attempts at cooking the food distract from this She does go into great descriptions of the authors their lives and impact they had and she visits places where they lived or travelled I really enjoyed this aspect of the book The other experiences were amusing and interesting but didn t add to the book for me Human All Too HumanBy 1942 when hunger defeat and deprivation had begun to stalk the Germans who had attacked USSR realization dawned among the pper echelons of the N Fascinating snapshots of Russian writers in Russia s Golden Age of Literature Broadly The 19th Century the 19th century The Trial of Lizzie Borden until the death of Tolstoy in 1910 Biographies with their personality traits I never knew Tolstoy was such a horrible person for one. ??three hills” estate that Pushkin freuented during his exile now preserved in his honor We look for Dostoevsky along the waters of Lake Ilmen site of the only house the restless writer ever owned We pay tribute to the single stone that remains of Tol­stoy’s birthplace Wheeler weaves these writers’ lives and works around their historical homes givings rich portraits of the many diverse Russias from which these writers spoke As she travels Wheeler follows. Audiobook versionSara Wheeler set out "to explore the locations of the writers of the Russian Golden Age Pushkin Tolstoy Golgo "explore the locations of the writers of the Russian Golden Age Pushkin Tolstoy Golgo and others She mostly bypassed the major cities and visited off the beaten path places of Russia like the Arctic Siberia and the Caucasus This is both a literary exploration and a travelogueI am a big fan of the Russian Golden age and of travelogues set in Eastern Europe so this book really appealed to me I haven t read all of the classic works far from it but I am familiar with many of them I learned many new I am familiar with many of them I learned many new about both the writers and the places in Russia she featured If you are interested in either then this book is worth your timeWheeler reads the book herself and I believe it adds to its value She brings it to life Not all authors can pull this off 355 A curious book Basic outlines of the life and works of great 19th century writers along with travelogues reports of progress in learning the Russian language and cookery It fails to come together although there are interesting snippets along the way and I ve added some Russian novels to my TBR I d recommend Natasha s Dance A Cultural History of Russia and The Possessed Adventures with Russian Books s Dance A Cultural History of Russia and The Possessed Adventures with Russian Books the People Who Read Them instead I love so many of the authors that Wheeler followed and I enjoyed seeing where they lived hearing their lives and the way she connected them That was beautiful Some of the travelogue pa. With the writers of the Golden Age as her guides Pushkin Tolstoy Gogol and Turgenev among others Sara Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news traveling from rinsed northwestern beet fields and the Far Eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of nation­alities religions and languages in the Caucasus Bypassing major cities as much as possible she goes instead to the places associated with the country’s literary masters With her we see the fabled Trigorskoye ,
Interspersed with many photographs The author travelled to places important in the writers lives it was interesting to compare then through the writers lives and now through THE AUTHOR S TRAVELS I ENJOYED author s travels I enjoyed about lesser known figures such as Fet a think of an Emily Dickinson comparison goncharov for oblomov which variations on Goncharov known for Oblomov which variations on extremely slothful character s name have entered the Russian language and Leskov an SpecOps: Expeditionary Force, Book 2 uneven writer known principally for his masterwork the novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk turned into an opera by Shostakovich Some of her musings on the current political situation in Russia got boring prettyickly Recommended I hate to say it but I found this to be a strange and disappointing book Ms Wheeler mentions in her introduction that during the book s gestation her life went awry badly I think and she put it away for a while before returning to it The book for me only had life in the chapters about Chekhov and Goncharov most of the rest was a slog Whilst there is some good writing and some interesting vignettes of her own travels through Russia the book for me was neither fish nor fowl I gleaned plenty about Ms Wheeler s political vi Ok for a first go at Russian literature Nothing especially insightful if you ve read the works andor other commentary If you do read it and want on Pushkin ie a wry modern take on Pushkin worship in the Soviet era look for Pushkin Hills by Dovlatov. Local guides boards with families in modest homestays eats roe and pelmeni and cabbage soup invokes recipes from Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking learns the language and observes the pattern of outcry and silence that characterizes life nder Vladimir Putin Illustrated with both historical images and contemporary snapshots of the peo­ple and places that shaped her journey Mud and Stars gives s timely witty and deeply personal insights into Russia then and