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Vodka Shot, Pickle Chaser: A True Story Of Risk, Corruption, And Self-Discovery Amid The Collapse Of The Soviet Union (2014)

by David A. Kalis(Favorite Author)
4.27 of 5 Votes: 4
0991230205 (ISBN13: 9780991230204)
review 1: Such a good read! In Vodka Shot, Pickle Chaser, the author provides a captivating story of his personal journey to connect the past, present and future, amid a vividly painted backdrop of a nation that seems to be struggling to do the same thing. As Dave (we can call him that... its that personal) pushes further into his own search for identity and direction, he simultaneously pushes deeper into Russia's violent, scary and unnerving struggle to transform the very foundation of its society. The pages turn effortlessly. We see historic events, remembered only from TV-news, unfold before our eyes from an uncannily and sometimes shocking first-person perspective. From the geopolitical twists and bloody military action that wrought the fall of the Soviet empire, to the mush... morerooming violence and moral decay left in its wake, we see it all at very, very close range. But just as closely, we also see the human, everyday struggles of everyday Russians (and even Ukrainians) as they try to cling to hope and navigate a rapidly changing world. And inside all this this is Dave's personal journey, his taking stock of blessings and confronting of challenges, and thus his finding of a way forward. The pace is brisk, the style is economical, and the blend of the macro and micro is truly engrossing. On more than a few occasions I laughed out loud, while at other times I felt fear, joy and a human connection that crossed beyond the politics of nations or religious differences. VSPC is thought provoking on several levels, but perhaps what is most pleasing about this memoir is that all those connections and parallels between Dave's inner journey and Russia's external one are left for the reader to infer. Subtly executed and enjoyable. I highly recommend this book.
review 2: A fantastic book, reminded me of "Learning To Bow" - a young man leaves college to learn about another culture and learns about himself in the process. In this case the personal story occurs during one of the most tumultuous periods in Russia's recent history, as the Soviet Union collapses, the mafia takes control, lines for food get longer, and the public is politically and socially conflicted. Highly recommended less
Reviews (see all)
Great read! A snapshot in time of post communist Russia. Well done
A great story, bravely told.
Such a good read
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