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A Terrible Country

by Keith Gessen

Taking care of your elderly grandmother who is in the early stages of dementia isn't easy. But when you have to move from Brooklyn to Moscow to help it's even harder. Andrei Kaplan stumbles through life and Moscow with good intentions but without a real plan. Funny, honest but most of all this is a very human story about life in a society which is a bewildering mix of harsh capitalism and old school soviet politics

Extract

Of course it wasn't like Russia was now a flourishing democracy. But is was complicated. Back in Brooklyn on the internet, and in my grandmother's kitchen on Echo of Moscow, all i heard about was what a dangerous place Russia was, what a bloody tyrant Putin had become. And it was, and he was. But I had half expected to be arrested at the airport! I thought I'd be robbed on the train. I fact the only thing i was in danger of being arrested for was accidentally buying too many cappuccinos at the Coffee Grind and not having enough cash on me to pay. (They did not take credit cards.) The only robbery going on was the price of croissants on Sretenka.

Parallels

The Understudy by David Nicholis
The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia by Peter Pomerantsev
 

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