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Thirst By Andrey Gelasimov Marian Schwartz Андрей Геласимов,

  • Title: Thirst
  • Author: Andrey Gelasimov Marian Schwartz Андрей Геласимов
  • ISBN: 9781611090697
  • Page: 468
  • Format: Paperback
  • Masterfully translated from the original Russian by award winning translator Marian Schwartz, Thirst tells the story of 20 year old Chechen War veteran Kostya Maimed beyond recognition by a tank explosion, he spends weeks on end locked inside his apartment, his sole companions the vodka bottles spilling from the refrigerator But soon Kostya s comfortable if dysfunctionalMasterfully translated from the original Russian by award winning translator Marian Schwartz, Thirst tells the story of 20 year old Chechen War veteran Kostya Maimed beyond recognition by a tank explosion, he spends weeks on end locked inside his apartment, his sole companions the vodka bottles spilling from the refrigerator But soon Kostya s comfortable if dysfunctional cocoon is torn open when he receives a visit from his army buddies who are mobilized to locate a missing comrade Through this search for his missing friend, Kostya is able to find himself.
    Thirst Masterfully translated from the original Russian by award winning translator Marian Schwartz Thirst tells the story of year old Chechen War veteran Kostya Maimed beyond recognition by a tank explo

    One thought on “Thirst”

    1. Russian author Andrey Gelasimov first published Thirst in 1999 and I have read a Marian Schwartz English translation published in 2011.In Russia, Gelasimov won the Apollon Gr gor ev Award for this story about a Russian survivor of the Chechen wars, a soldier returned home to Moscow horribly disfigured by his war wounds, his life forever changed by an antagonist s grenade.Gelasimov s protagonist, Kostya, spends his days and weeks in seclusion, guzzling vodka that he stockpiles in his refrigerator [...]

    2. Thirst, like most words, doesn t always mean dry mouthed Men with a thirst on will drink long beyond the point of rehydration This is clearly the goal of this novel s protagonist as he fills his fridge with vodka and stacks the remaining bottles wherever he can find space He s planning a bender Why vodka Because he s Russian and that s their thing Change the sprit to whisky without the e, alter a few geographical details, swap the Chechen War for the Iraq War and call our hero Jimmy instead of K [...]

    3. Thirst is a fine book It s a sharp and compassionate slice of Russian life and contemporary history told through the lens of a small group of well drawn and deeply sympathetic characters buddies from the horrific battlefields in Chechnya now meandering through the streets, alleys, train stations and watering holes of Moscow in search of an emotionally fallen comrade Eschewing didactic moralizing or melodramatic description, the author builds his hero s journey narrative slowly word upon sentence [...]

    4. first from gelasimov for meunds like a russian name and does it matter begins all the vodka wouldn t fit in the fridge first i tried standing the bottles up, and then i laid them on their sides, one on top of the other the bottles stacked up like transparent fish then they hunkered down and stopped clinking but ten or so just wouldn t fit.i should have told me mother to take this refrigerator back a long time ago it s an affront to me and the little boy next door every night this monster cuts in [...]

    5. I had never heard of Andrei Gelasimov before undertaking his short novel Thirst, the story of a mutilated veteran of the war in Chechnya named Kostya who looks at his life, past and present, and tries to make some sense out of it Why did he join the military in the first place He came from a broken family and could no longer deal with his stepfather Thanks to a drunken school director, he develops a love of drawing This becomes one of the ways he can communicate with others, especially children [...]

    6. In some ways this reminded me of Pat Barker s Toby s Room I suppose the themes of both art and a face mutilated by war, and also the very spare, concise style, capturing a lot in a few words But in other ways it s totally different the whole tone Less of the horror and indignation, I guess, and of a sense of this is the way life is Perhaps a British v Russian difference A whole cultural difference in approach to life and suffering I enjoyed Toby s Room, but I preferred Thirst I find myself very [...]

    7. This book was amazing You expect it to be kind of a detective novel like the main plot is finding this guy, but it s really about the journey And, some books like that can be boring and anticlimactic Not this one Even from the get go, the interesting tale is in the past and how the events shape the ending of the book Also, if you can find the Russian film version of this, I 10 10 recommend it It was adapted to screen by the author, and it was one of the most satisfying book to film adaptations [...]

    8. Un jeune soldat russe est de retour de son service militaire en Tch tch nie avec le visage br l apr s l attaque de son blind.Son visage fait peur aux enfants et d range les adultes Pour oublier cela, Il se met boire avec exc s.Avec deux autres camarades, il part la recherche du quatri me rescap de l quipage du v hicule.Il se met a dessiner ce monde qu il retrouve, suivant ainsi les conseils de son ancien directeur d cole qui lui a jadis appris regarder et dessiner.

    9. Tout simplement mouvant de beaut Avec Kostia, l anti h ros de ce r cit, nous r apprenons vivre avec d licatesse Le contraste mis en avant par l auteur entre les douleurs physiques et psychiques est brillant Car oui, la vie est une succession de douleurs diff rents degr s.

    10. This novel novella is translated from Russian, and is the story of a soldier, Kostya, who fought in Chechnya and was badly burned while trapped inside an Ard Personnel Carrier APC Owing to his severe disfigurement, Kostya becomes a heavy drinking homebody This changes when one of his team members from the war, Seryoga, goes missing and a couple surviving team members come to recruit Kostya to the search party Kostya struggles with an internal conflict not uncommon in war stories On the one hand, [...]

    11. This short novel is narrated by a young Russian soldier during the War in Chechnya, who suffers horrible burns to his face and body when the Armed Personnel Carrier he is riding in is blown apart by a grenade His comrades do not rescue him immediately, assuming he is dead, and then are horrified to see him breathing After his rescue, he returns to his home village, where his most useful activity is scaring his neighbor s children into obedience He spends his days in a vodka fueled haze of memory [...]

    12. Kostya is a young Russian whose face was burned recognition while serving with the Russian army in its ongoing campaign against the Chechnya insurgents As Andrei Gelasimov s Thirst opens, Kostya is back at home he sits in his apartment, sometimes for weeks at a time, drinking vodka It seems the only time he leaves his apartment in when his downstairs neighbor asks him to come to her apartment to scare her young child into behaving, doing his homework or going to bed Kostya s life is as void of f [...]

    13. Kostia a dix huit ans lorsqu il int gre l arm e pour effectuer son service militaire auquel il n a m me pas essay d chapper Peu de temps apr s son arriv e en Tch tch nie, son tank est attaqu la grenade Ils seront quatre rescap s et Kostia est tr s gri vement br l au visage De retour dans la vie civile, il retape des appartements pour gagner sa vie Entre deux chantiers, il passe son temps boire de la vodka pour supporter le mouvement de recul des gens qui d couvre son visage ravag pour la premi r [...]

    14. I enjoy literature from around the world, and I m interested in post Soviet Russia, but this sparse novella failed to engage me It follows a severely scarred young man named Konstantin, who was in an APC that was blown up during the first Chechen War circa 1994 96 He now lives a quasi hermetic existence as a self employed apartment renovator and sometime drunk The story which seems to take place sometime in the mid to late 1990s, since no one seems to have a cell phone or computer follows him an [...]

    15. Fairly short I read this on the plane back from Russia Weaving past into present through deftly constructed flashbacks, Thirst ranks among the best novels about war veterans in this case, veterans of the First Chechen War I ve read The prose is simultaneously hard and tender, and quite a bit goes on in the novel though Gelasimov does not seem to place a great deal of momentum behind his narrative The result is a engrossing novel which displays what one other reviewer fittingly described as the c [...]

    16. An engaging little story from post Soviet Russia I love works like this that give you a sense of time and place Thirst introduces us to Kostoya disfigured during the mid 90 s Chechen war when his ard personnel carrier explodes and he is the last to be pulled out.After the war Kostoya and his comrades in arms are adrift, affected by what happened, some coping better than other Kostoya works occasionally as a builder, completing renovations for those who have benefited from the new economy However [...]

    17. An interesting, funny read I ve a weak spot for short books, Russian literature and first person narratives, and I also like a lot child young outcast narrators, so this should do it for me The narrative is basically supported on dialogues, which makes it a bit risky and doesn t allow much description or personal insights from Kostya, the maimed war veteran and narrator, throughout the story The naivet suits the narrator regarding the memories from his childhood, though it sometimes seems a bit [...]

    18. I was disappointed by this book I had first read Gelasimov in the Dalkey Archive sand was almost speechless after reading his story The Evil Eye , please read it if you haven t yet So it may have been that I approached this work with such high expectations However, there are some issues with the book I found the pacing too quick, the prose a bit stilted, and overall a bit of a sophomoric effort I don t know for certain if the faults ofcan be attributed to the translation or if it is the original [...]

    19. An interesting mostly because of the insight into a different world and culture post Soviet Russia and the veterans of the wars in Chechnya.Having been burned and disfigured by a anti tank mine in Chechnya, Kostya seems resigned to a life of drinking vodka and occasionally working on apartment rehab projects But his army friends that survived that battle show up and include him in the search for another from the squad This forces him to get out and see the world but it also brings him into conta [...]

    20. Hmmm Thirst is a difficult novel to review If I had a choice it would be closer to 2.5 stars It s a short novel about a young solider who was disfigured during conflict in Chechnya and a brief period of time where he meets up with his old soldier friends after being a bit of a hermit.At the end of Thirst I felt a little empty in that I barely got to know the protagonist and while the subject matter is very fertile ground, there is very little meat in the story It s sparse like the protagonist s [...]

    21. This is written and well translated in a spare style that perfectly suits the subject matter, the main character who tells the story, and the environment in which he lives The thirst is for vodka, vast quantities of which are consumed as the pages are turned The protagonist is a veteran of the war in Chechnya, reunited with his former comrades in arms, with whom he shared a traumatic experience I don t want to give the story away, but suffice it to say that although it may seem grim and tough on [...]

    22. Read the English translation for a Russian Translation course and compared it to the Russian original I really like this book, it s simple and unpretentious, but with a vivid language and a great sense of empathy for Kostya, Konstantin, the main character, a veteran of the presumably second Chechen War, as he wanders around the Moscow region with a friend, running into his estranged dad and drinking his weight in vodka along the way Well translated by Marian Schwartz duh though there are some mi [...]

    23. I enjoyed this quick read It was like a conversation Many social implications were highlighted in the conversation but nothing too heavy The characters felt very real, normal but not typical Russia seems very similar to the US in this story I feel the writer has a special talent for telling a story about everyday life in a way that makes you want to keep reading along and beside the characters, yet never diving extremely deep into any character Living in a time of war with soldiers returning wou [...]

    24. One of Konstantin s army buddies has gone missing Now that he is deformed after practically taking a grenade to the face in Chechnya, the former soldier keeps in touch with his army buddies, nearly drinking himself to oblivion every time he finishes a job When one of their group goes missing, Konstantin helps to search for him, remembering school, his family, his father s selfishness in leaving his family, and encounters a second family his father s second wife and children This is a dark story, [...]

    25. A short picture on the life of a veteran in the post Soviet Union It is very Russian, they have a sort of bleak outlook on life If you like foreign literature, this one will leave you wanting it is a short picture on a man settling with himself on what his life is going to be, shutting old doors and opening new Very elegantly written translated, my only complaint is that if I hadn t known what it was about from the blurb, I would have been a little lost, but that is probably the style.

    26. I expected from this book I found it a muddled series of memories gathered around a loose plot about finding a missing comerade We moved between past present and future and although many different relationships were explored, none seemed to have any depth or meaning in their analysis The book left me cold, although I enjoyed some of the imagery and odd lines of text Although it was Russian I didn t feel any sense of place This book could have been so much

    27. In Thirst, Gelasimov is a word economist, using rapid fire short sentences It makes for a quick and easy read, though at points I had to go back and read certain paragraphs or pages a couple times to make sure I knew who was relaying what words or thoughts.It s basically a book of slow redemption, of Kostya finding himself again with the help of his friends and his estranged father It s a good book, but it won t knock your socks off.

    28. Konstantin is a veteran of the Chechen war who was badly burnt and scarred, both physically and emotionally He drinks a lot.He has stayed in contact with his fellow veterans They drink a lot.When he was a boy he was encouraged to draw by a schools director He drank a lot.This does not sound a great basis for a story, but it is Konstantin s journey of discovery and coming to terms with his past, with and without alcohol and often through drawing, is a powerful and compelling narrative.

    29. Crudely structured, badly written, poorly imagined Rum, unskilled, without nuance Like the deliberately shocking scenes in Deer Hunter or Born on the Fourth of July Hard to imagine Gelasimov is considered a good writer return return Marek2010 review below is right that the book has a warm ending but it s only one page The rest is intended to be hard bitten, tough, real, uncompromising, and it ends up being mawkish, sentimental, and scarred by clich s.

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