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Little Failure

A Memoir

Shteyngart, Gary

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Little Failure
Print
"... a memoir of an immigrant family coming to America, as told by a lifelong misfit who forged from his imagination an essential literary voice and, against all odds, a place in the world."-- Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780679643753
0679643753
9780812995336
Branch Call Number: B-Sh885L 2014
Characteristics: 349 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

In one of the best reviewed memoirs of the year thus far, Shteyngart shares the story of his immigration from Moscow, his parents emotional struggles, and his ability to succeed despite his parents moniker of "little failure". He writes in the same vein of the Irish, crafting a tale tha... Read More »

The story of Gary Shteyngart, a small, Russian, asthmatic boy nicknamed, Failurchka—Little Failure, by his loving (?!) mother. A witty, self-deprecating tale of immigrating to America.

"... a memoir of an immigrant family coming to America, as told by a lifelong misfit who forged from his imagination an essential literary voice and, against all odds, a place in the world."-- Publisher's description.


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I have increasingly enjoyed Shteyngart's work, and Little Failure may just be his best book yet. Funny, engaging, truthful, and brutal. His writing shows a great, compassionate humanity, and, as with all great writers, allows the reader to have many "aha! that's exactly how *I* feel!" moments.

Feb 17, 2014
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Having read all of Shteyngart's novels, and several non-fiction (autobiographical) pieces he's written for The New Yorker, the material here was mostly familiar to me. But I love his sense of humor and how he can also convey the deep sadness of a sickly childhood and of most things Soviet. I only wish he had included a photo of the Chesme Church, which plays a pivotal role in the story (though of course I found it online.)

Jan 27, 2014
  • JCLRachelSH rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I've been crushing on Gary-Shteyngart-the-person since Day 1. How can you not be in love with a cheeky Soviet immigrant who blurbs a million books, writes about wearing Google Glass for the New Yorker, and has encyclopedic knowledge of old school hip hop and ghetto tech? With LITTLE FAILURE, I'm now officially crushing on Gary-Shteyngart-the-writer, too. In his most vulnerable project to date, Shteyngart lets down his guard to write about the Soviet immigrant experience. How does a 7-year-old boy go from living amongst exploding Soviet TVs and writing his first novel — LENIN AND HIS MAGICAL GOOSE — for one slice of cheese per page, to living in a tiny American apartment with his screaming parents and being the laughingstock of the Solomon Schechter Hebrew Day School in Queens? Not easily, it turns out. It helps that his American TV wasn't the exploding variety. LITTLE FAILURE is Gary Shteyngart's best writing yet; a memoir that strives for truth and addresses that age-old question of how you can still love someone who had you circumcised at age 8.

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app09 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52