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David Gurevich VODKA FOR BREAKFAST

David Gurevich VODKA FOR BREAKFAST

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4.0

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Published by ENC Press
A saga of love, friendship, life, drugs, and opportunities almost lost on an ex-KGB company man who leads a seemingly decent immigrant’s life of quiet desperation in New York.
A saga of love, friendship, life, drugs, and opportunities almost lost on an ex-KGB company man who leads a seemingly decent immigrant’s life of quiet desperation in New York.

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Publish date: Jul 2003
Added to Scribd: May 19, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780972832120
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09/16/2013

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9780972832120

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k6murphy2_1 reviewed this
Imagine being an old Russian Jew, living life peacefully on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and one day, your world is suddenly thrown upside down by a single phone call.In David Gurevich’s Vodka for Breakfast, readers are thrown into dramatic waves of incidents one instant and are rescued on boats of laughter the next. Arkady Prikol, the main character of Gurevich’s novel, receives a phone call one day from a ghost of his past, claiming to be an old friend who died 20 years ago.As Prikol attempts to navigate the rocky waters of his past, readers begin to see that perhaps not everything is behind him. As he searches his memories and surroundings for Timur, his former friend, he relives points of his past that include working for the KGB to create and test LSD and sharing an emotional connection with a woman named Lisa, with whom Timur is also in love with. However, in the end, Lisa is exposed to be someone neither man really truly knows.Vodka for Breakfast is a well-crafted, insightful novel that leaves readers questioning whether the past is truly in the past or whether, at certain times, you are doomed to carry it with you forever.While at times it is hard to understand the Russian euphemisms and the history if you are not well-versed, Vodka for Breakfast is still a must-read, if for the endearing humor at the very least.
jrc81890eeb7 reviewed this
The star of David Gurevich’s Vodka for Breakfast is Arkady Prikol, an elderly Russian Jew. In his attempt to run from the past (while also trying to solve the mystery of a man claiming to be his dead best friend), Prikol becomes a very likeable protagonist.In Gurevich’s funny, curious thriller, Prikol lives an ordinary life in New York. He does well with the life he’s created, happy enough to be in it until Timur – the old friend who’s been dead for some twenty years – makes contact. The old association shakes up his world, as he is forced to summon up his memory of their time together (such as their work creating and testing LSD in a lab) and their shared love for a woman named Lisa. And while they both fell for this same Russian woman, she did not turn out to be whom either of them had imagined her to be.With an apartment furnished from thrift stores and sidewalks, and a tendency to dwell on the more stereotypical themes of his life (i.e. a Jewish mother in a nursing home in the Bronx), Prikol is the kind of character you want to be reading. In a way, he is today’s every-man, complete with the facts, the zest, and some regrets.Prikol’s thoughts on the past – memories of friendship, love, and drug use – have the power to swallow up his present. His old life crashes into his new one, making our window into his average life that much more engaging. With all of that, the end appears to bring the story full-circle, providing good closure for Gurevich’s audience. Like its leading man, the novel itself is uncompromisingly bright and insightful.
kimberly5larson reviewed this
If Vodka for Breakfast were set to a soundtrack, the music would flow surprisingly easy between sharp cellos strings found in a car chasing scene from the likes of a Bourne Identity film, to the soft piano keys set as the background music to a favorite love story. In his novel, David Gurevich is able to stitch together the action and drama genres to weave a story of danger and love while exploring the possibility that even after these things cease to exist, the past still does. I picked this book because of the title, but what kept me reading is that the main character, Arkady Prikol, claims that he lives a plot-less life where nothing exciting happens. However, while he proclaims this misery, the words around him suggest that he has a very interesting life indeed. Prikol is a man with a past. He receives phone calls from people that he believes are dead, has a mother who is either crazy or pretending to be crazy, and a love story from his childhood that he just can’t seem to shake. His first instinct is to run from all these things. However, with his history nipping at his heels, he begins to unfold part of the past he didn’t know was there. As Prikol begins to place the pieces together, he reflects on his fronted history that has now become his present. Prikol questions what a person might need in life except for the love a good woman and the friendship of a good man. While this question has a nice ring to it, I think Vodka for Breakfast is Gurevich’s subtle way of suggesting that while a person might only need these things; perhaps a good book wouldn’t hurt either.
melodyfeldman reviewed this
A elderly Russian-Jewish émigré goes on the run in an attempt to escape his past while trying to unravel the identity of a man claiming to be his long dead best friend in this funny and interesting thriller. The protagonist of David Gurevich's "Vodka for Breakfast" Arkady Prikol is an elderly Russian-Jewish émigré living in Manhattan. Prikol lives a mundane life in New York, something he is happy about until he is contacted from his old friend, Timur, who has been dead for two decades. Thrust back into the past, Prikol is forced to recall his time with Timur,and their shared love of a Russian woman named Lisa. As workers in a lab they created and tested LSD, both fel in love with Lisa, who ultimately was not who neither Prikol or Timur thought her to be. Prikol's memories of love, friendship, poetry and drug use torment him as his old life collides with his new, calmer one and his future becomes clearer. "Vodka for Breakfast" is an engaging and interesting read. At times funny, poignant, and always well written, this book keeps the reader's attention throughout.
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