Book Reviews of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Author: Marina Lewycka
ISBN-13: 9780141020525
ISBN-10: 0141020520
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 34

3.2 stars, based on 34 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

28 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This will sound strange, but this is a very delightful tale of an elderly widower who falls for a money-grubbing younger woman and how the widower's two estranged daughters finally come together to save their father. Really, it was a joy to read!
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on
Helpful Score: 4
This has little to do with a history of tractors, and lots about the story of a widowed Ukrainian living in England, and the unraveling of his recent marriage to a "glamorous blond Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade...". Characters are memorable. Winner of the Man Booker prize. Have fun! Jo
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A story of two sisters who must come together after years of disagreement to help their father from a disastrous marriage to a much younger woman who is labeled a goldigger. This was such a pleasant surprise to a wonderful story that had nothing to do with tractors and the characters are fabulous! Well worth the read!!
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the story of two estranged daughters trying to save their father from a money-grubbing younger woman. The sisters finally come together in their effort and learn much about the history of their family along the way. They learn to accept each other as adults and to understand their father who is not just old but eccentric. It was not an easy book to read. The author jumps from present to past with passages of the history of tractors thrown in. I did like the characters and it was very funny at times.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 126 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
had a problem with the language and the style of the story, but i found the actual story content quite amusing and much better than i expected.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Excellent book! I was a little hesitant to read this, even though I had heard wonderful things about, because the title scared me off. I am so glad I finally did read it! There's hardly anything on tractors!

This was a truly touching family story. The characters are all very realistic, and I was completely engrossed in the family relationships. I will definitely be reading more of the author's books.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 119 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful! Excellent characterization, in turns funny, sweet, sad ... very smartly written. Enjoyable!
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed the book much more than I thought I would. Well written, with decently developed characters. Definitely a beach type read.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was interesting how "a short history of tractors in Ukrainian" ended up being the title of this book that was about human nature. Interesting little story that keeps you interested.
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Helpful Score: 1
Do not be mis-led by the title. This book is funny, bordering on histerical. The ethnic Ukranian mores and dialogs make it interesting but the story is all about greed and cunning and manipulation. All of the characters are interesting. I enjoyed this book...it did have short passages about history of the tractor but only as a backdrop for Nickolai's swings from happiness to dispair...many times in the book.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on
Helpful Score: 1
Great story! Two estranged sisters join forces to help their elderly father who has fallen in love with a gold-digging younger woman on the make. Sad at times, but hysterically funny too.
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Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this both amusing and sad story of a family who immigrated as refugees from Ukrania to the UK after WWII and the plight of the daughters when their 84-year old father marries a much younger buxum woman who is seeking British citizenship. Although Valentina, the young wife, is obviously after the old man's money and citizenship, I felt sorry for her plight and the plight of other immigrants as the story progressed. The novel also tells the story of the family's history during and preceeding the war which was very heartbreaking. Overall, I would recommend this one.
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A family story with interesting, well-developed characters. For some reason, I found the events hilarious.
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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian isn't so much a treatise on agricultural machinery as family drama that is by turns comedic and poignant. Our narrator Nadezhda is the younger daughter of a retired engineer set on marrying a much younger, buxom Ukrainian woman to rescue her from the old country. To save her father from this potential gold digger, she must join forces with her sister Vera, with whom she had a falling out after their mother's death. I learned a bit about 20th century Ukrainian history (as did Nadezhda as flashbacks inform her understanding of her family's trials) and the British legal system along the way. It was a fun read from the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
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Thoroughly delightful and fun to read.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 15 more book reviews
Surprisingly a good book. Recommended by Adriana Trigiana, author of the Big Stone Gap stories.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 6 more book reviews
This book was great! A very funny plot. I found myself laughing out loud and turning the page!
Very good read!
I have already ordered other books by the same author...
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 5 more book reviews
A quirky, funny altogether enjoyable read.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 16 more book reviews
Not my favorite genre, but this was interesting and provocative and some times very comical. The title evokes something entirely secondary to the body of the work, but yet, plays an integral part in the development of one particular character.
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I thought this book was a great read espiecally for anyone who has had to worry about becoming the parent to their parents. It was funny and warm and I love the end. God bless all the Poppa's.
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Funny. Winner of Wodehouse prize for best British comic literature 2005.
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Book Description
Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction "Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick in the backside. Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save the emigre engineer father from the voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to the roots they'd rather forget...." From the back cover. "Thought provoking, uproariously funny, a comic feast. A riotous oil painting of senility, lust and greed." The Economist

My Review
This is a very light, funny and engaging story and also a good way to learn something about the history of Ukraine and what its people went through. The novel covered the subjects of 'old country' thinking, immigration, family dynamics, many aspects of aging. I did learn a lot about the history of tractors as Nikolai, the father, was writing a book and there were excerpts throughout which were very interesting.The characters are very believable and true to life, some make you want to laugh and others make you want to cry. I highly recommend this novel, which should appeal to just about any reader.
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Interesting story
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 185 more book reviews
I adored this book- it was funny, true, and sad. The descriptions were right on- and I felt like I was watching the movie in my head while I was reading it.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 351 more book reviews
This is a cautionary tale for anyone with an elderly male relative seeking a wife from another country. Two years after the death of his wife, Nikolai Mayevskyj, an 84-year old British resident and refugee from Ukraine, finds Valentina, a 36-year old Ukrainian with a young son. The relationship evolves from marriage to subsequent contentious divorce proceedings; meanwhile, Nikolai's daughters, previously estranged from each other, are reconciled through their shared hatred of the common enemy, Valentina, who is attempting to wrest control of Nikolai's meager fortune (surprise, surprise). The younger sister, Nadia, is also made aware of their family history through conversations with her sister and her father during the course of the novel, which includes Stalin's reign and the German invasion during World War II. Nikolai is writing a book entitled A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian (yawn), which is excerpted throughout the book. There are mildly humorous incidents and some heartbreakingly violent episodes between Valentina and Nikolai. The end of the book brings resolution and family restoration.
reviewed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on + 351 more book reviews
This is a cautionary tale for anyone with an elderly male relative seeking a wife from another country. Two years after the death of his wife, Nikolai Mayevskyj, an 84-year old British resident and refugee from Ukraine, finds Valentina, a 36-year old Ukrainian with a young son. The relationship evolves from marriage to subsequent contentious divorce proceedings; meanwhile, Nikolai's daughters, previously estranged from each other, are reconciled through their shared hatred of the common enemy, Valentina, who is attempting to wrest control of Nikolai's meager fortune (surprise, surprise). The younger sister, Nadia, is also made aware of their family history through conversations with her sister and her father during the course of the novel, which includes Stalin's reign and the German invasion during World War II. Nikolai is writing a book entitled A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian (yawn), which is excerpted throughout the book. There are mildly humorous incidents and some heartbreakingly violent episodes between Valentina and Nikolai. The end of the book brings resolution and family restoration.
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I'm not sure that I know more about tractors than when I started.
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A thoroughly delightful book! Lots of humor and pathos. Nominated for the Man Booker Prize. The following review is from Amazon.com

"The premise of Lewycka's debut novel is classic Viagra comedy: a middle-aged professor's aging and widowed father announces he intends to marry a blonde, big-breasted 30-something woman he has met at the local Ukrainian Social Club in the English town where he lives, north of London. It is clear to Nadezhda and her sister, Vera, that the femme fatale Valentina is only after Western luxuriescertainly not genuine love of any kind. Smitten with the ambitious hussy, their father forges ahead to help Valentina settle in England, spending what little pension he has buying her cars and household appliances and even financing her cosmetic surgery. In the meantime, Nadezhda, a socialist, and Vera, a proud capitalist, confront the longstanding ill will between them as they try to save their father from his folly. Predictable and sometimes repetitive hilarity ensues. But then Lewycka's comic narrative changes tone. Nadezhda, who has never known much about her parents' history, pieces it together with her sister and learns that there is more to her cartoonish father than she once believed. "I had thought this story was going to be a knockabout farce, but now I see it is developing into a knockabout tragedy," Nadezhda says at one point, and though she is referring to Valentina, she might also be describing this unusual and poignant novel."