From Lenin to Lennon: A Memoir of Russia in the Sixties

David Gurevich, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $21.95 (307p) ISBN 978-0-15-149825-3
As a youth, Gurevich idolized Bob Dylan, breathed rock 'n' roll, read trash thrillers and identified with Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye . A typical American adolescence? No, a Russian adolescence, described with caustic wit and rare insight in this engrossing, wryly funny autobiographical memoir of growing up absurd, Soviet-style. Gurevich,whose roots are Ukrainian-Jewish, attended Young Pioneer summer camps and learned to mistrust his neighbors. After college in Moscow he eked out a living as a translator. His emigration to the U.S. in 1976 was complicated by an immature early marriage, painful divorce and having to ok? leave behind an infant son. His return visit to the U.S.S.R. in 1989 throws sharp light on a country ``going down the tubes.'' The book is juicily quotable. Of Lenin, Gurevich writes: ``His intentions were never that benevolent, even on paper.'' Of KGB snoops: ``They were as lazy and incompetent as any other Soviet bureaucrats.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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