Memoir of a Russian Punk

Eduard Limonov, Author Grove/Atlantic $19.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1026-8
It's 1958 in the factory city of Kharkov. Krushchev is in power, the communist economy seems firmly entrenched and Eddie-baby, the streetwise hero of the author's two previous semi-autobiographical novels ( His Butler's Story ; It's Me, Eddie ) is on a collision course with the law. At age 15 Eddie is already a borderline alcoholic--gathering nightly with the rest of the neighborhood at grocery store #7 to drink fortified wine--and a thief. His skin-tight clothes, his arrogance and misplaced use of his gifts--Eddie-baby is a poet after the fashion of Rimbaud--have caused his disillusioned parents to cut off his pocket money. In this absorbing novel, Limonov expertly captures the horrifying boredom of working-class Soviet urban life, and uses just the right hip, offhand tone to describe Eddie's adventures in the demi-world of teenage gangs and small-time hoods. The graphic street violence which punctuates the narrative seems almost shockingly mundane as Eddie, attempting to steal a few rubles to take out his girlfriend, participates in gang rape and murder. Limonov leaves us with hope that Eddie, blessed with intelligence and a cocky assurance will, unlike his friends, eventually make a successful life for himself. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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