Actually Kapralov is talking about two villages: the one in Russia where he was born and New York's East Village, where...

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ONCE THERE WAS A VILLAGE

Actually Kapralov is talking about two villages: the one in Russia where he was born and New York's East Village, where muggings were at one time so bad that returning vets said they felt safer in Vietnam. The time span of this book more or less parallels the rise and fall of the hippie era, during which the author made junk sculptures from old pianos, played chess in Tompkins Park, drank a lot, fortified his home, and saw the lives of too many of his friends go down the drain from drugs, imprisonment, suicide, prostitution, old age and fatigue. Somehow he manages to avoid both self-aggrandizement (he forced a white slave dealer to buy back a pal sold to a ""social club"") and self-pity as he makes oblique and humorous references to his own crack-up, the collapse of his marriage, and the way butterflies were supposed to herald abundant summers in Russia (they didn't). A disorganized, artless, but nonetheless moving book.

Pub Date: May 29, 1974

ISBN: 188845105X

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974