TALE OF A WHISTLING SHRIMP by Vladimir B. Grinioff


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This farce, a kind of Russian brand of France's The Best Butter (Jean Dutourd's classic satire) is more like oleomargarine. Taking its title from Kruschev's statement that ""we will abandon communism when the shrimp learns to whistle"", the author shows that hypocrisy, class consciousness, privilege still obtain in Russia today in spite of the Russian claims of ""perfect democracy"". Serafima Popugeav, a 17 year old college girl, makes some supposedly anti-Party statements and her father, the vice-president of a bank, undergoes a protection racket treatment on a grand scale in which he bribes- with ""loans"" - any number of important and unimportant people to clear her and himself. With a show of blackmail and counter blackmail, temper, basic, and foolish deceptions of all kinds there is not much missing except perhaps old, fashioned slapstick. A good many Soviet evils are ticked off in good style, but almost every point is overmade, every scene is overplayed.... The author, Russian by birth, is now in Washington- probably a very good place for him to be.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1957
Publisher: Dutton