THE ANTI-SOVIET SOVIET UNION by Vladimir Voinovich

THE ANTI-SOVIET SOVIET UNION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Voinovich, Soviet ÉmigrÉ novelist, brings to this discussion of Soviet society a novelist's eye for satire and irony. The result is an engaging and refreshing look at the Soviet Union, treatments of which usually suffer from a heavy-handedness that can be off-putting to Westerners. The title is a play on the concept of the ""Soviet."" The term describes the collective form of society, an aspiration to which official policy clings. Voinovich's satire, though, demonstrates that in every area of Soviet life, the nation is, indeed, ""anti-Soviet."" In a highly readable, airy, anecdotal style, Voinovich offers the reader short vignettes, often comical in nature, from his own experiences or those of his friends; they paint a surly picture of Soviet bureaucrats, informants, and other petty figures. Always, his most insightful points derive from irony--e.g., ""Having now lost its own bearings, Soviet Communist propaganda is gradually merging with anti-communist. . .propaganda. . .for example, anti-Soviet propaganda asserts that since the time of its creation, the Soviet state has been ruled solely by criminals. Soviet propaganda asserts nearly the same thing. Dozens of high state leaders, from Trotsky to Khrushchev, have been declared and are still considered enemies of the people. . ."" A delightful excursion, in which anyone may enter at any page and exit laughing or crying.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1986
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich