Narrator Ari Fliakos strikes the right tone between pathos and irony in his narration of Gessen's novel. Russian-born Andrei, a struggling Ph.D. candidate living in New York City, returns to Moscow to care for his grandmother. Fliakos draws the listener in with his warm conversational tone; one can imagine oneself sitting with Andrei and Baba Seva at her kitchen table. Yet Andrei's ambivalence at returning to the "terrible country" of his birth informs Fliakos's reading as the conflict between his personal and professional obligations comes to a head. Fliakos's rendering of Baba Seva is both heartbreaking and hilarious, leaving an indelible impression of this frail and feisty elderly woman. This fully realized performance of a compelling novel will no doubt find many fans. D.G.P. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2018]
Trade Ed. Penguin Audio 2018
DD ISBN 9780525630890 $22.50
Library Ed. Books on Tape 2018
DD ISBN 9780525630906 $95.00
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