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via my blog Many people claim that they like certainty, but I do not believe this is true it is uncertainty that gives freedom of the mind Maria Reva s collection of linked stories revolves around a crumbling apartment building on Ivansk Street in Ukraine before and after the fall of the Soviet Union In the very first story Novostro ka, Daniil has the task of informing the people at the town council hall that the very building he occupies is without heat only to be told it doesn t exist, according to the documentation Tell that to the fourteen occupants in his suite alone, tolerating each other, stuffed in and happy just to have a place to lie in peace Ah yes, a mistake, surely some human mistake they will fix the problem soon Poor Daniil, now work is a hassle, then it s stuffing food into fewer cans Stuff stuff stuff Can living people be accused of not existing Do they have documents to prove their building is real Well Babies in Little Rabbit are themselves born natural disasters, but Zaya little rabbit is something altogether special among the unwanted and unhealthy children Sanitrkas the closest thing to a mother the little ones have Children lie sick with fevered dreams as holes are dug in the ground for the unlucky, but what about Zaya What will become of this particular poor little orphan In Letter of Apology a celebrated poet has said than he is allowed against leaders of the Communist Party and Soviet Society The task of reeducating him falls to Mikhail Ivanovich But soon, it is the poet s wife Milena, who unnerves him, following Mikhail with a far greater vigilance than his own He just might find himself haunted by uncertainty.My favorite story, a little piece of fascinating, strange Soviet history is about music and just how ingenious people were getting their hands on forbidden rock records Smnea, a simple pensioner finds a peculiar way to survive, safe only behind the secure walls of her apartment in the tale Bone Music a hell of a fitting title, might I add What s a friend, what s an enemy This story has a sharp edge, it eviscerates the heart The history about music records is true and well worth looking up after you finish this clever, excellent book.Miss USSR is like all things American, counterculture, and just the thing the people need All madness ensues when the girl meant to win, Orynko, is gone to maybe Siberia, if you believe that What is Konstantyn to do What does a tiny deception, a little switcheroo really matter Will things go according to planned In Lucky Toss a saint, mysteriously owned by Konstantyn Illych, is watched over by a guard A saint rud to have healing powers Is this guard up to the task Will it cost him his teeth A strange inheritance in Roach Brooch may or may not be something of great value, for the grandparents of the deceased.The Ermine Coat serves to occupy a young girl s aunt and mother, tirelessly sewing coats to be sold on the black market With a turn of fate in their favor, a forgeign buyer wants something special to spoil his cherished little girl with There is a plan in the works, and we all know what happens with the best laid plans In the final story, Homecoming, a special orphan returns to her origins to see what can be made of the ruins of her childhood Maybe a chance to add yet another travel package for millionaires to live in fear it d be surreal if it didn t seem like a possibility The ending is sweet, strange and I absolutely loved it What a collection There is dark humor in dire circumstances, and even in the fog of their most crushing defeats, the characters pick themselves up and get on with things I can t wait to read by Reva, I was blown away.Publication Date March 10, 2020Doubleday Books 1933 Ivansk Street doesn t exist except for the fact that it does, and it houses a cast of characters as diverse as a disgraced poet, a recluse with an illicit record business, a canning employee tasked with making a triangular vegetable, and, at one point, even a mummified saint Written with a wry, tongue in cheek criticism of Soviet government and politics, Reva s collection is both wholly bizarre and devastatingly authentic Reva s collection of stories begin in isolation with only the building connecting these characters living in Ukraine in the build up to and fall of the Soviet Union, but as it progresses, each story connects like tributaries to the Mississippi River, creating a tour de force of storytelling that will carry you away. The statue of Grandfather Lenin, just like the one in Moscow, 900 kilometers away, squinted into the smoggy distance The opening words of Maria Reva s GOOD CITIZENS NEED NOT FEAR immediately signal what it s about through the image of a selfsame figure, serving both as a reminder of the perceived identical landscapes across the Soviet years and as a model citizen in the truest sense of the term The characters in this novel despite its pretense as a book of short stories, the intricately interconnected narratives really do deserve the moniker face the manifold tropes associated with Soviet life and literature, from the enterprise of creating and selling illegal bone records to a fresh take on the trope of the Soviet apartment building mishap The perceived flattening of life before the fall is tested through vibrant characters asserting themselves amidst a bleak backdrop, while after the fall, the stories reveal how pulling the rug out from under such a world causes the whole thing to collapse If the first part of the book shows citizens manipulating a lifeless landscape, the latter half of the book illustrates a grotesque afterlife, an undead city full of the ghosts of the past in the forms of the teeth of a saint, insect larvae, and graves swallowing people whole.Reva s masterful work is a delightful read from start to finish, appealing both to readers familiar with her various topics from censorship to Chernobyl tourism in post Soviet reality as well as to anyone who enjoys tightly bound narratives teeming with humor and wit, as well as the air of desperation as characters inquire if as soon as you want something, you lack it and if you do get it, it can easily be taken away. Good Citizens Need Not Fear is an absolutely fantastic collection of short stories set in and around a tenement building in Ukraine shortly before and just after the fall of the USSR It s at turns heartbreaking and darkly humorous, with a touch of surreal beauty I love that the characters show up over multiple stories and through different time periods, interconnected, but never quite part of a single narrative It s also fascinating to see how they grow and change and what they have to do to survive in a crumbling infrastructure I can t recommend this highly enough for anyone interested in the time period, or just well written shorts stories Warning You may get attached to these ordinary people in these seemingly outlandish situations. This was a really good set of short stories I really liked how all the stories weave together and characters pop up in different stories It definitely kept the stories themselves exciting and fresh.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A terrific set of short stories about characters connected through their place of residence before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this book offers outsiders great details about the absurdities and tragedies of life during this period, sprinkled liberally with sardonic humor in the Russian vein For readers who have enjoyed writing by the satirical Russian masters and post USSR fiction and memoir, this will be welcomed. I was pleasantly surprised by this book I won a copy through GoodReads It is not the type of book that I typically read but I did enjoy it It was a very easy book to read I enjoyed the stories and the way some of characters reappeared in different stories A very enjoyable book. *EBOOK ↳ Good Citizens Need Not Fear ⇝ A Brilliant And Bitingly Funny Collection Of Stories United Around A Single Crumbling Apartment Building In Ukraine That Heralds The Arrival Of A Major New Talent Reva Is A Miracle WriterYou Ve Never Read Anything Like These Stories Elizabeth McCracken, Author Of Bowlaway A Bureaucratic Glitch Omits An Entire Building, Along With Its Residents, From Municipal Records So Begins Reva S Ingeniously Intertwined Narratives, Nine Stories That Span The Chaotic Years Leading Up To And Immediately Following The Fall Of The Soviet Union But Even As The Benighted Denizens Of Ivansk Street Weather The Official Neglect Of The Increasingly Powerless Authorities, They Devise Ingenious Ways To SurviveIn Bone Music, An Agoraphobic Recluse Survives By Selling Contraband LPs, Mapping The Vinyl Grooves Of Illegal Western Records Into Stolen X Ray Film A Delusional Secret Service Agent In Letter Of Apology Becomes Convinced He S Being Covertly Recruited To Guard Lenin S Tomb, Just As His Parents, Not Seen Since He Was A Small Child, Supposedly Were Weaving The Narratives Together Is The Unforgettable, Chameleon Like Zaya A Cleft Lipped Orphan In Little Rabbit, A Beauty Pageant Crasher In Miss USSR, A Sadist For Hire To The Eastern Bloc S Newly Minted Oligarchs In Homecoming Good Citizens Need Not Fear Tacks From Moments Of Intense Paranoia To Surprising Tenderness And Back Again, Exploring What It Is To Be An Individual Amid The Roiling Forces Of History Inspired By Her And Her Family S Own Experiences In Ukraine, Reva Brings The Black Absurdism Of Early Shteyngart And The Sly Interconnectedness Of Anthony Marra S Tsar Of Love And Techno To A Collection That Is As Clever As It Is Heartfelt I have just finished Good Citizen s Need Not Fear by Maria Reva Though it was well written I found it hard to relate to the ironic humour as it was on a subject with which I was not so familiar It took me a long time to finish it and I found it to be a very odd story. Absolutely brilliant book of interlinked short stories, reads like a classic Russian satire Can t recommend enough