By Lev Golinkin
A compelling tale of 2 intertwined trips: a Jewish refugee family members fleeing persecution and a tender guy trying to reclaim a shattered prior. within the twilight of the chilly conflict (the overdue 1980s), nine-year previous Lev Golinkin and his kinfolk pass the Soviet border with basically ten suitcases, $600, and the imprecise promise of aid looking forward to in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American grownup, units out to retrace his family's lengthy trek, find the strangers who fought for his freedom, and within the method, achieve a destiny through realizing his past.
Lev Golinkin's memoir is the brilliant, darkly comedian, and poignant tale of a tender boy within the complicated and infrequently chilling ultimate decade of the Soviet Union. It's additionally the tale of Lev Golinkin, the yank guy who eventually confronts his buried previous by way of returning to Austria and jap Europe to trace down the strangers who made his break out attainable . . . and say thanks. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty within the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's look for own identification set opposed to the relentless currents of heritage is greater than a memoir—it's a portrait of a misplaced period. it is a exciting story of break out and survival, a deeply own examine the lifetime of a Jewish baby stuck within the final gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative research into the facility of hatred and the quest for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an grand feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely clever, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.
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Additional resources for A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir
The promoter in Tokyo was a man called Mr Udo who, I believe, is still big news in that country’s music business even though he must be well into his seventies by now. He’s one of the loveliest men you could ever meet. ’ – and we followed his car to the hotel. We were all really knackered but we headed straight to the bar for a final few jars before retiring to bed. The next morning, Mr Udo was there to meet me at the hotel. The plan had been for him to talk me through the schedule for rehearsals, the set-up of the orchestra, the various protocols and so on.
Those few pints on my piano as a sixteen-year-old evolved over the course of the next two decades into one of the most savage drinking habits in the music business. During that time, I joined and left Yes and started my own solo career, but I’ll come to that. First, let me tell you about my involvement with the English Rock Ensemble – possibly one of the hardest-drinking bands ever to grace the stage. Made up of some of the finest musicians I knew, we toured the world and in the process I enjoyed some of the most memorable times of my life.
We even had a manager, Paul Sutton, also a member of the Boys’ Brigade, aged thirteen. We rehearsed in the Civil Defence Hall in Northolt Park, which was great fun. No one could afford proper amps but fortunately Ken worked as an electrician for London Transport and was a bit of an electronics wizard. . we didn’t care, we had an amp! They hung a mike by my piano so I was virtually amplified; Alan had loaned Ken the £1 to buy the amp so, in return, it was Alan who always got the ‘loud’ socket. Basically, all you could hear was Alan Leander.