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Communist Daze

The Many Misadventures of a Soviet Doctor
Narrated by: Daniel Gamburg
Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to Gradieshti, a Soviet village awash in gray buildings and ramshackle fences, a home to a large, collective farm and to the most oddball and endearing cast of characters possible.

For three years in the 1960s, Vladimir Tsesis - inestimable Soviet doctor and irrepressible jester - was stationed in a village where racing tractor drivers tossed vodka bottles to each other for sport; where farmers and townspeople secretly mocked and tried to endure the Communist way of life; where milk for children, running water, and adequate electricity were rare; where the world's smallest motley parade became the country's longest; and where one compulsively amorous Communist Party leader met a memorable, chilling fate.

From a frantic pursuit of calcium-deprived, lunatic Socialist chickens to a father begging Soviet officials on his knees to obtain antibiotics for his dying child, Vladimir's tales of Gradieshti are unforgettable. Sometimes hysterical, often moving, always a remarkable and highly entertaining insider's look at rural life under the old Soviet regime, they are a sobering exposé of the terrible inadequacies of its much-lauded socialist medical system.

©2017 Vladimir A. Tsesis (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Comic, but all too true

If you didn't know the USSR in the 1960s, you might think this was a comic fantasy, but for those who know, it's very realistic. I suspect the author may have been trying to lighten the reality with humor. He probably could have painted a darker picture of the Soviet medical system, but I suppose that's another book. The narrator was very good--a native Russian, who was able to handle all the complicated names and patronymics. There were occasional minor lapses in English accent or intonation, but that only added to the realism. Enjoyable on many levels.

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Gut wrenching and stimulating

This was the most gripping, stimulating, and compelling book I have ever read/listened to. The true story of a jew pediatrician in ussr sheds much light on common frustrations of day life in the Soviet republic. Stories regarding the kgb are profoundly dramatic and frightening. watching his neighbors die from pottery glazing was tragedy. And vodka is the only thing that was in sure supply. wow. The authors personality is exceptionnly concerned about lack of toilets and showers and talks about Windows not being clean a couple of times in the book. The author seems to argue with his bosses a lot too.

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  • tomomo
  • 05-08-17

The misadventures of a young doctor in the USSR

Amusing account of the author's years as a young doctor in a small, backward village in the "most advanced country in the world" -- the great, creaky madhouse that was the Soviet Union in the 1960s.