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Foolish and Farcical

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I checked in at the Booking Through Thursday blog, which is the host for a weekly book meme or blogging prompt. Here is this week’s prompt:

What’s the silliest (most foolish?) book you’ve ever read? Did you enjoy it?


A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka is a wonderful farce that I enjoyed tremendously. An 84-year-old widower fell in love with a 36-year-old gold-digging blonde named Valentina. Valentina pulled her wits’ end to eke out as much money as she could from the gulliable old man who, despite his unquenchable lust, did truly take sympathy of her.

No car! No jewel! No clothes! (She pronounces it in two syllables–cloth-es) No cosmetic! No undercloth-es!’ She yanks up her t-shirt top to display those ferocious breasts bursting like twin warheads out of an underwired, ribbon-strapped, lycra-panelled, lace-trimmed green satin rocket-launcher of a bra. (99)

Together the old man’s two daughters collected evidence and petitioned to court for an injunction that would kick her out of the house, and reported to Home Office the absence of a genuine marriage. Foreseeing that she would lose the appeal on a rejected visa renewal, and perhaps hearing the distant tinkle bell of money in a divorce settlement, the cunning Valentina changed tack. She eavesdropped his conversation and photocopied legal correspondence between Nickolai and his solicitor. Her goal was to avoid at all costs giving him grounds for divorce in order to buy time to prove somehow he is ill or of an unsound mind. Then she would be able to collect settlement benefits.

The book is not silly but the old man is. It’s hilarious to see the tug-o-war between the gold-digging blonde and the sisters.


4 Responses

  1. Hi Matt- I just found your blog and I really like it. This book looks like fun. I will have to add it to the list-which never seems to get smaller…
    I also read your review of The Painted Veil. I loved that book.

  2. This book had me laughing too. It’s funny, maybe I should go out and get a copy!

  3. That was also my favorite part of the book.

  4. Hi Matt!
    I love this snippet review, it’s prompted me to add a book I wouldn’t usually read on to my (Book)et list. One of those titles that I spy on my store’s shelves every day but never think twice about. Sounds like fun – thanks!!!

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