You are here: Homepage > Archive > Reader 2 Reader
[Skip Navigation]
People's Network Home | About us | Contact us | Sitemap

Peoples Network

A short history of tractors in Ukrainian

by Marina Lewycka

A rather unattractive cover and title but an excellent read! A deeply funny and moving novel about families, old age and the legacy of Europe's history.

Suggested by Pat Hughes, Wiltshire

Tagged with: boring dawdling funny, humourous intriguing leisurely, light likeable pointless provoking thought turgid unexpected unique,



I loved this book - it was laugh out loud funny at times. Yes, there were sad times in it but overall it was uplifting. It shows how stereo typical images can colour our whole outlook on life.
I loved this book. A good holiday read as mentioned before. Although I didn't like all of the characters I could sympathise with them. Sad but also amusing - I read the second book 'Two Caravans' as soon as it was available.
I read this book as part of my bookclub while on my annual sun holiday. I chose it as I had heard so much about it and how amusing it was. It was quite easy to get through. Three of us in the bookclub thought that this book was amusing in parts and very sad in others. We thought that the relationship between Nikolai and Valentina was funny, especially Valentina's unique way of phrasing insults. However, her neglect and more serious abuse towards him was very disturbing. We all thought that that his daughter Nadia was very self absorbed and selfish. We wanted to hear more about her poor patient husband. We were glad that Vera finally unburdened some of the family past to her baby sister as it help the sisters to reconcile their differences and understand one another a little better. We were interested in how the book made us curious to find out more about the forced famine during the Stalin era and the sufferings of the family in the labour camps during the Second World War. There were many deeper issues going on beneath this seemingly humorous story but they were only touched on. I don't think I would have been much bothered with this story if not for the inclusion of the more serious elements as the characters are not fully developed. I actually loved the cover of the book. It is quirky and unique- a lot like the book itself. I am fed up of reading genre specific books like thrillers and chick lits- all becomes a bit samey if you over indulge.
I started to read this book as I'd read and heard good reviews of it, but I stalled about two thirds of the way through. I think Clare is right it's a book you either love or hate. I feel compelled to finish it now if only to find out which camp I'm in!
I read this as it was popular at the time. I never saw the point to it. I finished it then wondered why i had bothered
I started to read this book but found it boring and didn't finish it.
I Read this book and found parts of it really boring, but it got to the stage that I had to finish it to see what happened.
As already said, you either love or hate it. I found it a very revealing novel about family life, amusing and sad. Easy holiday reading.
Ann W, Peterborough
I really enjoyed this book too. Far from considering it boring, I found it was ideal holiday reading. I liked the way more and more was revealed about the characters so that your sympathy for each one rose and fell depending on what you knew about them.
Cornish reader
I thought this one of the most boring pointless books i have every read If it hadn't been a book our reading group had choosen I would never have finished it.
Pat Garstang
have heard of the book but dont think that i will try it
At no point was I drawn to care for, or identify with the characters. Left me cold!
Dave Phillips Swindon
I really enjoyed this book and found it amusing and sad at the same time. However, you're right that people love or hate it. It provoked a lot of discussion among my colleagues for that reason. So maybe it's an ideal book for a reading group.
Trudy Jones, Halton
i think this is a book you either love or hate, didn't enjoy it found myself skimming so i could finish it fast, sorry
clare fullick, hampshire
A surprisingly good, light read. Don't be put off by the title and cover. If it hadn't been recommended to me I would never have picked it up.
library user

  Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA)

  Grosvenor House

  14 Bennetts Hill


  B2 5RS

  tel: +44 (0)121 345 7300