So it's a collection of somewhat interwoven stories (MFA before MFA was even an MFA!) about the underside of Odessa, the petty crooks, the not-so-petty crooks, their hangers-on, their not-so-hangers-on. But reading it, I couldn't help thinking I'd missed something, like I'd literally forgotten to read an introduction or something because while everything felt familiar, something was just a teensiest bit off. Maybe the translation didn't work for me? Maybe I need more background in that specific time-and-place of Ukrainian/Russian history. It was good and I knew it was good, but I had to keep reminding myself as we went along.
I did appreciate the dark humour, even if I was missing something all the while.
Odessa Stories by Isaac Babel went on sale November 15, 2016.
I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.