A Mountain of Crumbs

A Mountain of Crumbs

Elena Gorokhova / Feb 28, 2020

A Mountain of Crumbs Elena Gorokhova grows up in s Leningrad where she discovers that beauty and passion can be found in unexpected places in Soviet Russia A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of a young Soviet g

  • Title: A Mountain of Crumbs
  • Author: Elena Gorokhova
  • ISBN: 9781439125670
  • Page: 478
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Elena Gorokhova grows up in 1960 s Leningrad where she discovers that beauty and passion can be found in unexpected places in Soviet Russia.A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of a young Soviet girl s discovery of the hidden truths of adulthood and her country s profound political deception Elena, born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, finds herElena Gorokhova grows up in 1960 s Leningrad where she discovers that beauty and passion can be found in unexpected places in Soviet Russia.A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of a young Soviet girl s discovery of the hidden truths of adulthood and her country s profound political deception Elena, born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, finds her passion in the complexity of the English language but in the Soviet Union of the 1960s, such a passion verges on the subversive Elena s home is no longer the majestic Russia of literature or the tsars Instead, it is a nation humiliated by its first faltering steps after World War II, putting up appearances for the sake of its regime and fighting to retain its pride In this deeply affecting memoir, Elena re creates the world that both oppressed and inspired her She recounts stories passed down to her about the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution and probes the daily deprivations and small joys of her family s bunkerlike existence Through Elena s captivating voice, we learn not only the personal story of Russia in the second half of the twentieth century, but also the story of one rebellious citizen whose love of a foreign language finally transports her to a new world This moving memoir made me cry The New York Times

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    • ó A Mountain of Crumbs || ☆ PDF Read by ✓ Elena Gorokhova
      478 Elena Gorokhova
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      Posted by:Elena Gorokhova
      Published :2018-09-13T01:36:54+00:00

    About "Elena Gorokhova"

      • Elena Gorokhova

        Elena Gorokhova Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A Mountain of Crumbs book, this is one of the most wanted Elena Gorokhova author readers around the world.


    1. This story, written by a non-native English speaker, thoroughly captivated me. Clearly it is a memoir, without the usual full details found in an autobiography. Elena Gorokhova has conveyed tangibly and charmingly how her life was growing up in the USSR during the 50's and 60's until her immigration to America. The states of hopelessness, oppression and deception, which were features of everyday life for her, were related with candor and humor.It appears that while still a young child, Gorokhova [...]

    2. 3.5 stars. The first half of this book I would rate 5 stars, I really enjoyed Elena's early childhood memories and the stories of her mother and grandmother, their daily rituals, meals and philosophies. I loved the details of their food, the school memories and Elena's perception of those around her.For me, half way through the book everything changed. I didn't find anything interesting in Elena discovering boys and kissing . (view spoiler)[ I didn't understand Elena's sudden need to leave Russi [...]

    3. NO SPOILERSMy final opinion is that this was a deeply honest and humorous autibiograohy. It extremely well depicts life behind the Iron Curtain during the 70s and 80s. The crooked truth, the need to hide your true thoughts, the need to pretend were fundamental to life in Russia at this time. I had a hard time choosing 4 or 5 stars, but have chosen 4. While I sat there rading, I most often was thoroughly enjoying myself, but sometimes I felt it needed some editing. Some descriptions were excessiv [...]

    4. Gorokhova's memoir of growing up in Soviet Russia.Initially, I really liked this book. I particularly enjoyed Gorokhova's stories about her mother's younger days and about her own childhood in Leningrad. As the author plunged on into her adulthood, however, I started to grow bored, and eventually found myself skimming a bit toward the end.I'm still a bit confused as to why Gorokhova was so desperate to leave the USSR. Because she couldn't buy pantyhose and mayonnaise? That's kind of how it came [...]

    5. There are some insightful moments, some that could be Everywoman's story and some that can only be Sovietwoman's. I like the Russian sayings that the older generation used like: If you knew where you'd fall, you'd put down some straw. Or: When things are good, don't search for better. The concept of vranyo keeps coming up, the idea of pretending things are straight even when you know they're crooked and everyone else knows they're crooked but everyone keeps acting as though they're straight And [...]

    6. I never thought I’d read a memoir on growing up and coming of age in Leningrad in 1960s-70s written in English (as opposed to in Russian). All the same, I loved Gorokhova’s wonderful prose with humorous overtones and very clever use of Russian words and transliterations. I had a feeling that the author was describing some of my school and childhood experiences, even though I am 15 years younger than she is. A treat to anyone who grew up in the former Soviet Union or any other person who simp [...]

    7. Couldn't put this down, and I don't think it's because I'm Russian. The beauty of language captivated me. It reads like a novel, and there is so much heart and warmth and at the same time starkness in this book, that it will stay with you for a long time. I know it will stay with me.

    8. I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. The book is beautifully written, and there are a few charming stories from Lena's childhood, but overall, it was a dull and sometimes frustrating read. The book is pretty slow paced, and there was not really anything overly exciting that happened in Lena's life. There was the time her father passed away, but she didn't write much about it. It was written almost as a fact, with not much detail about her actual grieving process, other than an o [...]

    9. Published by Star Tribune, review written by: Laurie Hertzel"Even if Elena Gorokhova weren't such a gorgeous writer, her memoir, "A Mountain of Crumbs," would be a terrific read. Gorokhova grew up in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and '70s, where her life was unremarkable in many ways: Her mother was a doctor, her father a member of the Communist Party, her older sister hoped to be an actress. The family lived in a Leningrad apartment, waited in line for consumer goods (such an ingrained part of [...]

    10. I picked up A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova by chance while browsing in-store at Indigo. Not often does one find contemporary books about Russia, written by a Russian and – interestingly enough – originally written in English. The story also sounded compelling: a woman growing up during the Soviet times in what used to be Leningrad and is now St. Petersburg, told as she reconciled the country’s past and her own future.The other reason I picked it up was because I was drawn to suppo [...]

    11. I put my five stars for this book more than a year ago, right after I read it - enchanted, crying and speechless by its beauty. It took some time for my words to ripe, like in the Russian tradition of sitting for a while and remaining silent before departure. Unlike some of the readers, I'm not eager to read a sequel to it, and I don't necessarily want to know what happened to the author in the United States. The story stands out fully completed, with a character so vividly brought out to life t [...]

    12. In "A Mountain of Crumbs," author Elena Gorokhova powerfully depicts her childhood and early young adulthood in Soviet Russia. She focuses on a series of anecdotes, starting with her mother's story, and covering such topics as her father's illness, her sister's career, family vacations, membership in Young Pioneers and her own eventual fascination with Western culture and literature, which led her to leave the country.Those looking for a straight biography will be disappointed, as the memoir is [...]

    13. This book was even better than I'd expected. Elena Gorokhova writes about her life in this book, about how it was growing up in Russia during the 60's and 70's. She starts by telling a little about her grandparents, uncles and other relatives, and then introduces her self as a baby, as a child unwanted at first by her father. The imagery is powerful. She describes her apartment and other surroundings, a small 2 room place with cement floors, halls stinking of urine, and bland, plain food. Even t [...]

    14. Terrific book. This was of particular interest to me since my grandfather came to America from Russia, and my son-in-law came here from the Ukraine as a young adult. After reading this story I could more appreciate what drove these people to leave their "Motherland." Anyone who is comfortable with our country's slow, downhill decline towards socialism should read this book to see what lies in store. (Would you care to wait in line for hours only to receive a few rolls of toilet paper? Would you [...]

    15. This is a beautifully written memoir of growing up in the Soviet in the sixties and seventies. It talks about school and university and dachas and strawberries and queues and redtape. Yet Elena Gorokhova steers away from making her writing dramatic. She does not stress on the negatives. She writes in the present tense, and sticks to it very strongly. She focuses on her life, so doesn't steer into essays on Russia's problems and politics. That said, there's more than enough material, if you want [...]

    16. Most readers who loved this book wanted to read more of her story.Elena tells about coming to America at her website:elenagorokhova/With the eloquence of a master story teller, Elena has shared intimately and generously her memories and her soul. Her memoir is a revealing story which is poignant and funny, painful and powerful ~ a story of growing up and coming of age under the oppression of the USSR. Even though she tells of life strangled and dreams stifled under communist control, deception a [...]

    17. In this memoir, the life of a young woman growing up in cold war Leningrad is explored with depth and feeling as she struggles to come of age in the very forbidding and intense landscape of the former Soviet Union. Life for Elena and her family hasn’t always been easy. Through her parents’ hard work, Lena and her sister aren’t living at the bottom rungs of the communist society, but there isn’t a lot of extra in their lives either. Elena’s mother, once a surgeon during the war, is now [...]

    18. This book was a lovely coming-of-age memoir about growing up in soviet Leningrad. Although the cover blurb likened it "a Soviet 'Angela's Ashes'", the darkness came from the totalitarian state and the people's relationship to it, not the author's relationship to her family, which was loving, although also typically Soviet. Actually, as noted in the end notes, Elena Gorokhova had started the book, but it wasn't until she took a writing seminar with Frank McCourt that she was able to balance the d [...]

    19. Fascinating glimpse into everyday life in Soviet Russia, but ultimately a beautifully written coming-of-age story.

    20. This is a rich and vivid memoir of life in Russia in the 50's & 60's as seen through the eyes of a young girl growing up at that time in Leningrad. The book brings her to life so that I felt she was someone I knew or should have known----like my divided self on the other side of the world. As a child growing up, I remember living in fear of the Russians---when would they drop the bomb on us? when would they secretly infiltrate our schools and brainwash us into believing in the Communist way [...]

    21. This is a wonderful memoir about the author's life, growing up in the 1960s and 70s Soviet Union, must reading for people like me who are married to a girl that grew up there. It's filled with memories of her childhood there, her love for the land and landmarks, but her ever-building desire to get the heck out of a country that oppressed its citizenry under a form of government that stifles ambition, innovation, dissenting thought, and the desire to be free and yourself. The author now lives in [...]

    22. I learned about 1960's communist Russia, but also it told of a history with its older generation. The stories about her granparents and grandparents reminded me of my own grandparents and grand uncles and aunts to defected here to the states. There were parts that were really funny that I enjoyed reading, and other chapters that I skimmed through. For a classless society, I found that there were actually class system recognized by its people, but not the government. I found her daily life intere [...]

    23. I had just finished Anna Karenina and, having read a review of this book, decided it would be the perfect follow-up.Elena was born in the late 50's and grew up in Leningrad (formerly and again St. Petersburg)during the "glorious Soviet regime" when everything Russian was good and perfect while the Western capitalist world was decadent and ruinous; all Americans were homeless, unemployed and drawn to crime. Of course this was all a propaganda facade and Elenavery early sees through it.It's been c [...]

    24. I was snooping in the memoir section of my local Barnes and Noble, and "A Mountain of Crumbs" was out on display. I was attracted to it like a fly is to honey because A)Someone was quoted on the cover saying that it was like the Russian "Angela's Ashes" (And I love "Angela's Ashes") and B) It's a memoir about growing up in the USSR. I was watching some of Mrs. Gorokhova's interviews, and she says that the main thing she learned from Frank McCourt was to tell a story in chronological order. I thi [...]

    25. This memoir of an American immigrant who grew up in the Soviet Union provides some crumbs of insight into the mysterious Russian soul. Although I felt that some chapters ended abruptly leaving the stories underdeveloped and without clean transitions, it was an interesting read. It also provided me with an appreciation for living in today's Russia as it wrestles with capitalism and more of an understanding of the way of life here in the past. While the grocery store might not have the good brands [...]

    26. From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:Elena Gorokhova wishes her mother had come from Leningrad, the world of Pushkin and the tsars, lace ironwork and pearly domes. Its sophistication might have left a permanent mark of refinement on her soul.But she didn't.She came from the provincial town of Ivanovo in central Russia, where chickens lived in the kitchen and a pig squatted under the stairs.She came from where they lick plates.Read by Sian Thomas A Jane Marshall Production for BBC Radio 4.Episodes [...]

    27. I found this on the "new" memoir shelf at Pasadena's Central Library. I found it delightful and insightful, and found she has a quirky sense of humor which inserted itself into the drabness of daily happenings. skilled writer. To quote Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, "Elena gorokhova has written the Russian equivalent of Angela's Ashes, an intimate story of growing up into young womanhood told with equal grace and humor."

    28. Memoirs are certainly one of my favorite genres, so perhaps that is why I loved this book. Or it could have been the artful storytelling, interesting perspective, and/or the correlation I felt with a woman searching for her place. This book provides a first hand account to the demise of the Soviet Union in beautiful prose. Highly recommended to individuals who are into communism an/or Eastern Europe.

    29. This is a gem of a memoir. A story of a young woman, full of wonder and question about the world, struggling to survive emotionally in the militant, stifling and censorship life of the Soviet Union. Elena’s story begs for a part two—which would describe her first year and experiences in American, and detail the voyage her mother and sister made to get to American as well.

    30. Compulsively readable ---reads like a journal ---wonderful "curl-up-with-a blanket book". I can't imagine any reader not falling in love with Elena Gorokhova. Who wouldn't enjoy being friends with her? Great woman!

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