We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian | [Marina Lewycka]

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside. Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save their émigré engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina.
Regular Price:£17.19
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside. Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save their émigré engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sister's campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget...

©2005 Marina Lewycka (P)2014 Audible, Inc

What the Critics Say

"A charming comedy of eros... A ride that, despite the bumps and curves in the road, never feels anything less than jaunty." (Los Angeles Times)

"Lewycka is a writer with a fundamentally optimistic vision of the future and a healthy curiosity about the past." (Chicago Tribune)

"Charming, poignantly funny." (The Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (29 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
3.8 (13 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.1 (13 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Helen Brighton, United Kingdom 14/05/2014
    Helen Brighton, United Kingdom 14/05/2014 Member Since 2015

    Love quirky fiction, spine-chilling sci-fi and epic histories. My favourite audiobook is Brighton Rock read by Samuel West.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gave up on it"

    I'm ashamed to admit I didn't make it through to the end. I got to about halfway, and still wasn't enjoying it. I'm just not that interested in tractors...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Bottle 20/06/2015
    Neil Bottle 20/06/2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent, charming and very engaging throughout"

    Another fantastic performance by Sian Thomass, her skill adds immeasurably to this story.
    I love the way Lewycka writes. The writing is detailed, funny and warm.
    The idiosyncrasies of her characters will make you laugh and reflect in equal measures. If you like Alan Bennett and Mike Leigh, then this is for you
    I couldn't wait for this title to be added to audible.
    This is audio book at its best. The way sian Thomass uses accent is amazing.
    I can't praise her enough.
    I spotted some rather negative reviews, about this book and I I wondered if they had read the same book???
    I didn't want it to end; when is the next available!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Sheffield, United Kingdom 10/01/2015
    Karen Sheffield, United Kingdom 10/01/2015 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    190
    168
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "gave up on it."
    Any additional comments?

    because the accent of the father irritated plus the attitudes of all the members of the family
    .if I had listened to this story before I listened to we are all made of glue I would have missed a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paris Lancaster, United Kingdom 14/04/2013
    Paris Lancaster, United Kingdom 14/04/2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Ukrainian delight"

    Moreish. A not-quite-English word, for a not-quite-English book. Like a batch of exotic Eastern European ingredients, simmering together in a heavy English cooking pot. A story of redemption over decades, over a continent. The result is richly textured, savoury, not especially profound, but you certainly do crave for second helpings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • John S.
    Seattle, WA United States
    31/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Audio's the way to go here"

    Some readers really disliked this one, claiming the characters are insufferable. I can see why it might seem so in print, but in the audiobook they were quite well-defined (quibble though that Vera and Valentina were kind of similar sounding names, so I got them a bit confused at times). Since we see the action through the point-of-view of the younger daughter Nadia, naturally we're going to find the sister she dislikes (or at least resents) offputting; at least until the full story comes out later in the book. Nadia is a bit of a put-upon mouse at first, but comes into her own as well. Valentina may be scheming and materialistic, but a golden opportunity was thrust at her, so no surprise she took it! Their father did, indeed, put himself into the mess, but he did so much for the family over the years (as becomes evident later), that I could forgive him a well-intentioned idea ("rescuing" a Ukrainian woman and her son) gone horribly wrong. The book's not perfect - for one thing, I found the War years details clunkily done, awkward to get through. No spoiler, but the later developments were a bit much also: one key player comes to England as part of a long-term conference/training scheme ... yet speaks no English! Still, the farce helps balance out the more serious details of the family's painful past.
    I'm not certain I would be giving the print version such a high rating, but the narrator hit a home run with the material as far as I'm concerned. Loathsome though Valentina behaved throughout, I looked forward to her scenes as Thomas laid on the Ukrainian accent and broken English for maximum comic effect. The father was also well done, although he sounded an awful lot like a Russian character in a mystery series I listen to ("What's Petru doing here?").
    So, not only would I recommend listening, I was left hoping for a sequel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Clarissa Emiria
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    10/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ukranian is NOT my strong suit...."
    What made the experience of listening to A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian the most enjoyable?

    I especially enjoyed the narrator's characterizations, and I feel very blessed that I can read along in my paperback copy of the book, when she breaks out the accents :-D


    What other book might you compare A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian to and why?

    I will not compare it to any other book, none springs to mind, to be honest.... It seems like one of a kind, to me...


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    My humor may be a tad on the morbid side, but I found some of the passages very entertaining, the way they were told were hilarious to me, and I laughed out loud, even on the bus... :-)

    That said, I do not condone abuse and mistreatment of the elders...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.