A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

A Memoir

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year-old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past"--Amazon.com.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2014
New York : Doubleday, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385537773
Branch Call Number: B GOLINKIN 2014
Characteristics: ix, 307 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
HCL_staff_reviews Apr 26, 2018

When Gorbachev introduced an era of perestroika to the Soviet Union in the 1980s, many Jews took this opportunity to emigrate. This book is an eye opening story about Lev, a 10 year old, and his family's emigration from the Soviet Union (Ukraine) to the U.S. in 1990. We learn about the subtle and not so subtle prejudice against Jewish families in the Soviet Union right up to and including the border crossing. Their journey includes an extended stay in Austria before arriving in Lafayette - I won't say which one. It was interesting to read about the idea of America from the viewpoint of those longing to live here, and the struggles and reality that they discover when they arrive. Also, it is about a man's struggle to find peace and thank those who helped in his journey to a new land. — Rondi S., Budget and Finance

Apr 08, 2015

Memoir by a man who, along with his family, escaped persecution in order to build a new life in freedom. Details his struggles to overcome childhood fears of being judged negatively because of his race, which led to him detesting his appearance and his background. He finds solace eventually, and even manages to start paying it back in terms of helping others. A good book.

ChristchurchLib Feb 08, 2015

"In this eye-opening and affecting debut, author Lev Golinkin recounts his Jewish family's desperate flight from Soviet Ukraine in the late 1980s, when he was only nine years old. He also explores what it was like growing up as a Jew in the Soviet Union (where religion was forbidden) and discusses his personal quest, years later, to retrace his family's journey from the Soviet Union through Austria and eventually to the United States, in order to thank the strangers who helped them -- and to come to terms with his past. This "hilarious and heartbreaking" (New York Times) memoir is one that readers won't soon forget." Armchair Travel February 2015 newsletter http://libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/9a28f27c-6df0-41ff-84a5-d85efbd06862?postId=8194109a-8898-4cd7-9d57-1ae32a44163a


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at ELPL

To Top