Thursday, 10 March 2011

Review: Sincerely Yours, Schurik by Ljudmila Ulitzkaja

Why I read this book: Some time ago arte a German-French tv-channel had a show named reading horizons (or Lesehorizonte in German). There famous and upcoming authors of different European capitals or countries all over the world were introduced. For example there were shows about authors in Lisbon, Moscow and Prague as well as about Egypt, Haiti and South Africa. I watched the one about Moscow where I was introduced to author Ljudmila Ulitzkaja who read some passages out of "Ergebenst, euer Schurik".

Schurik is a young man who grew up with his mother and grandmother. That's why he became a sensitive young man who knew about the wishes and needs of women. Schurik entertains a lot of affairs with lots of different women for whom he mainly feels pity. He identifies this special feeling - pity - to be his strongest feeling for every woman. But he, the modern Anti Don Juan can't resist the seduction of all those women be they crippled, depressive, lonely or a man eater. His first love Lilja, fled Moscow at age 18. Schurik often compares his love affairs to the pure one he had with Lilja. He lives his unliberated life, but when his 30th birthday arrives, Lilja is to visit Moscow and Schurik. After one day Lilja leaves for Tokyo. Her opinion about Schurik and what he made out of his live is shattering. She only feels pity for him.

I very much liked that I was able to vividly picture Moscow and the life one has there. It's not all love and light and laughter. The family has to face some serious problems when the resolute grandmother dies who always took care of everything. I was also amazed at how many different female characters the author was able to bring to life. Although it were about ten women I never wondered like: which one was that again?

The book never had so much a point than to tell a life's story. I liked Schurik because he cared about women but his problem was that it was more like a duty than a passion and that's why I felt sorry for him, he was just utilized and didn't even know. It's not like the women didn't need him, but they only needed him to polish their ego or because they belived he could make them healthy or because they were lonely. They never needed him because he was Schurik.

The book is worth its 4 stars.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to this book, I would never have heard about it otherwise.

  2. Last month, I read Ultiskaya's Medea and Her Children and LOVED it! Now I definitely want to read more of her stuff. :)