Wow that was a good book! Everything is normal is about a boy growing up in Soviet Russia in the '70's and 80's from his own perspective. This memoir recounts the reality of life for a Soviet citizen during that time, which at times, contrasts or confirms what the western nations of heard, and how all of its hardships was considered a normal way of life for him. Any slight glimpse of life outside the iron curtain nourished a desire to escape from life as he knew it. The author has a sense of humor too, beginning each chapter with a little joke that was common in Russia at the time which gives a bit of funny take on a topic that the general public would have understood. I felt sad too for the author as a child that so many things that we take for granted, like bubblegum or deodorant, were foreign to him and also what things he considered normal, like cockroaches in meatballs or having to constantly hide one's feelings or opinions for fear of being hauled away. No human should have to live like that, and what a tragedy that people do. It was very poignant for me, as the author seems to be roughly my age, so that while I was growing up here, enjoying all that I did, he was growing up without all of what I enjoyed and to a large extent, couldn't have imagined my much nicer life. The contrast of comparing what he and I were experiencing was sharp indeed.
It really also shows in a real way why socialism/communism will never work apart from all the Utopian ideals one hears about that philosophy, which never seems to take into account real humans and their behavior.
I would recommend this book to everyone that enjoys memoirs, history or learning about life in other countries. I received this book from the author in exchange for a free honest review. Thank you!