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30 review for America on Six Rubles a Day or How to Become a Capitalist Pig

  1. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    My parents gave me this one as a souvenir from their trip to Branson, Missouri. I remember Yakov as a stand-up comedian from the 1980's but didn't realize he was still active. Apparently he has been a fixture in Branson since 1993 and owns a theater there. This slender book is divided into several chapters that allows Yakov to make numerous one-liner jokes similar in style to a stand-up comedy act. They are amusing but rarely slap-your-knee funny. Virtually all of them align with his shtick of a My parents gave me this one as a souvenir from their trip to Branson, Missouri. I remember Yakov as a stand-up comedian from the 1980's but didn't realize he was still active. Apparently he has been a fixture in Branson since 1993 and owns a theater there. This slender book is divided into several chapters that allows Yakov to make numerous one-liner jokes similar in style to a stand-up comedy act. They are amusing but rarely slap-your-knee funny. Virtually all of them align with his shtick of a Russian immigrant to the US in the '80s trying to aid other immigrants with learning the language, customs, etc. Beneath it all is a rather charming character of Yakov, himself, who remains very happy to have come to America. What a country!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Oksana Leslie

    I loved this book. As an immigrant I could relate to funny things the author experienced in USA. I bought several copies and gave them as gifts to my American friends. Hilarious.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Remember when? [Russia] is the only nation in the world to have a machine that gives everyone in the country X-rays at the same time...it's called Chernobyl. Reading through this book was like taking a literary time machine back to the 80s, when Yakov Smirnoff was the toast of comedy and cameoed on most of the hit sitcoms of the day. There was at least one of his classic groaners per paragraph, and many dated cultural references. However. As I read, part of my brain was deconstructing Yakov Smirnoff Remember when? [Russia] is the only nation in the world to have a machine that gives everyone in the country X-rays at the same time...it's called Chernobyl. Reading through this book was like taking a literary time machine back to the 80s, when Yakov Smirnoff was the toast of comedy and cameoed on most of the hit sitcoms of the day. There was at least one of his classic groaners per paragraph, and many dated cultural references. However. As I read, part of my brain was deconstructing Yakov Smirnoff as an entertainer and 80s phenomenon. He clearly delivers his punchlines a la Borscht Belt comedians. Was he maybe Andy Kaufman's successor, given how little the public knows about him aside from the "fresh off the boat" Soviet schtick? His family emigrated a decade or more before the height of Yakov's popularity, so surely this character is not completely for real? Now that Yakov's heyday is over, will we ever be treated with a man-behind-the-beard memoir that is a little more authentic? Perhaps these thoughts were the only thing keeping my head in this book at all, as it is otherwise 124 pages of largely dated jokes and cultural observations about US language and culture. A photo of Yakov Smirnoff holding a box of condoms and asking where he can get a job in the quality control department? No matter how handsome the guy actually is, that is something that is, regrettably, now indelibly etched into my brain.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Rigg

    I'm sure I thought this was hilarious when I read it at age 15 and I'm equally sure it doesn't stand the test of time. I'm reminded of the Ben Stiller skit about how Smirnoff's jokes aren't funny anymore after Glasnost. I'm sure I thought this was hilarious when I read it at age 15 and I'm equally sure it doesn't stand the test of time. I'm reminded of the Ben Stiller skit about how Smirnoff's jokes aren't funny anymore after Glasnost.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rick Bavera

    Amusing. Filled with language-play (puns) as well as "regular" observational jokes. Much of the material is dated, but still amusing, especially if you lived through the time period, so you know the references in many of the jokes. Amusing. Filled with language-play (puns) as well as "regular" observational jokes. Much of the material is dated, but still amusing, especially if you lived through the time period, so you know the references in many of the jokes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark Reeder

    With the collapse of the Soviet Union the humor isn't as easy to grasp for the younger generation than it is for us older folks. But it is still funny to read. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the humor isn't as easy to grasp for the younger generation than it is for us older folks. But it is still funny to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Larry Hostetler

    It was everything I expected it to be. I always enjoyed Smirnoff's comparisons of the USSR with America, and appreciated his regular rejoinder "What a country!" I even read some passages to my wife, something I rarely do. Written as an instructional guide to new immigrants, it contains a lot of humorous observations, some of which I recall from hearing his stand-up comedy routine. His ubiquitous smile and USSR-deprecating humor during the last days of the Cold War are great to read. The book is a It was everything I expected it to be. I always enjoyed Smirnoff's comparisons of the USSR with America, and appreciated his regular rejoinder "What a country!" I even read some passages to my wife, something I rarely do. Written as an instructional guide to new immigrants, it contains a lot of humorous observations, some of which I recall from hearing his stand-up comedy routine. His ubiquitous smile and USSR-deprecating humor during the last days of the Cold War are great to read. The book is a quick read, and unfortunately short. It says 125 pages, but is actually less when you take out the illustrations that are part of each short chapter. Able to be read in one day, it took me two because of other things going on. But it was a comic relief I sorely needed. Too often spoken humor doesn't translate well to written, but Smirnoff and his writer did a good job of giving the necessary structure to pull of the transition. This would be an excellent textbook for high school history class as it shows in a very entertaining manner the differences between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Sandernistas might benefit by reading this, too. A VERY good read, only missing five stars because of it was too short and the illustrations distracting rather than supportive of the humor.

  8. 5 out of 5

    R.

    This comedic memoir by America's Favorite Ukrainian is at once a heartfelt examination of the wide-eyed immigrant experience and a hilarious skewering of sinister Soviet-era politiks... Back in the 80s, when stand-up comedy was an...an art...Yakov was one of the superstars. Why? Because he reminded Americans why America...despite its faults...mattered. And...and he had a Nabokovian gift for punning. A good book to leave on the coffee table so that your Ukrainian guests have something to read while This comedic memoir by America's Favorite Ukrainian is at once a heartfelt examination of the wide-eyed immigrant experience and a hilarious skewering of sinister Soviet-era politiks... Back in the 80s, when stand-up comedy was an...an art...Yakov was one of the superstars. Why? Because he reminded Americans why America...despite its faults...mattered. And...and he had a Nabokovian gift for punning. A good book to leave on the coffee table so that your Ukrainian guests have something to read while eating all of your oatmeal raisin cookies. This is pretty much the first 30 pages of the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GK8ew...

  9. 4 out of 5

    ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ

    The book is entertaining and Yakov is funny, BUT... even good one liner jokes get old when he puts one in every paragraph. Sometimes 2 or 3 in a paragraph. It's so full of jokes, you can't follow what else he's trying to say. The rest of the book is just mindless drivel that leads from one joke to the next. Out of 124 pages, I managed to get to page 41 before being so fed up with the jokes that I'm putting the book down and not going to finish it. Since I found my author autographed copy at a th The book is entertaining and Yakov is funny, BUT... even good one liner jokes get old when he puts one in every paragraph. Sometimes 2 or 3 in a paragraph. It's so full of jokes, you can't follow what else he's trying to say. The rest of the book is just mindless drivel that leads from one joke to the next. Out of 124 pages, I managed to get to page 41 before being so fed up with the jokes that I'm putting the book down and not going to finish it. Since I found my author autographed copy at a thrift shop for 50 cents, I'll keep it (on the really off chance it might be worth something someday) but after trying to read it I can understand why the previous owners got rid of it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Farrah

    The puns were directed, I'm assuming, to a much less sophisticated, 80s, mid-cold war audience. The formula of "US is great because of X--> In the Soviet Union, X was repressive --> PUN -->What a country. It was seriously a math equation made of predictable and boring exponents leading to a product of crap. BUT, I enjoyed the following lines: ...in the Soviet Union we have homosexuals, they're just not allowed to be gay about it. I like the American version of Roulette better Honestly, though, if The puns were directed, I'm assuming, to a much less sophisticated, 80s, mid-cold war audience. The formula of "US is great because of X--> In the Soviet Union, X was repressive --> PUN -->What a country. It was seriously a math equation made of predictable and boring exponents leading to a product of crap. BUT, I enjoyed the following lines: ...in the Soviet Union we have homosexuals, they're just not allowed to be gay about it. I like the American version of Roulette better Honestly, though, if I had a year to live, I would spend it in Cleveland because it would feel like an eternity

  11. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    This was a book that you can read and then put down and pick up again several days or weeks later, although I read it in about 3 days. There were some really funny lines but it was almost like I was reading his stand-up comedy act funny yet missing a lot like his delivery and the audiences reaction. Though the book was okay it was clean comedy and my parents and inlaws have seen his act in Branson and both of them loved it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I'm of the age where I've only really heard of Yakov Smirnoff in retro, so-cheesy-it's-good kind of ways. So I really enjoyed reading this book. The punch lines are rapid fire, every sentence or two. And sure, a good portion of them are groaners, but in such a way that they were fun too. And other parts were really inventive. I'm glad I picked this up when I saw it at a local thrift store. I'm of the age where I've only really heard of Yakov Smirnoff in retro, so-cheesy-it's-good kind of ways. So I really enjoyed reading this book. The punch lines are rapid fire, every sentence or two. And sure, a good portion of them are groaners, but in such a way that they were fun too. And other parts were really inventive. I'm glad I picked this up when I saw it at a local thrift store.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As a standup act I would have rolled, but as a book, it was mediocre.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    In USA, you read book. In Soviet Union, you get booked and not read rights before being sent to gulag in Siberia. What a country!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kaye

    It is a little dated so many of the jokes don't work anymore. It has a 1987 copyright and in that time a lot of our culture has changed. It is a little dated so many of the jokes don't work anymore. It has a 1987 copyright and in that time a lot of our culture has changed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Lots of word play. Good bathroom read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    McKenna Mobus

    "We had to watch comedies like 'Marx and Mindy,' "Unhappy Days,' and "Leave It to Brezhnev." Why did I read this book? "We had to watch comedies like 'Marx and Mindy,' "Unhappy Days,' and "Leave It to Brezhnev." Why did I read this book?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Yeah, these jokes were probably a lot funnier 25 years ago. Some of it was still good, but... meh is my overall rating.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jimcarl

    It was entertaining and could be something more funny - maybe it wasn't just my type of (dark; blue) humor. :) **I was able to buy from Booksale an autographed copy of the book. :) It was entertaining and could be something more funny - maybe it wasn't just my type of (dark; blue) humor. :) **I was able to buy from Booksale an autographed copy of the book. :)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Fiero

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bob Polis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason Smith

  24. 5 out of 5

    B

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gautham

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Dealing

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bryon Smith

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I needed something funny and easy to read. This was a good start. To get my focus back. It was pretty corny. It was probably much funnier back in the 80s. It reminded me of the show perfect strangers. I might also be a good book for people who don’t know anything about foreign countries. Just some of the little idiosyncrasies of living abroad.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Howard

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