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Losing Laika: a Soviet historical novel

By Dickinson, Charlie

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Book Id: WPLBN0100301941
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 1.12 MB
Reproduction Date: 7/23/2019

Title: Losing Laika: a Soviet historical novel  
Author: Dickinson, Charlie
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Soviet Union-fiction., Soviet Everyman-fiction. Cold War-fiction. Space Race-fiction.
Collections: Authors Community, Literature
Historic
Publication Date:
2019
Publisher: Charlie Dickinson
Member Page: Charlie Dickinson

Citation

APA MLA Chicago

Dickinson, C. (2019). Losing Laika. Retrieved from http://self.gutenberg.org/


Description
Losing Laika is a Cold War novel. On May 1, 1960, Petró Kravets and colleague Ivan arrive at the crash of the American U-2 spy plane. Experienced optics technicians, they remove the camera. Above all, their work carries on their late fathers' legacy of defending the Motherland. Petró believes Soviet technology, from Sputnik-1 on, triumphs. And in the Cold War competition with America, the Soviet people hold their own. He hopes a better future awaits his toddler son Andrei. Covering half a century, Losing Laika is an engaging portrayal of a Soviet Everyman and his life and what followed.

Summary
May 1, 1960, an unnamed aviator sits amid strewn wreckage from his downed American spy plane in the Ural Mountains. Russians converge on the crash scene. One who arrives is Petró Kravets, an optics technician. He and co-worker Ivan Shynkarchuk will take apart the spy plane's camera. Petró lost his father in the Winter War with Finland, and he knows his work keeps alive a legacy to defend the Motherland. Petró and Ivan not only disassemble the camera, but replicate it in preparation for future camera "sputniks." If Petró's work helps a triumphant Soviet space program--on the streets of Gorod, Petró and neighbors celebrate cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space--Petró's also a put-upon Soviet Everyman. In his daily life, he and hallmate Egor must replace the leaky floor seal of a communal toilet. Plus, though he helps put camera sputniks aloft, Petró is grilled about "borrowing" work tools. In less than a decade, however, America surpasses the USSR. Joining a crowd, Petró watches a storekeeper's TV: An American walks on the moon. Years go by, and Petró's son, Andrei, becomes a helicopter pilot. While Petró and his wife, Olga, watch a newsreel of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Andrei's helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. Andrei is killed, leaving wife Ylena a widow, and son Gleb fatherless. Having also lost his dad to war, Petró spends much time with grandson Gleb. Envious of Party members, Petró's hallmate Egor--who helped fix the toilet--hot-wires and steals a Soviet official's limousine. Caught, Egor is sent to a psychiatric hospital. Unexpectedly, one day while walking, Petró sees Egor. A medicated zombie, Egor doesn't recognize Petró. Petró senses even more amiss in the world. Signs are everywhere: Polish shipbuilders strike, the Berlin Wall falls, and the Optical Test Station at Gorod is shuttered. Petró and Ivan--and most everyone else--lose their jobs. Petró's grandson Gleb, however, takes the unstoppable change in stride. A whiz at computers, Gleb leaves his university studies and goes to work for a mobile phone company in Finland. After Gleb transfers to California, Petró sees a way out of what is surely an impoverished future. Deciding to emigrate, Petró and Olga fly to Portland, Oregon. In Portland, Petró makes money repairing old cameras he buys at garage sales. When Olga passes away, Petró moves to a retirement home and makes friends with a fellow whose ordnance consulting was devoted to stopping Russian tanks. Petró reflects on how the two outlived the hatred between their two countries. He is happy to know that is past.

Excerpt
"Also making its way toward the crash site was a small convoy of old, rugged GAZ-63 trucks, four-wheel drives, rocking through the gullied road toward smoke from the downed plane. The two men in the back seat of the first truck joined the convoy after flying down from OTS, the Optics Test Station of the Ministry of Military Aeronautics in Gorod. They understood a spy plane undeniably capable of military photography had been shot down. Sleeved elbow out an open window and clad in gray overalls, Petró Kravets sat beside his colleague Ivan Shynkarchuk. Both were superb optics technicians and ready to remove the spy-plane camera. They'd been driving for more than an hour out into the wilds of the taiga. Petró wiped his brow. His pulse raced. This was an important assignment. Steadily, the dirty GAZ-63 bumped and bounced along the road. "Has to be a spy plane," Ivan said. Petró squeezed his right fist. "Yes, at twenty, twenty-five thousand meters, must be." "American," Ivan said. "Who else?" Petró glanced at Ivan, whose face also seemed flush with anticipation. "Americans, they believe they fly over Mother Russia whenever they want." Petró turned and spit out the open window. In the distance, obvious despite the mud-splattered windshield, the smoky confusion of an airplane crash lingered."

Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1--АВИАТОР (THE AVIATOR) CHAPTER 2--ПЕЛМЕНИ (PELMENI) CHAPTER 3--МИГ-19 (MIG-19) CHAPTER 4--БРАУН ТОВАРИЩ (BROWN COMRADE) CHAPTER 5--ЗВЕЗДЫ МЕРЦАФТ (STAR TWINKLE) CHAPTER 6--500 ЦЕЛСИЯ (500 CELSIUS) CHAPTER 7--ДИСЦИПЛИНА, ТОВАРИЩИ! (DISCIPLINE, COMRADES!) CHAPTER 8—UNIVAC CHAPTER 9--СТОЛИЧНАЯ (STOLICHNAYA) CHAPTER 10--СПУТНИК ДЕТСКИЙ ЛЕПЕТ (SPUTNIK BABY TALK) CHAPTER 11--КРОЛИК УХА (RABBIT EARS) CHAPTER 12--КАРЕЛИЯ (KARELIA) CHAPTER 13--КОММУНАЛЬНЫЕ ЧЕЛОВЕК (COMMUNAL MAN) CHAPTER 14--БОМБОУБЕЖИЩЕ (BOMB SHELTER) CHAPTER 15--РОСТ ТРУБЫ (RISING PIPES) CHAPTER 16--ВЫТЕКАЮЩЕЙ ТУАПЕТЕ (LEAKY TOILET) CHAPTER 17--ИСПРАВЛЕНИЕ ПЧЕЛИНЫМ ВОСКОМ (BEESWAX FIX) CHAPTER 18--НОЧЬ КОСМОНАВТА (NIGHT OF THE COSMONAUT) CHAPTER 19--МАЛЫЙ ПАКЕТ (SMALL PACKET) CHAPTER 20--ПЛАТОН КИНО (PLATO CINEMA) CHAPTER 21--ДОБЫЧА ВИНТ (DROPPED SCREW) CHAPTER 22--СЧЕТЧИК ГЕЙГЕРА (GEIGER COUNTER) CHAPTER 23--ФАРЫ (HEADLIGHTS) CHAPTER 24--ЧЕТЫРЕ ГЛАЗА (FOUR EYES) CHAPTER 25--ДЕРЕВЯННЫЕ ВИНТОВКИ (WOODEN RIFLES) CHAPTER 26--САХАРАЯ ЛУНА (SUGAR MOON) CHAPTER 27--РЕКРУТСКАЯ ПОВИННОСТЬ (RECRUIT OBLIGATION) CHAPTER 28--ИТАЛЬЯНСКАЯ ОБУВЬ (ITALIAN SHOES) CHAPTER 29--СВАДЕБНЫЙ ТОРТ (WEDDING CAKE) CHAPTER 30--ОРБИТА-2 (ORBIT-2) CHAPTER 31--КИНЕЗИОЛОГИИ И АМИЗДАТ (KINESIOLOGY & SAMIZDAT) CHAPTER 32--Ф6.3, 1/50 С. (F6.3, 1/50 S.) CHAPTER 33--ХЛЕБОВ (LOAVES) CHAPTER 34--ОЛИМПИЙСКИЙ ФАКЕЛ (OLYMPIC TORCH) CHAPTER 35--КРАСНАЯ ЗВЕЗДА (RED STAR) CHAPTER 36--ОТКАЗНИК (REFUSENIK) CHAPTER 37--ИГРУШЕЧНЫХ СОЛДАТИКОВ (TOY SOLDIERS) CHAPTER 38--КРЕСТЬЯНСКАЯ ҖАЛОБА (PEASANT COMPLAINT) CHAPTER 39--ОВИР (OVIR) CHAPTER 40--СОН КОСМОНАВТА (COSMONAUT DREAM) CHAPTER 41--МАШИНА ДПЯ ОТЖИМАНИЯ БЕПЬЯ (WRINGER) CHAPTER 42: HP 12C CHAPTER 43: АНГЕЛ [ANGEL] CHAPTER 44--СИНИЙ СВЕТ, КРАСНОЙ ШАПОЧКЕ (BLUE LIGHT, RED CAP) CHAPTER 45--НЕТ БРОВЕЙ (NO EYEBROWS) CHAPTER 46--АГАТ КОМПЬЮТЕР (AGAT COMPUTER) CHAPTER 47--ЁЖ20 (HEDGEHOG20) CHAPTER 48--ПОТЕРИ ЛАЙКА (LOSING LAIKA) CHAPTER 49--МОЗГИ БИТЬ ХОЛОДЕ (BRAINS BEAT BRAWN) CHAPTER 50--БЕРЛИНСКАЯ СТЕНА (BERLIN WALL) CHAPTER 51--ЛОКАУТ (LOCKOUT) CHAPTER 52--СВЕКПА (BEETS) CHAPTER 53--ФИЛЬМ ЧУВСТВА (FILM FEELING) CHAPTER 54--РЫБАК (FISHERMAN) CHAPTER 55--ФИНСКИЙ СОН (FINNISH DREAM) CHAPTER 56--СУВЕНИРНЫЕ БОЛТ (SOUVENIR BOLT) CHAPTER 57--ХРУЩЕВКА (KHRUSHCHEV-ERA BLOCK) CHAPTER 58--TWENTY-FIVE DEGREES CELSIUS AND MUGGY (ДВАДЦАТЬ ТРИ ГРАДУСА ПО ЦЕЛЬСИЮ, А ДУШНО) CHAPTER 59--HOMELESS REPUBLICAN (БЕЗДОМНЫЙ РЕСПУБЛИКАНЕЦ) CHAPTER 60--FOOD CART (ЕДА КОРЭИНУ) CHAPTER 61--GLOBAL SALES (ГЛОБАЛЬНЫМ ПРОДАЖАМ) CHAPTER 62--DU (ОБЕДНЕННЫЙ УРАН) CHAPTER 63--THREE AVIATORS (ТРИ АВИАТОРА) ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
 



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