Red Weather takes a simple idea the working and actions of an adolescent and stretches it in wonderful and engrossing directions In lesser hands Yuri s story could easily have slipped into clich a typical coming of age story But Pauls Toutonghi does not take the easy way
out Because his rotagonist is acted upon than ro #ACTIVE HIS LURCHES TOWARD DECISIVENESS DRAW US IN THAT #his lurches toward decisiveness draw us in that Because his rotagonist is acted upon than ro active his lurches toward decisiveness draw us in that although a lot the time we are watching him through the fingers on the hands clamped over our eyes waiting for the crash literal and figurative And Pauls surrounds Yuri with a distinctive cast who grow on us as eople as o The review on line says it is honest and unflinching I disagree if anything I found it humorous and awkward Awkward in the sense that he recounts teenage moments and feelings that we all would like to forget and humorous because these things actually happened I can only imagine that if this were ever made into a movie it would be akin to My Big Fat Greek Wedding I am just over 50% of the books and I really enjoy it I think an added The Great Orange Leonard Scandal (Tall Tales Series; 4) plus is the fact that the story happens in Wisconsin alace where I am currently living so I have the benefit of seeing or having seen where the story takes Tangled Webs (The Black Jewels, place This bit ofersonalization makes it that much sweeter Regardless of where you live there are aspects that anyone can relate to and appreciate So far 810I have now finished the book I stand by my grade of 810 It was a great read and in the end a surpr This slim novel set in 1980 s Milwaukee explores the life of 16 year old Yuri Balodis and his arents immigrants from Latvia and escapees from the Stalinist Soviet Union Yuri s infatuation with a classmate daughter of a Socialist rofessor unleashes a torrent of emotions in the family capped by the unexpected arrival of relatives from Latvia Set against the backdrop of Milwaukee s Third Ward the novel explores the complexity of emotions first generation Americans and their immigrant arent face articularly because Yuri s Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue parents never spoke of theirast This is one novel that for me was enhanced by surprising revelations in the epilogue Yuri Balodis is 15 and attending Alexander Hamilton High School in 1989 Milwaukee His The Man Without a Face parents came to Wisconsin from Latvia where his father had once dreamed of becoming a country and western star but now works as a night janitor at a car dealership and drowns his disappointments in bourbon Yuri is a gangly teen and unsure of his life sath but he is a good student and reads widely artly because his mother brings home a variety of books from her job at the Milwaukee Public Library He slips out of their apartment one early morning when he can t sleep and comes across a curious group of rotesters who are trying to sell a newspaper titled Socialist Worker to the employees of a Gone (Gone, produce co. The setting is Milwaukee Wisconsin if not America’s heart then at least its liver home to an array of breweries and abandoned factories and down on their luck Eastern European immigrants The year is 1989Revolutions are sweeping through the nations of the Eastern Bloc Communism is unraveling And nobody feels this unravelingiuantly than Yuri Balodis a fifteen year old first generation American living with his Latvian immigrant arents in Mil. Mpany One of these is a very Untitled. pretty girl Yuri recognizes from high school and he is instantly smitten But how can he love a Socialist when hearents sacrificed so much to escape Communism More importantly how can he love a Socialist and still love his fatherThis dilemma forms the central conflict of this coming of age novel It is in turns Wiring poignant and hilariously funny full of the angst of teen love and the missteps of youth Yuri like all teens is embarrassed by hisarents while simultaneously feeling guilty about this He longs for the erfect suburban life imagines his classmates enjoy and yet finds a certain beauty and comfort his own family life Toutonghi does a fine job of writing this story I found it entertaining and enjoyable But The city is ractically a character in the book the setting is that important to what is happening I live in Milwaukee and the geography he writes is completely wrong Streets he mentions run the wrong direction sounds of the ball games at the stadium cannot carry the 5 miles to Yuri s apartment and wouldn t be heard over the noise of the freeway that borders the area on two sides there are no large supermarkets or strip malls in the neighborhood in which the author sets the story Would it have taken all that much effort to get the geography right or to give the city a fictitious name This book went into my to read list because of its Milwaukee setting But I enjoyed the story of Latvian immigrants struggling to grab the American dream interwoven with their son s angst ridden coming of age Yuri the son gets mixed up with home grown Communist wannabes which of course is anathema to his Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage parents And naturally a female is at the center of all that There is satire there is sadness but at the end of it all there is familyI d love to read about Yuri He s an endearing character Any teenage boy who loves the library as much as Yuri does HAS to have a bright futureIt sroblematic to live in the area where a book is set The author captures a lot of the feel of late 1980s Milwaukee but there are errors that jumped out at this Milwaukee area resident For one thing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did not exist until 1995 for another a single town in Wisconsin or anywhere would not have its own District Attorney And The DOS paper mills in Milwaukee There are none within about 100 miles There always have been industrial smellsarticular to Milwaukee but Against All Odds paper milling is not one of themIf it weren t for the sloppy research I d give this book five stars This book was the first Iut on my Goodreads to read list in 2009 I ve ben trying to tackle that long list lately and I m so glad I finally got around to reading this one This is the coming of age story of a first generation American teenager in Milwaukee living with his Latvian immigrant Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism parents when th. Waukee’s Third WardIt’s a turbulent time And when Yuri falls in love with Hannah Graham the daring daughter of arominent local socialist chaos ensues Within weeks Yuri is ensnared by both Hannah and socialism He joins the staff of the Socialist Worker He starts uoting Lenin and Marx indiscriminatelyHis arents of course are horrified and deeply saddened They try to educate him to show him why in their opinion communism has ruined so many.
characters Red WeatherE Berlin wall came down on Nov 9 1989 The story is warm and sensitive but saved from sentimentality by its humor alternately slapstick and sly There is a straw dog in it though a socialist leaning American rofessor who loves all things Soviet The narrator and reader know better We Latvians are a small nation beaten and battered by many wars over thousands of years but our culture and life sense still thrive the Latvian language is one of the oldest in existence today Perhaps
That Is Our Greatest Sourceis our greatest source ride then we are survivors When Pauls Toutonghi s new novel came upon the literary scene I was Pirate of the Pacific (Doc Savage, pleased I m an avid reader in both languages Latvian and English but however many good books I read about the war and later experiences of Latvians immigrating to other countries and cultures it is rare to come across a worthy tome in English a good attention grabbing novel that I couldroudly share with non Latvian friends Now here s Pauls With one Latvian The Rich and the Profane (Lovejoy, parent it is my understanding he has grown up in the Milwaukee area active in the Latvian community and having visited Latvia is well acuai This book tells the story of a teenager Yuri and his immigrantarents who live in Milwaukee WI Yuri s life changes as he falls for Hannah a girl who is involved with the socialist movement a movement whose core concepts directly contradict the beliefs of Yuri s Turbulence parents who emigrated from Soviet controlled Latvia Two key events cause great changes in Yuri s life a late night car accident and the arrival of some of his Latvian relativesA key element of this book is Yuri s relationship with his father Another is his struggle to figure out who he really is and what he really believes and valuesI enjoyed reading a book set in Milwaukee because it was easy for me toicture the many laces that are mentioned I also enjoyed seeing the development of Yuri s character and how he came to view his family It took me a while to get into this bookbut then suddenly I really was Reviews have compared the author to David Sedaris and I into this bookbut then suddenly I really was Reviews have compared the author to David Sedaris and I there were moments and the book to The Kite Runner I did not see that at all but I thought there were some Dave Eggers like moments in it I would recommend it enough I could see a lot of eople liking this book but not a lot of Elizabeth Ann Seton people loving it Mostly I gave it 4 stars because of theortrayal of Yuri s father starting in the middle of the book I thought the description of that character in articular really brought him to life And also because of Hammond I liked Hammond A coming of age story about a Latvian immigrant Yuri in 1989 Milwaukee I read this because I m from Milwaukee although two generations removed from Yuri I m still undecided about how I felt about this book it was well written certainly but I did not think Yuri was a very sympathetic characte. Lives But Yuri is stubborn And his ideological betrayal will have serious conseuences than breaking his arents’ hearts Red Weather is by turns funny and bittersweet tinged with a rueful comic sense that will instantly remind you of the absurd complications of love Pauls Toutonghi’s stunning debut novel is at once reminiscent of Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner From the Hardcover editi.