These fourteen remarkable stories by a young Russian writer now living in Israel impressively combine sardonic realism and lavish, free-wheeling imagination...both fueled by the paralyzing facts of Soviet life. "The Game" provides a Gogol-like description of a middle-aged businessman wheeling and dealing in the plant where he works, skillfully sabotaging his rivals. In "Aunt Lena," the young narrator watches the confrontation between his father, who has denounced his own brother, and the brother's wife. In "The Old Woman," the principal character rents a room from an old lady with magical powers who reveals to him the triviality of his life...and disappears. The prodigal talent in all these stories ensures that Gerenstain (like García Márquez) is on the way to commanding a fictional territory all his own.