‘Marketer’ by Oleg Sentsov

‘Marketer’ is a collection of short autobiographical prose by Oleg Sentsov. The author talks mostly about his student years: taking exams, everyday life in dormitories and apartments, unrestrained fun, lack of money – the usual components of the life of young people who acquire knowledge. Early nineties. Changing values. Breaking stereotypes. Becoming. Hardening of soul and character. Love, friendship, survival and business… A thoughtful and attentive reader will find all this in Oleg Sentsov’s new book. The Ukrainian translation is submitted next to the original.

The name of Oleg Sentsov, a film director, screenwriter, writer, public activist, a prisoner in Crimea in 2014, sentenced to 20 years on charges of terrorism, is known to every Ukrainian today.

“He really wanted to enter this institute. Above all in the world. He didn’t want anything so bad before that. He decided to become an economist a long time ago, probably after reading several books on business, the stock market and other market economies. It was not clear how these publications got into the hands of a village boy, but somehow they met. The perestroika of the late Soviet Union was already in full swing outside the window, the air smelled of change – and he could feel it. He was little concerned with the material side of the issue, much more with the process itself. Making money is interesting. Business is even more catching. He did not want to do anything else. All the early standard children’s dreams were supplanted by one subject — economics. He studied the theory from the small amount of literature he was able to obtain, from board games such as Monopoly and American videos. The practice took place in the market, together with parents, who sometimes traded there on weekends: some fruits, some vegetables, some flowers grown in greenhouses. Times were hard, and the family had to earn a penny, especially since trade was no longer considered a disgrace. The state no longer cared too much about its citizens, both their wealth and the supervision of part-time jobs. They started to breathe a little more, letting go of the turrets, but they had to breathe on their own…”

My rating is 9/10. I do recommend reading this book.

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