The Last Hiccup: A Novel

by Christopher Meades | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1550229737 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingAceofHeartswing of Mississauga, Ontario Canada on 4/14/2012
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, April 14, 2012
A darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heroic novel set in 1930s Russia, The Last Hiccup is the story of Vladimir, an eight-year-old boy stricken with a case of the hiccups that lasts over a decade.

Put through a series of extraordinary, often bizarre treatments by a famous physician, Sergei Namestikov, Vlad is spirited away from his rural home and doting mother to a hospital in Moscow. But Sergei’s chief medical rival, the brilliant Alexander Afiniganov, believes that beneath Vladimir’s mirror-less eyes lurks a pure, unbridled evil, and Vlad is removed from polite society.

Isolated from everyone and everything — save his hiccups — Vladimir grows up to find inner peace among the hiccupping. On his way back into the world he once knew, through a country now in the midst of war, he encounters many strange people and situations, always wondering what would happen to him should a cure for his now-comforting affliction be found.

Journal Entry 2 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Vladimir is celebrating his eighth birthday when he starts hiccuping and continues and continues. Of course, his mother is very concerned and when the hiccupping does not stop travels from her small town in Russia to a bigger one in order to consult with a doctor. This doctor tries all the tried and true methods of stopping the hiccups to no avail.

Vlad is brought to Moscow by Sergei Namestikov, a famous physician. Numerous treatments are tried; bizarre, painful and unsuccessful. Sergei's nemesis and an even more famous doctor, Alexander Afiniganov is brought in to see Vlad.

Alexander believes that Vlad is the essence of pure evil and spirits him away from Moscow into the outer reaches of Mongolia. Vlad grows up comforted by his hiccupping and returns to Moscow a changed man.

This book is quirky and filled with dark humour. It is vaguely historical as it is set in 1930s Russia. I thoroughly enjoyed the read but felt I would have liked to read a bit more of Vlad's years in Mongolia.

I love the quirkiness of Christopher Meades' works. They really appeal to me. And I loved, loved, loved the ending.

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 18, 2012
Reading now!

Journal Entry 4 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In 1930s Russia, Vladimir is a young boy who suddenly starts hiccuping and can't stop. All of the normal cures are tried, including scaring him, but none of them work. Concerned, his mom takes him to a doctor who takes on his case as a personal mission to rid Vlad of hiccups. The attempted cures become more and more drastic but nothing helps poor Vlad, who continues to hiccup every 3.7 seconds. His doctor takes him to a psychologist thinking that perhaps the problem is mental rather than physical and the conversation that Vlad has with this psychologist scares the doctor, who comes to view Vlad as evil.

Vlad is taken away to Mongolia hoping that that region and its people will help cleanse Vlad of his evil.

Having read Meades' previous novel Three Fates of Henrik Normard, I expected a short, quirky novel that was very easy to read and this certainly delivered. This novel has a more muted humour than his previous, but Meades would still throw in something completely off the wall and pass it off as regular which had me chuckling throughout the book.

I didn't really like any of the characters and was never really sure what to make of the character Vlad, whether I liked him or didn't trust him, but that was part of the charm of the story for me. This was a fun, enjoyable read though I think I'd recommend Meades' first book before this one.

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 25, 2012
This book is back with me!

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