At first I was expecting a novel out of this book, mistakenly believing it was one, so I was very much surprised when I discovered it was more like an autobiography, with various short snippets of life in 1990’s Berlin as well as Russia just prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain. What made the book interesting was that it was not written from a German point of view, but from an authentically Russian perspective. It not only included the author's experiences, but also the experiences of other expatriate Russians in Berlin, which made for variety. I would have considered it autobiographical if it weren't for the remarkable lack of speckless statements apparent in the book (which I would have expected from any biography or autobiography). However it did not have a heavy, affirmative air like that of a memoir. I would not recommend it if you want a concise, informative handbook about Berlin in the 90's; I believe there are old editions of travel guides for that. It was certainly entertaining, with anecdotal humour which anyone can comprehend; slightly satiric at times but not generally. Therefore it read like a well-written short story collection, and impressed me with the author’s remarkable capacity to reduce his memories into a succinct, storytelling format.