“Stories” is a little misleading these are more the memories of the author of Tbilisi and Georgia in the forties and fifties. A slim volume. just 68 pages, most of the memories cover only a few pages. There are memories of the German POWs in the war, who were treated better in Georgia (traditional hospitality and all that) than those who were kept in Russia.
There is some one upmanship on the Russians, the Russian scientists were looking to make some cogs for one of their spacecraft and trying every material possible: tungsten, molybdenum but nothing works and the author finds the solution using some Georgian cast iron.
There is a Mr “flash the cash” businessman who takes the author to Moscow from Tbilisi just for some ice cream.
There is the tale of the snobbery in a Vake “English” Kindergarten, where the other kids take black caviar in for lunch and talk about filet mignon and the author’s son is told by his mother that the other kids don’t have trout caught by their own daddies in their packed lunches, and this consoles the boy.
There are tales of cheating in exams, a trait unfortunately still common in Georgia today.
The “amorous detective” of the title describes the efforts of the author and his friend Rezo to hook up a third friend, a convalescent nicknamed “Ridgeway” with the girl of his dreams.
The quality of the tales is variable but they provide an interesting insight into their times and the characters still resonate to day.
My rating 3 out of 5