Kamchatka is a pragmatic imagining of a child’s understanding of a country in political turmoil. The potential dangers come from eavesdropping on vague conversations. The narrator spends most of his time describing his amusing adventures with his younger brother, his efforts to imitate Harry Houdini and his obsession with Superman. The overall effect is that of a happy childhood occasionally marred by darker overtones. The narrator’s voice is enchantingly youthful and buoyant. The novel thrives to prove the toughness of children and the power of family.