A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and Other Stories

A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and Other Stories

Book - 1998
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WW Norton
Victor Pelevin is "the only young Russian novelist to have made an impression in the West" (Village Voice). A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia, the second of Pelevin's Russian Booker Prize-winning short story collections, continues his Sputnik-like rise. The writers to whom he is frequently compared—Kafka, Bulgakov, Philip K. Dick, and Joseph Heller—are all deft fabulists, who find fuel for their fires in society's deadening protocol."At the very start of the third semester, in one of the lectures on Marxism-Leninism, Nikita Dozakin made a remarkable discovery," begins the story "Sleep." Nikita's discovery is that everyone around him, from parents to television talk-show hosts, is actually asleep. In "Vera Pavlova's Ninth Dream," the attendant in a public toilet finds that her researches into solipsism have dire and diabolical consequences. In the title story, a young Muscovite, Sasha, stumbles upon a group of people in the forest who can transform themselves into wolves. As Publishers Weekly noted, "Pelevin's allegories are reminiscent of children's fairy tales in their fantastic depictions of worlds within worlds, solitary souls tossed helplessly among them." Pelevin—whom Spin called "a master absurdist, a brilliant satirist of things Soviet, but also of things human"—carries us in A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia to a land of great sublimity and black comic brilliance.

Book News
An anthology of eight short stories by the critically acclaimed young Russian novelist. The writing is colloquial and often whimsical, and many of the stories take supernatural phenomena very much for granted, as with the werewolves of the title story, or another in which the protagonist discovers that everyone around him is, in fact, asleep at all times. This sense of precarious unreality, though humorous, offers telling insight into the state of contemporary Russian society. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Publisher: New York : New Directions, 1998
Description: 213 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780811213943
Branch Call Number: Pele
Additional Contributors: Bromfield, Andrew


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