Ooks absurd and it s clear that nothing is real In The Blizzard Sorokin seems to attempt this effect through cosmetics introducing for example a uite bizarre world of tiny horses the size of a partridge and humongous men the size of a three story house Still these insertions of the absurd did not serve any purpose did not give any broader meaning to the narrative did not convey any particular mood nor did they inspire contemplation I m not sure how to articulate properly at this point r I received a copy of this from the publisher through EdelweissThis is my first read of Sorokin although I ve had Day of the Oprichnik marked to read for a while He is a living Russian author but the setting for Blizzard is 19th century Russia so it feels like going back to the time of Tolstoy Except there is a town suffering from a virus that turns them into zombies and the doctor has the vaccine they need The blizzard and other bizarre events are working against his attempts to get to themThere are a few other random future tech things like the vitaminders and zoogenesis and teeny tiny horses Brr I finished re reading The Blizzard this weekend and when I got to the end my feeling was one of exalted revelation It felt like a completely different book from the last time Once I m amazed at the way books can mean very different things depending on who we are when we read themThis time for me The Blizzard was about how what one thinks is important in life turns out to be not important at all It s about how even our most terrible mistakes in life can reveal themselves over time to be glorious and meaningful if we ve lived honestly The novel suggests that a life lived with uiet acceptance of what can t be helped leads to peace whereas a life lived by striving forward from one goal to the next leads to nothing Last time I framed the characters in this novel differently I thought of the doctor as the protagonist and everyone else as a secondary character This time the full nature of the relationship between Garin and Crouper became the focal point of the novel for me and it led to a deeper interpretationThe first time I read the novel I was also distracted by the flurry of events that come one after another in its pages There is a relentless series of happenings in the story a metaphorical blizzard of bizarre experiences and scenic wonders This time the blizzard of happenings felt like they were written to demonstrate the way we humans allow ourselves to be trapped in strife and frustration from moment to moment The real story here beats deeply like a huge and generous heartfirst reviewview spoilerWell wow This is an interesting and captivating read and not like anything I ve read before Even as I write that I m thinking yes but because this novel keeps fooling me into thinking it s exactly THIS kind of novel a survival novela To Build a Fire story of human hubrisa 19th century Russian storywhaa a ZOMBIE novel and all the while it keeps artfully skirting the edge of multiple literary tropes including ones that align with realism and then something extremely unexpected happens and the story veers wildly away and plunges me back into a fantastic world where I have no idea what will happen next The way some aspects of the story telling mimics a dream state reminds me of avant garde or absurdist writing But there is a big difference so many avant guard novels feel like fairly static thought pieces to me whereas the narrative tension in The Blizzard never flags hide spoiler A story translated from the Russian that is part magical realism and part science fiction a blend of old Russia and a post apocalyptic futuristic Russia Almost all of the action takes place in a Dr Zhivago type sleigh ride in a blinding week long blizzard across the frozen Russian landscape A doctor carrying vaccine has hired a sled driver to get him to a remote village where the people have been struck by a plague The harder the doctor tries to reach the village the obstacles he encounters as in one of those running nightmares where you can never reach your destination And oh yes I forgot to mention that the village people are suffering from the Bolivian plague that turns them into Zombies Not goodimage There s a shortage of gasoline Fortunately genetic bioengineering has done *its magic and the sleigh s motor think snowmobile is powered by 50 miniature horses propelling a drive belt *magic and the sleigh s motor think snowmobile is powered by 50 miniature horses propelling a drive belt the hood Genetic manipulation has also bred giant and miniature humans The giant people 6 meters tall are hired to do things like clear forests by ripping out trees by hand A tavern owner they encounter on their ourney is a miniature man about as tall as a wine bottle married to A Normal Sized Woman We normal sized woman We digital clocks but no phones or internet In the travels of the doctor and his driver they come across a tent city populated by Kazakh people aka Vitaminders The Kazakhs erect their tents in a few minutes by using a substance sueezed out of a tube of toothpaste that they water and then in a few minutes it grows into a felt like substance The Vitaminders make their living selling an LSD type drug The doctor takes advantage of the drug ust as he did the tavern owner s wife In his hallucinogenic drugged state the doctor has nightmarish dreams where he reflects on all the bad things he did in his life and tries "to ustify himself to a village tribunal that has condemned him to " justify himself to a village tribunal that has condemned him to gruesome death I m not a science fiction fan but the book kept my attention with its inventiveness and my wondering exactly what is going on and what s coming next On the other hand I didn t uite get the point of it all Sorokin is a post modern Russian writer he has been writing since the 1980 s and his early work had been banned under the old Soviet regime But now he is banging out a book a year and has published about 15 novels since then photo from blogeurekatentco. Ere Hestene slider ulvene samler sig og vejen deles og forsvinder i snefoget Snart er Garin og hans kusk på vej ind i alle tiders litterære russiske snestorm.
free read À eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ó Vladimir Sorokin
A strange in a good way amalgam of traditional 19th century style Russian literature crossed with post apocalyptic SF A doctor s struggle to deliver a vaccine to a remote village during a blizzard Features tiny and huge horses mind altering drugs and giants What s not to like Whenever I review of foreign language work of speculative fiction I find myself including a statement reflecting my certainty that readers of the work in its original language Russian Spanish Estonian whatever have a fuller experience of its subtleties humor and imagery than I That statement usually comes towards the end of the review but with Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard I have decided to put it up front I feel certain that his Russian readers have a well as I saidIt helps to learn that Russian readers by the time reach adulthood have received a steady diet of lost in the snow narratives The motif appears in fiction verse and folklore and the stories almost always end poorly for their protagonists The Blizzard opens with Dr Garin who is desperate to find transportation for himself and his serum to the plague struck village of Delgoye learning that snow has shut down the railway It s a set up that will prompt Russian readers to think Here we go again The forested rural setting seems nineteenth century and the frantic Dr Garin with his pince nez and mustache steps out of a Chekov story That atmosphere continues when Dr Garin learns that Crouper the peasant who handles local bread deliveries may have horses and a sleigh available He approaches the man who does indeed have horse He has fifty of them This is a reasonable number since they are the size of partridges and they propel his sleigh by running inside a drum The doctor convinces Crouper to undertake the ourney which in normal circumstances would take only a few hours The village will be saved from what we learn about this time is an outbreak of zombies caused by a virus brought back from Columbia The dead are tunneling through the village breaking into homes and infecting the living Dr Garin does not approve of foreign travelSorokin is one of the most popular contemporary novelists in Russia His work employs fantastic elements in narratives that range from traditional science fiction to the sort of weird environment he builds in The Blizzard It is never clear if he has set this tale in an alternate nineteenth century or some future that has devolved into a combination of new technology crippled by a collapsed infrastructure Thanks to another review I learned that there are internal clues that place the story in our own present day One development running throughout the story is the twin phenomena of biological miniaturization and gigantism Crouper s tiny horses are distantly related to horses the size of small apartment blocks These are used to haul trains that no longer have a power source On their ourney Garin and Crouper take refuge in the home of a miller the size of a samovar Garin has a sexual encounter with his full sized and delectable wife One of the men s many road accidents *occurs when a runner of their sleigh crashes into and breaks off in the nostril of a dead giant The *
when a runner of their sleigh crashes into and breaks off in the nostril of a dead giant The of all this are enjoyable and expertly drawn even if their import remains vague Dr Garin becomes increasingly unsympathetic his humanitarian zeal a cover for his temper condescension and poor impulse control My sympathies all went to Crouper and his tender concern for his hard working horses You don t have to be Russian to guess that this trip into the snow will end badly But again I find myself wondering if a Russian reader finds all this than a mildly entertaining curiosity 45 StarsTranslated into English from Russian The Blizzard A Novel is a uirky short story and I loved it The premise of this dystopian story is simple A Dr stranded in a blizzard has the vaccine to prevent people from turning into Zombies Okaysounds interesting I haven t read too many Zombie books but I thought I would give it a tryand I am glad that I did This story is about the Little Mamas Family Secrets
journey of a Dr who wants to do hisob save people s lives What an adventure You will read about Read 122015 11165 Stars Highly Recommended The Next Best BookPages FSGReleased December 2015Translated by Jamey GambrellWhat better day to review Highly Recommended The Next BookPages 192Publisher FSGReleased December 2015Translated by Jamey GambrellWhat better day to review Sorokin s The Blizzard as I sit here on the couch in the midst of our very own blizzard Wrapped up in the relative warmth of a fuzzy blanket hands cupping a mug of spiced tea as the wind whips the ever falling snow back and forth beyond my front windows it s easy to take for granted the bone chilling snot freezing cold that our brave protagonist ventures out into in an attempt to save a small 19th century town from the grips of a terrifying zombie plague Doctor Garin holds the vaccine that will stop the epidemic from spreading and feels compelled to bully his way through the wicked snow storm which currently has him stalled and horseless at a station house After much shouting and cursing the stationmaster is finally convinced to hook Garin up with Crouper a local bread man with a fleet of partridge sized ponies and a sled who might be convinced to take the pushy doctor where he is determined to be Garin applies the same bossy tactics with Crouper who reluctantly agrees to head out into the raging storm against better De ontdekking van de hemel
judgment A trip that under normal circumstances should take but a few hours slowly and painfully turns into a never ending battle of man vs natureIt s the kind of book where nothing really happens but everything isust told so perfectly that you really don t care It s got ust the right touch of the fantastical too I m calling it soft apocalyptic fantastical fiction The zombies strangely never make an appearance but other odd and wonderous things do The deeper into the storm we travel the fantastical and otherworldly their circu. Oversat af Tine RoesenI en nedfrosset fremtidig verden haster lægen Garin af sted i kane for at redde sine landsmænd fra en udenlandsk pest Mørket falder p?. M
stances become and all the while our characters grow and suspended in this sort of timeless past future which adds to the overall awesomeness of the novelIt s beautiful relentless and tenderly harsh The Blizzard is thoroughly stylized to the Russian classical fiction of the nineteenth century with an exception of the one little twist And this little twist is a grand shift in reality Now the lot of ye we gonna go for a drive Crouper asked his horses and they neighed even louderThe younger ones reared and bucked the shaft horses and the steppe horses snorted shook their manes and nodded Crouper lowered his large rough hand still holding the piece of bread in the other and began petting the horses His fingers caressed their backs stroked their manes and they neighed tossing their heads and stretching their necks They playfully nipped his hand with their tiny teeth and pressed their warm nostrils against his fingers Each horse was no bigger than a partridge He knew every single one of them and could tell you what its story was where it was from and how he got it how it worked who its parents were and describe its likes and dislikes its personalityThere are normal sized horses and there are tiny horses And there are tremendous horses as wellThere are normal sized people and there are midgets And there are also giantsThen the plot starts developing as in the famous Alexander Pushkin s poem Devils On and on our coach advances Little bell goes din din din Round are vast unknown expanses Terror terror is within Faster coachman Can t sir sorry Horses sir are nearly dead I am blinded all is blurry All snowed up can t see ahead Sir I tell you on the level We have strayed we ve lost the trail What can we do when a devil Drives us whirls us round the vale So it goes but slowly the story turns into a kind of barbaric dystopia with a piuant flavor of an exotic horror taleThe huge wide object was completely covered in snow and rose up and up Throwing his travel bags down in the snow the doctor wiped his pince nez with his scarf and tilted his head back He couldn t understand what was in front of him At first he thought it was a pointed haystack covered in snow But he touched it and realized that it wasn t made of hay ust snow His eyes agog the doctor stepped farther back Suddenly at the top of the strange vast snowy shape he made out the likeness of a human face He realized that he was standing in front of a snowman of monstrous proportions with a huge erect phallus of snowSomewhere deep inside in every modern man his prehistoric origins are hidden sleeping and they may awaken any moment Sometimes especially with fantasy it is best to use a lighter touch Take Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard A Novel could very well be set in the 19th century except for a cellphone at one point and a mention that Stalin happened a long time agoThe story has a dramatic start Platon Ilich Garin is a physician traveling during a major blizzard with vaccinations against the Bolivian Black Plague which has broken out in nearby blizzard with vaccinations against the Bolivian Black Plague which has broken out in nearby He needs horses to take him there aren t there "CARS AND FINDS THE ONLY LOCAL "
and finds the only local can help him is Crouper who has miniature horses and a special sled that could could get to DolgoyeGarin s ourney is fraught with strange disasters and opportunities He is seduced by the miller s wife at one overnight stop The miller himself is a midget no bigger than a doll We hear that there are in addition to miniature horses and people giant horses and giant humans over twenty feet tall Then there are the Vitaminers sort of like gypsies who sell strange productsin the form of spheres cubes and pyramids which when heated give the taker strange delusions In Garin s case he is being boiled slowly in oil Instead of being disappointed by his drug trip Garin is exhilarated I mean really who wouldn t like to be slowly boiled in oil They continue on their trip until a final mishap occurs within a few miles from their goalThis is the third Sorokin novel I have read after Ice and Day of the Oprichnik I find myself unable to put his books down I always want to find out what s next With Sorokin whatever it is it s bound to be strange I guess as they say there s a first for everything In this case The Blizzard is the first that I ve ever not appreciatedfeltenjoyed a Russian author Russian and Romanian obviously and in general Eastern European literature molds reflects illuminates and inspires my soul because it is born in a uniue landscape that was also my childhood my source of personal myths and ways of looking at things This nostalgia for childhood is nothing special in my case reading RussianEastern European lit is ust how I go back So usually I love it all sticking to the Russians for now from Solzhenitsyn s systematic and descriptive analytics to Dostoevsky s masterful psychoanalyses to Bulgakov s absurd whimsical surrealism to Petrushevskaya s heart wrenching portraits of humanity in pain to Tolstoy s romanticism Within all this variety there is a certain Russian nessEastern European ness spirit imbuing all these works Which is what The Blizzard seemed for me to be missing and which is why it didn t uite facilitate my going back despite Sorokin s heavy use of Russian motifs such as the furious snowstorm the vodka the brilliant whimsy etcAs I uestioned my reaction it didn t take me long to realize the essential ingredient that I value above all others and that threads all the aforementioned works the humor You will not meet anyone dead pan than an Eastern European especially not one born in that era Some of us are basically living dead pan you really can t take anything we say seriously because we don t ourselves and yet somehow we are often taken most seriously of all It s a bit like Communist Zen one learns to detach and to view the whole fiasco from a distance At which point of course it all ? månen lader sig ane i glimt og kulden bider Intet må forsinke ham I møllen venter den fede varme møllerkone og ude på den åbne steppe frister narkopush.