Olga Slavnikova, Author, Marian Schwartz, Translator Overlook $26.95 (414p) ISBN 978-1-59020-309-5

Set a century after the Russian Revolution, this satirical political thriller, which won “the Russian Booker Prize” in 2006, follows the less than engaging adventures of a Russian gem cutter named Krylov and the consequences of his affair with a virtual stranger. Heavy-handed parody undercuts Slavnikona’s attempt to sound a warning about the future direction of Russia. For example, a few months after the U.S. president, Pamela Armstrong, perishes in a terrorist attack in Beirut, Armstrong’s image appears on a new $600 bill, and her biography, “which was published with lightning speed in every language,” emphasizes her having adopted “eighteen orphans of every existing skin color, from a Yakut as yellow as melted grease to a blue-black girl from Ghana.” Fantasy elements, like the disappearances related to a mountain spirit known as the Stone Maiden, may remind some of The Master and Margarita , but American readers should be prepared for a futuristic fable that falls far short of Bulgakov’s masterpiece. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Show other formats
Paperback - 414 pages - 978-1-4683-0121-2
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4683-0290-5
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4683-0291-2
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.