Moscow 2042

Vladimir Voinovich, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $0 (424p) ISBN 978-0-15-162444-7
This political satire takes great swipes at the Soviet system, but its slapstick is often like one character's laughter, ""both jolly and forced.'' Emigre Russian writer Kartsev narrates a bawdy, self-deprecating tale of travel from West Germany in 1982 to Moscow circa 2042. In this futuristic scenario, the KGB and the Party have merged; the CIA is run by Russians, Soviet security by Yanks; Moscow is a separate, privileged republic surrounded by hostile outer Rings; ``secondary matter'' (ordure) must be exchanged for ``primary matter'' (food) and ``prime sex''; the top Russian leader, the Genialissimo, literally overlooks everything from an orbiting spaceship. One thing has not changed: the Soviets are still trying to rewrite history. Kartsev gets into trouble when he refuses to change a 1987 novel, Moscow 2042, that tells of a czarist restoration. The new czar turns out to be real, a cryogenically preserved fundamentalist emigre very much like Solzhenitsyn. Voinovich, author of the Private Ivan Chonkin books, is good-natured and irreverent, but his work doesn't have Orwell's deadpan bite. (May 28)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 444 pages - 978-0-15-662165-6
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