El Dia de Oprichnick

Vladimir Sorokin, Author, Yulia Dobrovolskaia, Translator, Jose Maria Munoz Rovira, Translator Alfaguara $19.99 (237p) ISBN 978-987-04-1053-9
Russian writer Sorokin has written a dozen novels, ten plays, and various screenplays. In this his latest novel (originally published in Russian in 2006), set in 2027, he uses the idea of Ivan the Terrible's 16th-century private guards and spies, the oprichniki, as a trampoline to make a commentary on contemporary Russia, where so many high-ranking bureaucrats and politicians still have close ties with the KGB. Sorokin follows Andrey Komyaga, one of a tight-knit group of oprichniks, during the course of a day. Komyaga lives like a feudal lord, driving around Moscow and its surroundings in a luxurious Mercedes reaping the benefits of looted property. Superstitious and fearful of his own fate, he visits a clairvoyant to learn if all this luxury and power will remain his. Sorokin suggests that despite the passage of time, Russia and its needs, its thugs and victims, have perhaps not changed so much. While the book's initial premise is an interesting one, Sorokin's treatment may not have great appeal to Spanish-language readers. It depicts violent methods reminiscent of methods employed by Central American gangs, Colombian guerrilla groups, and Venezuelan and Brazilian criminal brotherhoods, for example, but there the connection ends. Recommended for large collections as a secondary holding. Catherine Rend\xF3n, Savannah, GA
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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