Wednesday, August 17, 2011

11.15 The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya

The Slynx (2000) by Tatyana Tolstaya

Two hundred years after civilization ended in an event known as the Blast, Benedikt isn’t one to complain. He’s got a job—transcribing old books and presenting them as the words of the great new leader, Fyodor Kuzmich, Glorybe—and though he doesn’t enjoy the privileged status of a Murza, at least he’s not a serf or a half-human four-legged Degenerator harnessed to a troika. He has a house, too, with enough mice to cook up a tasty meal, and he’s happily free of mutations: no extra fingers, no gills, no cockscombs sprouting from his eyelids. And he’s managed—at least so far—to steer clear of the ever-vigilant Saniturions, who track down anyone who manifests the slightest sign of Freethinking, and the legendary screeching Slynx that waits in the wilderness beyond.

As you can see from the above description this is an odd book. It is dystopian but primarily in a literary sense. There are many allusions to famous Russian literary tropes that I'm afraid many of which passed over my head.

In the end, a fundamental lack of narrative made this book something of a drag to read.

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