When a brutal and sadistic serial killer begins stalking the streets of Moscow, Xenia, an ambitious young newspaper editor, takes it upon herself to attempt to solve the mystery of the killer's identity. As her obsession with the killer grows, Xenia devises an elaborate website with the intention of ensnaring the murderer, only to discover something disturbing about herself: her own unhealthy fascination with the sexual savagery of the murders.
In the first of three stories in this book, a beautiful young witch from the Dark Ones falls in love with a handsome young Light One, and the balance is threatened. The repercussions expand through destiny and through the ongoing struggle between Light and Dark.
A far-out, far-fetched, and fiendishly funny story about a strange nightclub and its outrageous entertainment. After auditioning for the part as a singing geisha at a dubious bar, Lena and eleven other "lucky" girls are sent to work at a posh underground nightclub reserved exclusively for Russia's upper-crust elite. They are to be a sideshow attraction to the rest of the club's entertainment, and are billed as the "famous singing caryatids." Things only get weirder from there. Secret ointments, praying mantises, sexual escapades, and grotesque murder are quickly ushered into the plot. The Russian literary master Victor Pelevin holds nothing back, and The Hall of the Singing Caryatids, his most recent story to be translated into English, is sure to make you squirm in your seat with utter delight.
Victor Pelevin, the iconoclastic and wildly interesting contemporary Russian novelist who The New Yorker named one of the Best European Writers Under 35, upends any conventional notions of what mythology must be with his unique take on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. <P><P> By creating a mesmerizing world where the surreal and the hyperreal collide, The Helmet of Horror is a radical retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur set in an Internet chat room. They have never met, they have been assigned strange pseudonyms, they inhabit identical rooms that open out onto very different landscapes, and they have entered a dialogue they cannot escape - a discourse defined and destroyed by the Helmet of Horror. Its wearer is the dominant force they call Asterisk, a force for good and ill in which the Minotaur is forever present and Theseus is the great unknown. <P> The Helmet of Horror is structured according to the way we communicate in the twenty-first century - using the Internet - yet instilled with the figures and narratives of classical mythology. It is a labyrinthine examination of epistemological uncertainty that radically reinvents this myth for an age where information is abundant but knowledge ultimately unattainable.
Closing the gap between the contemporary Russian novel and the masterpieces of the early Soviet avant-garde, this masterful mixture of prose and poetry, excerpts from private letters and diaries, and quotes from newspapers and NKVD documents, is a unique amalgam of documentary, philosophical novel, and black humor. Revolving around three central characters--a composer; his lover, Vera; and Vera's husband, a naval officer intercepting enemy communications--we are made witness to the inhuman conditions prevailing during the Siege of Leningrad, against a background of starvation and continuous bombing. In their wild attempts to survive, the protagonists hold on to their art, ideals, and sentiments--hoping that these might somehow remain uncorrupted despite the Bolsheviks, Nazis, and even death itself.
If Ryu Murakami had written War and PeaceAs the introduction to this book will tell you, the books by Gromov, obscure and long forgotten propaganda author of the Soviet era, have such an effect on their readers that they suddenly enjoy supernatural powers. Understandably, their readers need to keep accessing these books at all cost and gather into groups around book-bearers, or, as they're called, librarians. Alexei, until now a loser, comes to collect an uncle's inheritance and unexpectedly becomes a librarian. He tells his extraordinary, unbelievable story.
The only author to win all three major Russian literary prizes (including the Russian Booker Prize), Mikhail Shishkin is one of the most acclaimed contemporary Russian literary figures. The Guardian said of Shishkin's writing: "richly textured and innovative. . . arguably Russia's greatest living novelist." The Wall Street Journal raved that "Shishkin has created a bewitching potion of reality and fantasy, of history and fable, and of lonely need and joyful consolation. An exquisite novel... His sovereignty is over the invisible and the timeless. Mr. Shishkin traces this sad story with great beauty and finesse." In The Light and the Dark Shishkin has created an evocative love story of two young lovers, Vladimir, a solider flighting the Boxer Rebellion, and Alexandra. Known fondly to each other as Vovka and Sashka, the two young lovers sustain their love by writing passionate letters to each other. But as their correspondence continues, it becomes clear that the couple's separation is chronological as well as geographical--that their extraordinary romance is actually created out of, as well as kept alive by, their yearning epistolary exchange, which defies not only space but time. With this contrapuntal literary testament to the delirious, transcendent power of love, Mikhail Shishkin--the most celebrated Russian author of his generation--has created a masterpiece of modern fiction.From the Hardcover edition.
Paris, 1878: Eccentric antiquarian Lord Littleby and his ten servants are found murdered in Littleby's mansion on the rue de Grenelle, and a priceless Indian shawl is missing. Police commissioner "Papa" Gauche recovers only one piece of evidence from the crime scene: a golden key shaped like a whale. Gauche soon deduces that the key is in fact a ticket of passage for the Leviathan, a gigantic steamship soon to depart Southampton on its maiden voyage to Calcutta. The murderer must be among its passengers.In Cairo, the ship is boarded by a young Russian diplomat with a shock of white hair--none other than Erast Fandorin, the celebrated detective of Boris Akunin's The Winter Queen. The sleuth joins forces with Gauche to determine which of ten unticketed passengers on the Leviathan is the rue de Grenelle killer.Tipping his hat to Agatha Christie, Akunin assembles a colorful cast of suspects--including a secretive Japanese doctor, a professor who specializes in rare Indian artifacts, a pregnant Swiss woman, and an English aristocrat with an appetite for collecting Asian treasures--all of whom are con?ned together until the crime is solved. As the Leviathan steams toward Calcutta, will Fandorin be able to out-investigate Gauche and discover who the killer is, even as the ship's passengers are murdered, one by one? Already an international sensation, Boris Akunin's latest page-turner transports the reader back to the glamorous, dangerous past in a richly atmospheric tale of suspense on the high seas.From the Hardcover edition.
"An inventive comedy as black as outer space itself. Makes The Right Stuff looks like a NASA handout."--Tibor Fischer. Victor Pelevin's novel Omon Ra has been widely praised for its poetry and its wickedness, a novel in line with the great works of Gogol and Bulgakov: "full of the ridiculous and the sublime," says The Observer [London]. Omon is chosen to be trained in the Soviet space program the fulfillment of his lifelong dream. However, he enrolls only to encounter the terrifying absurdity of Soviet protocol and its backward technology: a bicycle-powered moonwalker; the outrageous Colonel Urgachin ("a kind of Sovier Dr. Strangelove"--The New York Times); and a one-way assignment to the moon. The New Yorker proclaimed: "Omon's adventure is like a rocket firing off its various stages--each incident is more jolting and propulsively absurd than the one before."
Damilola Karpov is a pilot. Living in Byzantium, a huge sky city floating above the land of Urkaine, he makes his living as a drone pilot - capable of being a cameraman who records the events unfolding in Urkaine or, with the weapons aboard his drone, of making a newsworthy event happen for his employers: 'Big Byz Media'.His recordings are known as S.N.U.F.F.: Special Newsreel/Universal Feature Film.S.N.U.F.F. is a superb post-apocalyptic novel, exploring the conflict between the nation of Urkaine, its causes and its relationship with the city 'Big Byz' above. Contrasting poverty and luxury, low and high technology, barbarity and civilisation - while asking questions about the nature of war, the media, entertainment and humanity.
General Khrapov, newly appointed Governor-General of Siberia and soon-to-be Minister of the Interior, is murdered in his official saloon carriage on his way from St Petersburg to Moscow. The killer, disguised as Fandorin, leaves a knife thrust up to the hilt in his victim's chest and escapes through the window of the carriage. Can Fandorin escape suspicion?A battle of wills and ideals, revolutionaries and traditionalists and good versus evil.
Moscow, May 1876: What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? Decadence and boredom, most likely, is what the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police thinks, but still he finds it curious enough to send the newest member of the division, Erast Fandorin, a young man of irresistible charm, to the Alexander Gardens precinct for more information. <P><P> Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this is an open-and-shut case, nor with the preliminary detective work the precinct has done--and for good reason: The bizarre and tragic suicide is soon connected to a clear case of murder, witnessed firsthand by Fandorin. There are many unresolved questions. Why, for instance, have both victims left their fortunes to an orphanage run by the English Lady Astair? And who is the beautiful "A.B.," whose signed photograph is found in the apparent suicide's apartment? Relying on his keen intuition, the eager sleuth plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the deadly center of a terrorist conspiracy of worldwide proportions.<P> In this thrilling mystery that brings nineteenth-century Russia to vivid life, Akunin has created one of the most eagerly anticipated novels in years.
Set during the advent of perestroika, a surreal, satirical novella by a critically acclaimed young Russian writer traces the fate of the passengers on The Yellow Arrow, a long-distance Russian train headed for a ruined bridge, a train without an end or a beginning--and it makes no stops. Andrei, the mystic passenger, less and less lulled by the never-ending sound of the wheels, has begun to look for a way to get off. But life in the carriages goes on as always. This important young Russian author's first American translation garnered rave reviews. The main character, Andrei, is a passenger aboard the Yellow Arrow, who begins to despair over the trains ultimate destination and looks for a way out as the chapters count down. Indifferent to their fate, the other passengers carry on as usual -- trading in nickel melted down fro the carriage doors, attending the Upper Bunk avant-garde theatre, and leafing through Pasternak's Early Trains. Pelevin's art lies in the ease with which he shifts from precisely imagined science fiction to lyrical meditations on past and future. And, because he is a natural storyteller with a wonderfully absurd imagination. The Yellow Arrow is full of the ridiculous and the sublime. It is a reflective story, chilling and gripping.
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