Review: Vladimir Sorokin’s “Day of the Oprichnik”

by writereaderly

vladimir sorokin day of the oprichnikAndrei Danilovich Komiaga is one of the oprichnina, the priveleged fists of Russia’s reigning monarch in the pseudo-futuristic world of 2028. Bound by religion and brotherhood to enforce His Majesty’s law, Komiaga is immensely fortunate in that he delights in the responsibilities assigned to the oprichnik: the deceipt, arson, rape, pillaging, murder, bribery, drugs, capital punishment and ritual group sex uniformly delight the man whose job is also his hobby. The disconcertingly chirpy tone of the day in the oprichnik’s life, the razor-shape political accusations against modern Russia, the sleek and inventive plotting: an impressive and absorbing novel, well recommended. (The only exception was the terrible poetry, but I can only surmise that it was deliberately awful in the original Russian, and the poor translator had to suck it up.)

Where it came from: CP’s Bookshelf
Time and manner of reading:
Gripped afternoon and evening armchair reads
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that: —
Who I’d recommend it to:
Again, most thinky readers
Also reading:The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Politics of Ecstasy by Timothy Leary; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier