Day of the Oprichnik
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Day of the Oprichnik

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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  946 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Супротивных много, это верно. Как только восстала Россия из пепла Серого, как только осознала себя, как только шестнадцать лет назад заложил государев батюшка Николай Платонович первый камень в фундамент Западной Стены, как только стали мы отгораживаться от чуждого извне, от бесовского изнутри - так и полезли супротивные из всех щелей, аки сколопендрие зловредное. Истинно...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published (first published 2006)
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Chad Post
This book grew on me. It's not as satirically funny as I expected, but it's pretty intriguing in a sort of sci-fi-define-a-corrupt-world way. Especially like the bits about Russian literature. Writing a real review for Three Percent and starting The Ice Trilogy as soon as I can. (I just saw a performance of Ice--the second book in the trilogy--in NY and was reminded how creepy/intriguing that book really is. I think it was underrated when it came out . . . or it might take the whole trilogy to p...more
Michael
Welcome to new Russia, where the Russian Empire has been restored back to the draconian codes of Ivan the Terrible. Corporal punishment is back and the monarchy is divided once again, but this is the future, the not so distant future for the Russian empire, or is it? Day of the Oprichnik follows a government henchman, an Oprichnik, through a day of grotesque event.

Day of the Oprichnik is a thought provoking Science Fiction novel of the worst possible Russia imagined. But while the book is dark,...more
H R Koelling
Ummmm, well... I just finished this book, but I'm not really sure what the heck I read. It's supposed to be funny, but I don't possess the erudition nor am I privy to the esoterica of Russian life to fully appreciate the humor. That said, this book contained several passages of magical realism that reminds me of Gogol, but I just didn't understand what was going on for most of the book. Still, I thought it was an OK novel, but I can't pinpoint why, other than it seems like it had a decent plot a...more
zxvasdf
Andrei Danilovich Komiaga awakes to be attended to by servants who bathe, clothe, and feed him. He then goes outside to approve the severed dogs head to be placed on the hood of his bright red Mercedov before heading to meet the Oprichnina. They begin their day by brutally murdering a traitorous nobleman and take turns raping his wife.

The Oprichnina is the Tsar's shock troopers, his most trusted soldiers to handle certain businesses requiring delicate brutality. This book is just a day in Komiag...more
Dree
Really 2.5 stars for me, but I will give it 3 since I think I missed a lot in this book due to my lack of knowledge of Russian history.

In the near future (2050? 2100? 2200?) New Rus has walled itself off from the west to protect its Russian Orthodox-ness (true Christianity). His Majesty has reinstated the Oprichniks (originally from the time of Ivan the Terrible). In this novel we follow Komiaga, an Oprichnik, through his day--murder, rape, approvals of stage shows, visiting Praskovia the clairv...more
Tuck
dystopian knee slapper of future (or is it?) Rus. It's what happens when capitalism and the market's hand (diamond encrusted and bloody) has free reign. Oh, along with holier-than-thou religion. Told in the classic sardonic tone of all good eastern bloc funny smart people. spoiler: the bath scene is worth reading this book to the end.
Margarita
Although this book is not devoid of a certain humorous slant of the events in Russian history and the current Russian reality, by and large, it is in my opinion, второразрядная порнуха...
Gabriel
La palabra y la acción. Es el lema, la divisa de estos sanguinarios servidores del zar de la Nueva Rusia, La Rusia de la tercera década del siglo XXI. Los opríchnik son el martillo del Soberano, apagan los fuegos de la sedición, cortan las cabezas de los revolucionarios y alcahuetean a la disoluta y nictófila zarina. Gozan de todas las prebendas que su posición, su corrupción y su doble moral les permiten.

Vladimir Sorokin nos ofrece un tour, un día en la vida de Andrey Danílovich Komyaga. Suena...more
Bjorn
It's 2027, and things are finally right in Mother Russia. The Soviet years and the messy capitalist confusion that followed are long over, the decadent junkie cyberpunks in the West have been shut out with a huge wall, the Czar is back in the Kremlin, the sacred Russian church is in charge of moral, and the not-so-secret secret police keep everyone in check. Finally, everyone can sit back and be Russian - that is work hard, pray, eat black bread, and try not to notice that the Chinese are making...more
Tom
I guess this is supposed to have been funny, but it was mostly tedious, mostly a chore to get through, with the ostensibly funny parts being either kind of obvious one-note shallow satire (ie- someone curses while yelling at someone else for cursing), or totally reliant on eliciting visceral reactions. Some reviewers called it "provocative" or "challenging" but I didn't particularly get that. I mean-- okay, so satire is supposed to be revealing in some way, right? Using humor to nudge readers in...more
Lucardus
Diese im Kern sehr düstere Dystopie, die sich kräftig in der russischen Historie bedient, trifft bei mir nicht den empfindlichen Nerv, der Betroffenheit auslöst. Der plappernde Erzählton ist mir schon von Lukjanenko vertraut (typisch für moderne russiche Autoren?) und sagt mir nicht sonderlich zu. Eher Satire als Schocker bleibt der Roman ingesamt inhaltlich zu "blutleer", um eine größere emotionale Wirkung beim Leser hervorzurufen, häufig wirken die Szenen zu eindeutig auf provokant gebürstet....more
Patrick
There is a unnecessary rape scene in this book in chapter II; otherwise, I kind of thought this book was thought-provoking. It might be of interest to readers of Vonnegut or Huxley, although I think my own perception of what was being said in this book was enhanced by what I know (even though that's limited) about Russian history, politics, and religion. A reader who opens this book with no interest in those topics will find it tedious and indecipherable.
Nicole
Wow. Just.... Wow. I had the same reaction to reading this as I did to watching The Human Centipede: morbid curiosity mixed with the simultaneous need to wash my brain and rid it from what it just witnessed, and pleasure at just how perverse it was. Whatthefuckery abounds! DO NOT read this if you're at all queasy or adverse to a little Bacchanalian debauchery. (Now you want to read it even more don't you!)

Not being overly familiar with Russian history I felt some of the satire may have gone ove...more
Marthe Bijman
Jan 07, 2014 Marthe Bijman rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Lovers of post-modern Russian literature
Day of the Oprichnik gave me nightmares – literally. The cover shows a bear, with a dagger and a watch – the Russian brown bear being a popular symbol of the pre-Soviet and current Russian Republic. The dagger is a foretaste of things to come in the novel.

The watch indicates that this is a day and a night in the life of one oprichnik (Russian: опри́чник, IPA: [ɐˈprʲit͡ɕnʲɪk], meaning ‘man aside'. Oprichnik refers to a member of the organisation known as the known as the Oprichnina (1565-1572) an...more
Evan
All I'm going to say at this point is that this goes on my shelf next to Warfare in the Enemy's Rear. Now THIS is dystopian fiction!
Michael
I'm not sure that many American (or English speaking) readers, not knowing much about what an oprichnik was in Russian history would get into this very easily, but apparently the publisher decided to take a chance anyway. (A quick look under "oprichnina" in Wikipedia provides enough detail of this aspect of Russian history, started by Ivan the Terrible, to support reading this.)

Russian doesn't have articles ("the," or "a") so the title could have been translated as "A day of an oprichnik" (or, "...more
Michelle
This book is an interesting vision of what Russian could become if it keeps going in the same direction as it has been under Putin's rule. The story is told from the perspective of Andrei Danilovich Komiaga, an oprichnik (basically a term coined under the rule of Ivan the Terrible for the thugs who enforced Ivan's brutal policies/whims), who lives to serve his king and country in whatever way is required. This book reminded me in parts of 1984 (if it had been told from the perspective of someone...more
Arik Savage
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amorfna
Izuzetna satira ruskog društva i političke scene. Vrlo duhovita ali isključivo kroz razumevanje aluzija i metafora.
Sorokin je, na određeni način, sebi uradio medveđu uslugu jer nažalost ova knjiga možda neće dopreti do prevelikog broja ljudi upravo zbog limitiranog broja publike koja knjigu može da shvati na pravi način.

Ukratko o radnji - kako živi opričnik, u istoriji pripadnik legendarne garde Ivana Groznog.
Sorokinovi opričnici smešteni su u današnjicu (godina 2028).Rusija tog doba je Rusija...more
Franziska
Angesichts der aktuellen politischen Lage ist dieses Buch durchaus interessant und überdenkenswert. Welche Macht hat Russland? Wie wird es sich in der Zukunft gegenüber den Machtansprüchen der westlichen Länder verhalten?
Das Buch beschreibt eine Fiktion für das Jahr 2027. Bis dahin hat sich Russland vollkommen vom Westen abgeschottet, nur China scheint ein ebenbürdiges Land zu sein, zu dem Russland Handelsbeziehungen unterhält. Aufgezeigt wird die Gesellschaftsordnung und der Alltag über den Tag...more
Sam
This book takes place in a future Russia, and describes a day in the life of an oprichnik (a member of the oprichnina, essentially a future, terrible incarnation of the KGB). The protagonist, Komiaga, awakens to the sound of ringtone of someone being tortured to death. He is tended to by his many servants, breakfasts, says his prayers, and heads of on a typical day of state-sanctioned murder, rapine, corruption, illegal drug use, extortion, censoring the arts, graft, murder, sexual perversion, s...more
Staren
"День опричника" is the most neat and laconic book by Сорокин I have read so far. It is written in more "traditional" style and characterized by quite moderate, reserved marginalization. Short and "understandable," without much shit and fuckings, you know. Just "Один мой день" by опричник. So maybe I would recommend this book for a quick initial acquaintance with Владимир Сорокин. Although, of course, due to this "neatness," the book is castrated of the most interesting experimental techniques o...more
Roger
I've never fully understood Russian Literature - I always have the feeling that I'm missing an important piece of the puzzle, the one which would make the beautiful outline before me a complete picture. As I get older, I've realised that the missing piece is that I am not the least bit Russian; I lack that inner knowledge that is only held by those that are. Reading at the remove of translation is another impediment.

However, Russian novels can still be enjoyed, even with a limited understanding...more
Chris Michael
This was one of my favorite books from the Contemporary Russian Literature course I took this year at college. Like a lot of what we read, Oprichnik is wildly satirical, with many over the top scenes that range from the overwhelmingly hilarious to the horrifyingly obscene, and often manage to be both of these at once. These scenes almost always hit their marks, as a lot of what Sorokin offers here is startlingly poignant despite (or perhaps because of?) a constant feeling of absurdity. The versi...more
Tony
This book has been compared to Fahrenheit 451, but the connection between the two books is simple. They are both dystopian visions of a country's future, and books get burned in both books. Stylistically, the similarities stem from the first person narration, but beyond that (and a few other tiny things), these books belong in separate categories. Bradbury's book was concerned with the idiotization (I know: not really a word) of American culture, mostly. Sorokin's satire sends up autocracy, nati...more
Donovan Lessard
I love the concept if this book: a seemingly archaic monarchy persisting with a highly technologically advanced information society with brutal results. But the execution was not there. The prose is flat, uninspired. The narrative is essentially snapshots if a day in the life if a brutal govt mercenary--a good concept, again, but it goes nowhere. At least nowhere that captivating. It often devolves into boringly tedious details of fictitious trade agreements or something equally uninteresting. T...more
Pavel
First book by Vladimir Sorokin, that I kinda liked. All his pornographic obsessions are still here, but this time they kinda make sense (I know some people who were entartained by his previous works, I personally don't care about shit eating and stuff like that and don't find it niether funny nor cool.)
Futuristic Russia, where days of Ivan The Terrible have met hi-tec digital age: the country is caged behind Great Russian Wall, Czar is in power again, days of Red (communist) and White (democracy...more
Sooz
i'm not really sure what to say about this book. it is a brutal picture of the future that has a lot in common with Russia's past. a short book, ala One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich ... well, except for the fact that the man we follow for that day is one of the henchmen of the oppressor rather than a member of the oppressed. so i guess it's One Day in the Life of the Anti-Ivan Denisovich.

Sorokin is the latest generation of the Russian speculative,satirical, absurdist story-teller. he real...more
Barry McCulloch
What to say about this book? First off, it is very graphic in parts and lewd. If you don’t like this, avoid it like the plague.

Secondly, the form Sorokin uses ranges (interchangeably in parts) from poetry, song and novella. It is not a conventional novel but it has to be said he does this extremely well. Yes, the songs go on a bit but the ability to weave different forms so effortlessly is no easy feat.

And lastly, the novel is overrated. Sorokin is clearly criticising (and poking fun) at the c...more
Kjetil Svarstad
Nok en allegorisk affære fra Sorokin... han tar dagens Putin-sjåvinisme og ekstrapolerer aldri så lite, og får da et skremmende autoritært, voldelig og religiøst-fundamentalistisk diktatur ut av ligningen. Ulikt is-trilogien som maler med til tider meget bred pensel, så går denne fortellingen direkte på en spesifikk brikke i Rus, en av Oprichnikene som er en paramilitær, utenom-rettslig voldsbande som blander kriminalitet samtidig som både tsar og hans politi holderhånden over dem. Og tsaren er...more
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Vladimir Sorokin was born in a small town outside of Moscow in 1955. He trained as an engineer at the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas, but turned to art and writing, becoming a major presence in the Moscow underground of the 1980s. His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and his first novel, The Queue, was published by the famed émigré dissident Andrei Sinyavsky in France in 1983. In 1992, Soroki...more
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