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Moscow 2042

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  415 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The year is 1982, just two years before that made famous by Orwell. An exiled Soviet writer discovers that a German travel agency is booking flights through a time warp to a variety of tempting sites and dates in the future. Moscow? The year 2042? How can he resist? Afterword by the Author. Translated by Richard Lourie.
Paperback, 444 pages
Published September 24th 1990 by Mariner Books (first published 1987)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
138th out of 349 books — 1,372 voters
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr SolzhenitsynDoctor Zhivago by Boris PasternakWe by Yevgeny ZamyatinHeart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
Best Russian (Soviet 1917-1991) Literature
45th out of 147 books — 146 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 911)
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Apr 01, 2014 Jan-Maat added it
Recommends it for: readers of time travel stories, people who found Solzhenitsyn over the top and fans of satire
One of the problems of life is that it is not very inventive. Sometimes life is terribly embarrassed by this and shamelessly borrows from art. I remember being in Russia in the mid 1990s, about the time of the first Chechen war, watching television, which made a change from loosing games of chess to ten year olds with ever decreasing grace. Anyhow on the television there was a broadcast showing an Orthodox priest at a military airbase sprinkling Holy Water on war planes. The odd thing about this...more
Natalie Bylewskaya
"И вообще, что такое народ? И есть ли вообще разница между народом, населением, обществом, толпой, нацией или массами? И как назвать миллионы людей, которые восторженно бегут за своими сумасшедшими вождями, неся их бесчисленные портреты и скандируя их безумные лозунги? Если ты хочешь сказать, что самое лучшее, что есть среди этих миллионов, это и есть народ, то тогда ты должен признать, что народ состоит всего из нескольких человек. Но если народ--это большинство, то я тебе должен сказать, что н...more
Don't read synopses, don't read any other reviews. Just read this book, immediately.
A damn funny Satire of late Soviet Russian ineptitude. Think Jaroslav Hasek meets 1984. The story takes its dear time getting started. But once you reach the year 2042, it just explodes with madness. Voinovich has a bone to pick with everyone. He could almost make a living out of ridiculing Solzhenitsyn alone.
Автор действительно провидец - предсказал и гэбиста-гениалиссимуса, и государственных попов... А ведь только тридцать лет прошло из шестидесяти!
Ira Therebel
The book is fantastic. Really caused a lot of public disturbance by not being able to not laugh loudly when reading it. I guess I found my favorite Russian writer considering that this book seemed perfect and isn't even his most popular work.

Written shortly before the fall of the USSR this book is a satire talking about the narrator (based on the author) going on a time machine trip to Moscow of 2042 to see what the future brings it and the communism. It is hilarious and does a great job to paro...more
Bill Keefe
Wow! This one took months...mostly months of inactivity, so I only have vague memories of a promising beginning. I am not well read in satire. After a school reading of Candide, I believe there was nothing. So, I have a feeling, an inkling that this was a very good book but I truly don't know. I do know that it was too remote, too dry, too clinical for me to truly get into it. I could see the humor - and the tragedy in the humor - but not enough to internalize it and laugh or cry. I found myself...more
I'm not a student of either Russian politics or literature,, so I'm sure plenty of the deeper meaning (and possibly the jokes) passed me by on this one. That being said, I'm enough a child of the Cold War - and Voinovich is enough of a writer - that I didn't feel lost or let down. My sister asked what I was reading. I showed it to her and said, "It's funny as hell. It's a lot funnier than it looks from the cover." She, of course, replied, "It would have to be."

Moscow 2042 came out in 1986, writt...more
Divertidísima sátira.
Podrán pasar años, siglos, reyes, gobiernos, sistemas, zares, presidentes, dioses y genialissimus, pero la estupidez humana siempre permanecerá.
The future that never happened. Not yet.
Jul 23, 2014 Serage is currently reading it
I am page 70 and I have no idea what this book is about yet and that is usually a very good thing. Looking forward to "getting it!"
Pavel Ivanov
amazing. accurate and amazing
Mikhail Baskov
True, as always.
Aug 05, 2012 g026r rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
A bit too much of a particular time to remain as enjoyable as it might have been. (That time being the final moments of the Brezhnev-era, and its life support continuation under Andropov & Chernenko.) Probably not helped by the fact that it feels perhaps 100 pages too long, and the afterword where the author discusses how political changes in Moscow have rendered it even more relevant — an afterword written in 1990. (Oops.)

That said, the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn parody remains hilarious.
місцями дуже й дуже непогано:
- "гегельянство, кантіанство і метафізика" - лайка на всі часи, треба буде взяти на озброєння;
- ненав'язливі, добре вписані в сюжет філософські роздуми про первинне і вторинне, від "кто сдает продукт вторичный, той снабжается отлично" до міркувань, що кого наслідує: творчість життя чи навпаки;
- ідея, що утопію можна зруйнувати, тільки збудувавши її.
якби він ще трошечки менше блазнював, було б зовсім хороше.
quite the enjoyable dis-distopian tale. funny, outrageous, with a perfectly flawed narrator, and the ridiculousness that only people with the best intentions can create.

the cherry on this delectable dessert was the afterword, written in 1990, where the author is forced to answer some heavy claims of precognition regarding the fate of soviet communism. tragically hilarious.
Lisa Hayden Espenschade
Nov 24, 2010 Lisa Hayden Espenschade rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of dystopias with a sense of humor
Recommended to Lisa by: ?
I enjoyed Moscow 2042 when I read it years ago in translation and enjoyed it again this time around in the original: Voinovich is a master of combining high and low humor in political satire.

There's more on my blog here.
Damian Garside
Brilliant satire, playing with the time-travel paradox (the narrator finds that everyone in the future Soviet society is giving him special care and attention because they have all read the book he wrote when he returned to the 1980s). Vicious satirical portrait of Alexander Solzenitsyn.
I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the sometimes Catch-22 situations of the author's imagined future of Communism (the protagonist arrives hungry, but is unable to get food without first producing some output). Yes, it's over the top, but that's what satire is all about!
A fine satire that answers a question I never knew I had: "What if Vonnegut was a former communist?"

Really enjoyed the book, it was long but well done, so that wasn't much of an issue. It was also pretty funny at points, which is a plus in this type of literature.
A comedic take on what communism in the USSR might have become, had it made it to 2042. While it was a pretty fast read, and relatively humorous, I can't say that I would recommend it to others.
Блеклая, пытающаяся выкрутиться только в последней трети фантазия, рассказанная с самой бесячей из возможных интонацией «дурачка». Роскомлитхоз, страслый и ужаслый.
Vytautas Malesh
Funny as all hell, and a lot of strong, pointed commentary - worth noting that I read this in translation, and it's still a damn fine piece of work.
A fantastic book; light without being frivolous, insightful without being heavy-handed. Read most of its 400-plus pages in one day.
Amusing commentary on the absurdity of communist excess, as told by a Russian dissident in 1982.
Jan 30, 2013 Kate marked it as to-read
Shelves: later

Just do not feel like going back to finish it. May be one day...
i don't actually remember the end of the book??? i read it like three weeks ago
Paolo  Merolla
Per gli Italiani: è stato stampato solo da qualche giorno da Dalai.
One of the best satires of the Soviet Union ever written
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  • The Compromise
  • The Queue
  • The Foundation Pit
  • Moscow to the End of the Line
  • Memories of the Future
  • Nervous People and Other Satires
  • The Ugly Swans
  • Envy
  • Children of the Arbat (Arbat Trilogy #1)
  • Petersburg
  • The Slynx
  • Collected Stories
  • Omon Ra
  • The Crime of Olga Arbyelina
  • The Complete Works of Isaac Babel
  • The Case of Comrade Tulayev
  • The Golovlyov Family
Vladimir Voinovich (Владимир Николаевич Войнович) was born in what is now Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, but which at the time of his birth was Stalinabad, a city in the USSR.

Voinovich started writing and publishing poetry during the army service; he later switched to writing prose and ultimately became famous as a master of satirical depiction of the absurdity of Soviet life. However, he d...more
More about Vladimir Voinovich...
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