Sooz's Reviews > The Dream Life of Sukhanov

The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin
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Dec 21, 11


earlier this year i read Grushin's The Line and i liked it so much that i went in search of this earlier novel. The Dream Life of Sukhanov has the best of the Russian novel about it. the uncertainties of a shifting reality wherein people gain and lose favour and the paranoia that state produces .... well, it makes great fodder for stories.

and damn this Olga Grushin is a good writer.

as the story progresses, Grushin switches between a first and third person narrative and flips through time like one of those old fashioned books with the drawings in the corner that produces an animated transformation when one flips through the pages fast enough. (what is that called anyway?) the lines between fantasy -or nightmare- and reality become increasingly blurred. how much of what unfolds is Sukhanov's paranoia? how much is reality and how much the result of a nervous breakdown?

AND .... when you have state politics that can change the rules at any moment ... does it even matter what is real and what is delusion? there is a Russian saying that goes something like this: anyone can change the future but only the Czar can change the past.

this is the political context that coloured every aspect of Russian society and breathed life into the best of the Russian novelists. Grushin keeps the tradition alive and kicking.
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