Becky Spratford's Reviews > The Blizzard

The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin
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it was amazing

Three Words That Describe This Book: surreal, atmospheric, satirical

I love Russian novels, especially the surrealist ones. Also this fulfilled my resolution to read more backlist titles. This one was in my Goodreads want to read list since it came out in 2015. I also happened to read it during the extreme cold here in Chicago. This added to the atmosphere of reading this book.

The surrealism is cool, but this book is also a VERY HEAVY satire of the ineffectualism of the Russian government. The possible zombie virus outbreak in the summary combined with the Russian blizzard was why I put it on hold, but the zombie part was only a carrot, driving our narrator toward his goal. It never payed off and I didn't care.

This is a book you read to experience. There is a plot, but it doesn't matter much and definitely doesn't pan out in a traditional sense. If you are looking for a resolved ending, you will not like this book [also that the end isn't the point]. The characters are ironic, caricatures, and just way over the top. The book is about the journey and the people we all meet along the way. They are all, every single one, there to symbolize something or someone else. I am sure I did not "get" all of the references, but I understand the point.

Not a book for everyone, but many would enjoy it. Also it gives a nod to classic Russian lit while still being about today.

Overall, it is bonkers but I loved buckling up and hitting the road for the duration.

Readalikes: Anything by Helen Oyeyemi and obviously other Russian lit. Also China Mieville-- especially THIS CENSUS TAKER which is also a satirical and surrealist novella:

The satire of the Russian government is thick here, to the extreme and absurd. IN that way it reminded me on the extreme and absurd satire of THE SELLOUT:

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Reading Progress

February 8, 2016 – Shelved
February 13, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 15, 2019 – Started Reading
January 31, 2019 – Finished Reading

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