Lisa Hayden Espenschade's Reviews > Испуг

Испуг by Vladimir Makanin
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's review
Apr 23, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: abandoned
Recommended for: Humbert Humberts who've graduated to younger women instead of nymphets

A dull, repetitive, and rambling account of an older man's obsession with wandering into younger women's dachas on moonlit nights. Beyond some mentions of satyrs, Makanin's attempts at meaning are pretty limited in the first 72% of the book. I think I'll stick to Makanin's early work.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Alex How's this one? I get the impression that this Makanin novel is somewhat of a Russian counterpart to the works of Philip Roth, and I like Philip Roth, so especially curious about it.

Went out the other day with the intention of buying it - no chance. Lots of Makanin around, but no "Испуг". isn't of much help either.

message 2: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa Hayden Espenschade I'm not much of a Philip Roth fan so I may be the wrong person to ask... I don't like Испуг that much, either, though I am probably going to finish it. I seem to have a strong preference for Makanin's earlier work, which is tighter than books like Испуг and Асан. Испуг reminds me at times of Андеграунд, which was also baggy and also had a main character who was a sort of watchman, but Makanin adds in myth-based themes, as he does later in Асан. It's a strange combination of условность, sex scenes (this is complicated), and the pain of aging. I guess I keep reading because I wonder if Makanin can pull everything together. (It also works fine as treadmill reading.)

message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy your comments.

Have you seen Razzkazzy? A Russian compilation? I just got it a few weeks ago to review, looks good.

take care,

message 4: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa Hayden Espenschade The good thing first: Yes, I did read Rasskazy, and I think it's a very good collection. I think (or at least hope!) you'll enjoy it. (I have a "Rasskazy" tag on my blog so it's easy to find related posts.)

I ended up not finishing this Makanin book because it was just too dull, even for the treadmill where I can usually plow through just about anything with large enough print. Beyond the tedium, Makanin seemed intent on spelling out too many things that were already pretty obvious. *sigh* I have too many other books to read!

Enjoy the rasskazy! I'll watch to see what you think of the book.

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