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Book Title: Москва 2042|
The author of the book: Vladimir Voinovich
Date of issue: 2003
ISBN 13: 9789549133271
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 658 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.7
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Welcome to dystopia, soviet-style. If you like your satire roasted to well-charred black comedy, this novel weighing in at over four hundred pages will be a memorable feast. I laughed so hard reading The Fur Hat, I wanted to laugh even harder – Moscow 2042 gave me the chance. Vladimir Voinovich fans of the world unite; I join your ranks, comrades.
It’s 1982 and we’re in Munich with exiled Russian author Vitaly Kartsev when he learns from a friend Lufthansa Airlines is offering flights back and forth through time. Marvelous. Vitaly tells us he always wondered what his homeland would look like in the future.
He books a three hour flight for Moscow landing in 2042. Any trepidation or anxiety revolving around risks taken in such time travel is completely whisked away when Fräulein Globke down at the travel agency informed him there is absolutely no limit on the amount of drinks a passenger can be served during flight and all drinks are free of charge. Sign me up! Airtight logic - after all, Vitaly Kartsev is both a writer and a Russian and can always use a free-of-charge drink.
No sooner is Vitaly booked for his trip to the future then all sorts of people want in on the action: an American publisher offers three million for his story, a king of an Arab state demands he retrieve secret information, a buddy from the old days now linked in dubious ways to Soviet politics wishes to rekindle friendship, and most significantly, Leo Zilberovich, his literary agent, insists he take the next flight from Munich to Toronto to meet with a former labor camp inmate and a true Russian literary genius complete with impressive beard: Sim Simych Karnavalov.
Voinovich has praised Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his other writings but in this work the famous Gulag Archipelago author is on the receiving end of repeated jabs from his sharp, lampooning needle. Even the novel’s title, Moscow 2042, can be seen as a takeoff (futuristic sequel, perhaps?) of Solzhenitsyn's August 1914.
After landing in Toronto, driving through a forest and arriving at Simych’s gated estate, Kartsev is in store for all sorts of shenanigans, beginning with being stopped at the entrance by two Cossacks, one white, the other black, both with a walrus moustache and armed with long swords.
Looking closely at the white Cossack, Kartsev recognizes him as none other than his literary agent Leo Zilberovich. Kartsev shouts a hearty hello and asks why the costume. Ignoring the question, the mustachioed guard demands to see identification. Kartsev replies by sticking a middle finger in Leo's face.
Calm down, Vitaly, you will be obliged to deal with absurdities and farces right up until the moment you leave for Munich to board the plane flying you sixty years into the future.
And once in Moscow in the year 2042 - future shock with a vengeance. The novel’s dark humor lies in contrast: Moscowrep, the city’s inner ring, the first true communist republic, is judged by its inhabitants a perfect utopia, a glowing diamond, the pinnacle of all prior human achievement.
However, listening to all their doublespeak and taking in the reality of this sordid, grimy, stinking, suffocating city, our literary narrator quickly detects their utopia is a sham.
Take one instance: Can you imagine having to stand in a long line to turn in your shit to the local authorities so you can get a pass to eat dinner? But this is standard procedure, since, after all, it has to be, for, as they say in the Moscowrep, primary material (food) is secondary material (human excrement). To argue against this practice so continues those same brainwashed natives, smacks of metaphysics, Hegelianism and Kantianism.
Change is desperately needed. More specifically, what is needed is a godlike hero returning to Russia in all his glory riding on a white steed. What is needed is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Woops! Excuse me, I meant to say Sim Simych Karnavalov.
I highly recommend Vladimir Voinovich's comic masterpiece. Russia's future will never be the same again.
Russian author Vladimir Voinovich, Born 1932
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Read information about the authorVladimir Voinovich (rus. 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 does not forgo real people in favor of the grand scheme of things.
Satiric fiction has never been popular under authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. Voinovich's writing and political activity (dissident) led to his expulsion from the Writer's Union (194), emigration to Germany (1980), and loss of USSR citizenship (1981; restored 10 years later).
Voinovich is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Department of Language and Literature.
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