A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and Other Stories
Victor PelevinISBN: 0811215431;
Russian writers tend to gravitate toward either Tolstoyan gravity or Gogol's brand of feather-light fabulism. Victor Pelevin, the author of four previous books, most definitely belongs in the latter camp. His work may be grounded in the grubby realities of contemporary Russia, but the food shortages, decaying apartment blocks, and political chaos serve him as a kind of naturalistic springboard from which he launches into one antic leap after another. Pelevin's latest collection is a case in point. The title story finds a young, Moscow-based slacker visiting the countryside, hoping for a little bucolic enlightenment. Instead, he stumbles across a pack of werewolves deep in the forest, who hastily induct him into their numbers. Pelevin expertly conveys Sasha's brand-new lupine perceptions: the way he can now "distinguish the creaking of a branch in the wind a hundred yards from the clearing and the chirping of a cricket coming from precisely the opposite direction." But as the pack...
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