Author: Vladimir Sorokin

Waiting on Wednesday – The Blizzard: A Novel by Vladimir Sorokin

Posted September 23, 2015 by Bonnie in Adult, Waiting on Wednesday / 5 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Blizzard: A Novel by Vladimir SorokinThe Blizzard: A Novel on December 1st 2015
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover
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Vladimir Sorokin is one of Russia’s most popular novelists, and one of its most provocative as well. In Sorokin’s scabrous dystopian satire, Day of the Oprichnik, American readers were introduced to his distinctive style, which combines an edgy avant-garde sensibility with a fondness for the absurd and even grotesque—all in the service of bringing out stinging truths about life in modern-day Russia.

In The Blizzard, we are immediately immersed in the atmosphere of a 19th century Russia familiar to us from the works of Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky. District doctor Garin is desperately trying to reach the village of Dolgoye, where a mysterious epidemic called the “Chernukha” is raging and threatens to spread throughout the country, turning people into zombies. The doctor carries with him a vaccine that will prevent the spread of this terrible disease, but is stymied in his travels by an all-consuming snow storm, an impenetrable blizzard that turns a drive that should last only a few hours into a voyage of days, and finally, a journey into eternity.

The Blizzard dramatizes a timeless metaphysical predicament. The characters in this nearly post-apocalyptic world are constantly in motion, and yet somehow trapped and frozen—spending day and night fighting their way through the storm on an expedition filled with extraordinary encounters, dangerous escapades, torturous imaginings, and amorous adventures. In the fantastical realm Sorokin has invented, the reader also loses her bearings, subject to the vicissitudes of time and change, to both the movement of life and its stagnancy. Hypnotic, fascinating, and richly descriptive, The Blizzard is a seminal work from one of the most inventive writers working today.

About Vladimir Sorokin

Vladimir Sorokin was born in a small town outside of Moscow in 1955. He trained as an engineer at the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas, but turned to art and writing, becoming a major presence in the Moscow underground of the 1980s. His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and his first novel, The Queue, was published by the famed émigré dissident Andrei Sinyavsky in France in 1983. In 1992, Sorokin’s Collected Stories was nominated for the Russian Booker Prize; in 1999, the publication of the controversial novel Blue Lard, which included a sex scene between clones of Stalin and Khrushchev, led to public demonstrations against the book and to demands that Sorokin be prosecuted as a pornographer; in 2001, he received the Andrei Biely Award for outstanding contributions to Russian literature. Sorokin is also the author of the screenplays for the movies Moscow, The Kopeck, and 4, and of the libretto for Leonid Desyatnikov’s Rosenthal’s Children, the first new opera to be commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater since the 1970s. He has written numerous plays and short stories, and his work has been translated throughout the world. Among his most recent books are Sugar Kremlin and Day of the Oprichnik. He lives in Moscow.

Lolita by Nabokov (brilliant) and The Nose by Gogol (strange) are the only Russian lit books I’ve ever read so clearly that needs some fixing. In an attempt to branch out, I discovered Day of the Oprichnik by this author which is described as a dystopian satire. I have yet to read it but The Blizzard mentions a post-apocalyptic world and zombies so of course this one is also going on my TBR shelf.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine