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The Blizzard is thoroughly stylized to the Russian classical fiction of the nineteenth century with an exception of the one little twist And this little twist is a grand shift in reality Now, the lot of ye we gonna go for a drive Crouper asked his horses, and they neighed even louder.The younger ones reared and bucked the shaft horses and the steppe horses snorted, shook their manes, and nodded Crouper lowered his large, rough hand, still holding the piece of bread in the other, and beg The Blizzard is thoroughly stylized to the Russian classical fiction of the nineteenth century with an exception of the one little twist And this little twist is a grand shift in reality Now, the lot of ye we gonna go for a drive Crouper asked his horses, and they neighed even louder.The younger ones reared and bucked the shaft horses and the steppe horses snorted, shook their manes, and nodded Crouper lowered his large, rough hand, still holding the piece of bread in the other, and began petting the horses His fingers caressed their backs, stroked their manes, and they neighed, tossing their heads and stretching their necks They playfully nipped his hand with their tiny teeth and pressed their warm nostrils against his fingers Each horse was no bigger than a partridge He knew every single one of them and could tell you what its story was, where it was from, and how he got it, how it worked, who its parents were, and describe its likes and dislikes its personality.There are normal sized horses and there are tiny horses And there are tremendous horses as well.There are normal sized people and there are midgets And there are also giants.Then the plot starts developing as in the famous Alexander Pushkin s poem Devils On and on our coach advances, Little bell goes din din din Round are vast, unknown expanses Terror, terror is within Faster, coachman Can t, sir, sorry Horses, sir, are nearly dead I am blinded, all is blurry, All snowed up can t see ahead Sir, I tell you on the level We have strayed, we ve lost the trail What can we do, when a devil Drives us, whirls us round the vale So it goes but slowly the story turns into a kind of barbaric dystopia with a piquant flavor of an exotic horror tale The huge, wide object was completely covered in snow and rose up and up Throwing his travel bags down in the snow, the doctor wiped his pince nez with his scarf and tilted his head back He couldn t understand what was in front of him At first he thought it was a pointed haystack covered in snow But he touched it and realized that it wasn t made of hay, just snow His eyes agog, the doctor stepped farther back Suddenly, at the top of the strange, vast, snowy shape, he made out the likeness of a human face He realized that he was standing in front of a snowman of monstrous proportions, with a huge, erect phallus of snow.Somewhere deep inside in every modern man his prehistoric origins are hidden sleeping and they may awaken any moment I received a copy of this from the publisher through Edelweiss.This is my first read of Sorokin, although I ve had Day of the Oprichnik marked to read for a while He is a living Russian author but the setting for Blizzard is 19th century Russia, so it feels like going back to the time of Tolstoy Except there is a town suffering from a virus that turns them into zombies, and the doctor has the vaccine they need The blizzard and other bizarre events are working against his attempts to get to th I received a copy of this from the publisher through Edelweiss.This is my first read of Sorokin, although I ve had Day of the Oprichnik marked to read for a while He is a living Russian author but the setting for Blizzard is 19th century Russia, so it feels like going back to the time of Tolstoy Except there is a town suffering from a virus that turns them into zombies, and the doctor has the vaccine they need The blizzard and other bizarre events are working against his attempts to get to them.There are a few other random future tech things like the vitaminders and zoogenesis, and teeny tiny horses Brr I finished re reading The Blizzard this weekend and when I got to the end my feeling was one of exalted revelation It felt like a completely different book from the last time OnceI m amazed at the way books can mean very different things, depending on who we are when we read them.This time for me The Blizzard was about how what one thinks is important in life turns out to be not important at all It s about how even our most terrible mistakes in life can reveal themselves over time to be I finished re reading The Blizzard this weekend and when I got to the end my feeling was one of exalted revelation It felt like a completely different book from the last time OnceI m amazed at the way books can mean very different things, depending on who we are when we read them.This time for me The Blizzard was about how what one thinks is important in life turns out to be not important at all It s about how even our most terrible mistakes in life can reveal themselves over time to be glorious and meaningful, if we ve lived honestly The novel suggests that a life lived with quiet acceptance of what can t be helped leads to peace, whereas a life lived by striving forward from one goal to the next leads to nothing Last time I framed the characters in this novel differently I thought of the doctor as the protagonist and everyone else as a secondary character This time the full nature of the relationship between Garin and Crouper became the focal point of the novel for me, and it led to a deeper interpretation.The first time I read the novel I was also distracted by the flurry of events that come one after another in its pages There is a relentless series of happenings in the story, a metaphorical blizzard of bizarre experiences and scenic wonders This time the blizzard of happenings felt like they were written to demonstrate the way we humans allow ourselves to be trapped in strife and frustration, from moment to moment The real story here beatsdeeply, like a huge and generous heart.first review view spoiler Well wow This is an interesting and captivating read and not like anything I ve read before Even as I write that I m thinking, yes but because this novel keeps fooling me into thinking it s exactly THIS kind of novel a survival novela To Build a Fire story of human hubrisa 19th century Russian storywhaa, a ZOMBIE novel and all the while it keeps artfully skirting the edge of multiple literary tropes, including ones that align with realism, and then something extremely unexpected happens and the story veers wildly away and plunges me back into a fantastic world where I have no idea what will happen next The way some aspects of the story telling mimics a dream state reminds me of avant garde or absurdist writing But there is a big difference so many avant guard novels feel like fairly static thought pieces to me, whereas the narrative tension in The Blizzard never flags hide spoiler Read 12 20 15 1 1 165 Stars Highly Recommended The Next Best BookPages 192Publisher FSGReleased December 2015Translated by Jamey GambrellWhat better day to review Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard, as I sit here on the couch in the midst of our very own blizzard Wrapped up in the relative warmth of a fuzzy blanket, hands cupping a mug of spiced tea, as the wind whips the ever falling snow back and forth beyond my front windows, it s easy to take for granted the bone chilling, snot freez Read 12 20 15 1 1 165 Stars Highly Recommended The Next Best BookPages 192Publisher FSGReleased December 2015Translated by Jamey GambrellWhat better day to review Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard, as I sit here on the couch in the midst of our very own blizzard Wrapped up in the relative warmth of a fuzzy blanket, hands cupping a mug of spiced tea, as the wind whips the ever falling snow back and forth beyond my front windows, it s easy to take for granted the bone chilling, snot freezing cold that our brave protagonist ventures out into in an attempt to save a small 19th century town from the grips of a terrifying zombie plague Doctor Garin holds the vaccine that will stop the epidemic from spreading and feels compelled to bully his way through the wicked snow storm, which currently has him stalled and horseless at a station house After much shouting and cursing, the stationmaster is finally convinced to hook Garin up with Crouper, a local bread man with a fleet of partridge sized ponies and a sled, who might be convinced to take the pushy doctor where he is determined to be Garin applies the same bossy tactics with Crouper, who reluctantly agrees to head out into the raging storm, against better judgment A trip that, under normal circumstances, should take but a few hours slowly and painfully turns into a never ending battle of man vs nature.It s the kind of book where nothing really happens but everything is just told so perfectly that you really don t care It s got just the right touch of the fantastical too I m calling it soft apocalyptic fantastical fiction The zombies, strangely, never make an appearance, but other odd and wonderous things do The deeper into the storm we travel, thefantastical and otherworldly their circumstances become and all the while our characters growandsuspended in this sort of timeless past future, which adds to the overall awesomeness of the novel.It s beautiful, relentless, and tenderly harsh I guess, as they say, there s a first for everything In this case, The Blizzard is the first that I ve ever not appreciated felt enjoyed a Russian author Russian and Romanian, obviously, and in general Eastern European literature molds, reflects, illuminates, and inspires my soul, because it is born in a unique landscape that was also my childhood, my source of personal myths and ways of looking at things This nostalgia for childhood is nothing special in my case, reading Russian Eastern I guess, as they say, there s a first for everything In this case, The Blizzard is the first that I ve ever not appreciated felt enjoyed a Russian author Russian and Romanian, obviously, and in general Eastern European literature molds, reflects, illuminates, and inspires my soul, because it is born in a unique landscape that was also my childhood, my source of personal myths and ways of looking at things This nostalgia for childhood is nothing special in my case, reading Russian Eastern European lit is just how I go back So usually, I love it all sticking to the Russians for now from Solzhenitsyn s systematic and descriptive analytics, to Dostoevsky s masterful psychoanalyses, to Bulgakov s absurd whimsical surrealism, to Petrushevskaya s heart wrenching portraits of humanity in pain, to Tolstoy s romanticism Within all this variety, there is a certain Russian ness Eastern European ness spirit imbuing all these works Which is what The Blizzard seemed, for me, to be missing, and which is why it didn t quite facilitate my going back despite Sorokin s heavy use of Russian motifs such as the furious snowstorm, the vodka, the brilliant whimsy, etc.As I questioned my reaction, it didn t take me long to realize the essential ingredient that I value above all others, and that threads all the aforementioned works the humor You will not meet anyonedead pan than an Eastern European, especially not one born in that era Some of us are basically living dead pan, you really can t take anything we say seriously because we don t, ourselves and yet, somehow, we are often taken most seriously of all It s a bit like Communist Zen one learns to detach and to view the whole fiasco from a distance At which point, of course, it all looks absurd, and it s clear that nothing is real In The Blizzard, Sorokin seems to attempt this effect through cosmetics introducing, for example, a quite bizarre world of tiny horses the size of a partridge and humongous men the size of a three story house Still, these insertions of the absurd did not serve any purpose, did not give any broader meaning to the narrative, did not convey any particular mood, nor did they inspire contemplation I m not sure how to articulate properly at this pointreflection needed for now I felt I was reading an ideas soup of ingredients picked up from The Greats that did not quite work out because the broth used fell apart separated otherwise ruined everything But, perhaps I am wrong I am very conflicted Perhaps I misunderstood the whole thing I should like, or probablylike love, Sorokin, if precedent is to be trusted So, this review may change in the future 4.5 StarsTranslated into English from Russian The Blizzard A Novel is a quirky short story and I loved it The premise of this dystopian story is simple A Dr stranded in a blizzard, has the vaccine to prevent people from turning into Zombies Okay.sounds interesting I haven t read too many Zombie books, but I thought I would give it a try.and I am glad that I did This story is about the journey of a Dr who wants to do his job save people s lives What an adventure You will read abo 4.5 StarsTranslated into English from Russian The Blizzard A Novel is a quirky short story and I loved it The premise of this dystopian story is simple A Dr stranded in a blizzard, has the vaccine to prevent people from turning into Zombies Okay.sounds interesting I haven t read too many Zombie books, but I thought I would give it a try.and I am glad that I did This story is about the journey of a Dr who wants to do his job save people s lives What an adventure You will read about, dwarves, giants, partridge sized horses, gypsies and lots and lots of snow.If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, with all of the ends tied up in a bow, this is probably not the book for you This story is the definition of the word, absurd wildly unreasonable, illogical, inappropriate, preposterous, ridiculous, ludicrous, farcical, laughable, foolish, silly, inane, imbecilic, insane, harebrained, and cockamamie.So far, I would say that this is my favorite book of the year Major Spoiler Alerts As for the Zombies, they never show their faces |Read ⚕ Viscolul ⚖ P str nd atmosfera prozei de secol XIX, Viscolul este povestea lui Platon Ilici Garin, medic de provincie, care i propune s ajung cu orice pre la datorie, n Dolgoe, unde o boal misterioas transform oamenii n zombi Pentru c nu g se te cai de schimb la po ta din Dolbe ino, doctorului i se recomand tov r ia c r u ului Kozma, care pentru cinci ruble l poate duce cu ma ina la destina ie Aventura celor doi, cu puternice ecouri din Tolstoi, Gogol i Kafka, este marcat de papasuri i de personajele dintre cele mai stranii un morar nalt c t palma i so ia sa voluptoas , produc torii kazahi de narcotice, cadavrul uria ului nghe at i omul s u gigantic de z pad , cu un falus enorm , care transform aceast c l torie aparent banal ntr un traseu fantastic, infernal, n care nu doar viscolul dob nde te propor ii gigantice, ci i natura uman , care i cade pradRomanul va dezv lui numai i numai la momentul potrivit de ce ma ina lui Kozma este tras de cincizeci de cai nu mai mari dec t o pot rniche, de ce n Rusia caii de povar sunt nal i c t o cas cu dou etaje i, nu n ultimul r nd, de ce misterioasa molim , care le d mor ilor for a s i p r seasc mormintele, vine din Bolivia Sometimes, especially with fantasy, it is best to use a lighter touch Take Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard A Novel could very well be set in the 19th century except for a cellphone at one point and a mention that Stalin happened a long time ago.The story has a dramatic start Platon Ilich Garin is a physician traveling during a major blizzard with vaccinations against the Bolivian Black Plague, which has broken out in nearby Dolgoye He needs horses to take him there aren t there cars and f Sometimes, especially with fantasy, it is best to use a lighter touch Take Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard A Novel could very well be set in the 19th century except for a cellphone at one point and a mention that Stalin happened a long time ago.The story has a dramatic start Platon Ilich Garin is a physician traveling during a major blizzard with vaccinations against the Bolivian Black Plague, which has broken out in nearby Dolgoye He needs horses to take him there aren t there cars and finds the only local who can help him is Crouper, who has miniature horses and a special sled that could could get to Dolgoye.Garin s journey is fraught with strange disasters and opportunities He is seduced by the miller s wife at one overnight stop The miller himself is a midget no bigger than a doll We hear that there are in addition to miniature horses and people, giant horses and giant humans, over twenty feet tall Then there are the Vitaminers sort of like gypsies who sell strange products in the form of spheres, cubes, and pyramids which, when heated, give the taker strange delusions In Garin s case, he is being boiled slowly in oil Instead of being disappointed by his drug trip, Garin is exhilarated I mean, really, who wouldn t like to be slowly boiled in oil They continue on their trip until a final mishap occurs within a few miles from their goal.This is the third Sorokin novel I have read after Ice and Day of the Oprichnik I find myself unable to put his books down I always want to find out what s next With Sorokin, whatever it is, it s bound to be strange A strange in a good way amalgam of traditional 19th century style Russian literature crossed with post apocalyptic SF A doctor s struggle to deliver a vaccine to a remote village during a blizzard Features tiny and huge horses, mind altering drugs and giants What s not to like Whenever I review of foreign language work of speculative fiction, I find myself including a statement reflecting my certainty that readers of the work in its original language Russian, Spanish, Estonian, whatever have a fuller experience of its subtleties, humor, and imagery than I That statement usually comes towards the end of the review, but with Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard, I have decided to put it up front I feel certain that his Russian readers have a well, as I said.It helps Whenever I review of foreign language work of speculative fiction, I find myself including a statement reflecting my certainty that readers of the work in its original language Russian, Spanish, Estonian, whatever have a fuller experience of its subtleties, humor, and imagery than I That statement usually comes towards the end of the review, but with Vladimir Sorokin s The Blizzard, I have decided to put it up front I feel certain that his Russian readers have a well, as I said.It helps to learn that Russian readers, by the time reach adulthood, have received a steady diet of lost in the snow narratives The motif appears in fiction, verse, and folklore, and the stories almost always end poorly for their protagonists The Blizzard opens with Dr Garin, who is desperate to find transportation for himself and his serum to the plague struck village of Delgoye, learning that snow has shut down the railway It s a set up that will prompt Russian readers to think, Here we go again The forested, rural setting seems nineteenth century, and the frantic Dr Garin, with his pince nez and mustache, steps out of a Chekov story That atmosphere continues when Dr Garin learns that Crouper, the peasant who handles local bread deliveries, may have horses and a sleigh available He approaches the man, who does indeed have horse He has fifty of them This is a reasonable number, since they are the size of partridges, and they propel his sleigh by running inside a drum The doctor convinces Crouper to undertake the journey, which in normal circumstances would take only a few hours The village will be saved from what we learn about this time is an outbreak of zombies caused by a virus brought back from Columbia The dead are tunneling through the village, breaking into homes, and infecting the living Dr Garin does not approve of foreign travel.Sorokin is one of the most popular contemporary novelists in Russia His work employs fantastic elements in narratives that range from traditional science fiction to the sort of weird environment he builds in The Blizzard It is never clear if he has set this tale in an alternate nineteenth century or some future that has devolved into a combination of new technology crippled by a collapsed infrastructure Thanks to another review, I learned that there are internal clues that place the story in our own present day One development running throughout the story is the twin phenomena of biological miniaturization and gigantism Crouper s tiny horses are distantly related to horses the size of small apartment blocks These are used to haul trains that no longer have a power source On their journey, Garin and Crouper take refuge in the home of a miller the size of a samovar Garin has a sexual encounter with his full sized and delectable wife One of the men s many road accidents occurs when a runner of their sleigh crashes into and breaks off in the nostril of a dead giant The details of all this are enjoyable and expertly drawn, even if their import remains vague Dr Garin becomes increasingly unsympathetic, his humanitarian zeal a cover for his temper, condescension, and poor impulse control My sympathies all went to Crouper and his tender concern for his hard working horses You don t have to be Russian to guess that this trip into the snow will end badly But again I find myself wondering if a Russian reader finds all thisthan a mildly entertaining curiosity