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"Sorokin completed the three novels of the Ice Trilogy in 2008. Now, thanks to a translation by Jamey Gambrell that heroically endeavours to capture its myriad voices, from watercolour lyricism to purest pulp, we can enjoy it in all its gaudy glory. Think William S Burroughs, and Michel Houellebecq, and Will Self, all whizzed into this delirious post-Soviet SF mash-up. I found some sections absolutely exquisite, some unexpectedly moving, some intellectually exhilarating - and plenty just grotesque and absurd, as Sorokin no doubt planned.... Ice Trilogy becomes extraordinary when Sorokin drives this old dystopian banger off the fantasy highway and into the darkest places of the Russian – and European – 20th century. In one bravura set-piece after another, he not only re-visits key tragedies of modern times, but mimics – or re-voices – the literary styles that partner them. .... In the first volume, Bro, we begin in Chekhov territory...The middle volume, Ice, begins in the 1990s with an outlandish parody not so much of Russian life in the heyday of Yeltsin and the oligarchs as the West's cartoon representation of it.....Then in one of Sorokin's trademark lurches, we switch back to a noble Vasily Grossman-esque wartime drama... In the final part, 23,000, these wilful collisions grow more extreme. A Spielberg-style finale leaves us frozen in the postmodern fix...." --Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
“So we yearn for certainty, salvation, the absolute-what's wrong with that? We always have and we always will. Go ahead, Sorokin seems to say; you can't really help it. Just be careful what you wish for. . . . Those readers (and reviewers) who turn to literature for consolation, or moral enlightenment, or lessons in self-esteem, are well advised to look elsewhere.”
-Christian Caryl, The New York Review of Books
“The Ice Trilogy is devoted to the fortunes of an apocalyptic Brotherhood whose members believe they are bodily incarnations of a primordial light. But they are only made aware of their true identity be being ‘awakened’, in a process that involves being bashed in the chest with a hammer made of ice….The fact that the readers see events through the Brotherhood’s eyes is a powerful estranging device: we are forced to accept as legitimate the perspective of delusional psychopaths, and constantly made to reread history from their point of view. This is the most provocative aspect of the trilogy: its aspiration to unsettle conventional historical narratives.” – Tony Wood, London Review of Books
They speak of a utopian destiny in which all the sins of the earth, of humanity, are subject to a great cleansing.
Just don't expect it to be this or that and if you happen to find ( or not find) great insights in it, I'm sure Sorokin didn't mean it.
Superbly written, fascinating, ugly and magnificent, it has a scope and vision that is beyond western contemporary literature.
Because you will find yourself flipping pages through endless dream sequences and peripheral transient characters in search of a plot. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
the epic story is best enjoyed as the full trilogy, I flew through the pages with an engaging story that really developed the characters throughout a very long period of time. Read morePublished 9 months ago by MrAndersono0O
Simple, naive and not even well written. The central plot is plainly ridiculous. I really expected more from the russians.Published 21 months ago by Orlando Salinas Hudson
I actually read a review on this book from a magazine and thought to check it out. The first novel is really so unique and strange that you find yourself really drawn in and unable... Read morePublished on October 17, 2011 by B. K. Fromal
It's an odd thing that most reviewers of Sorokin tend compare him to other writers, living or dead, as if somehow that would assign certain worth to his writing and rank him in... Read morePublished on June 4, 2011 by schadenfreude