Fishing alongside his trusty Great Dane, Fedor is having a pleasant time untilhe witnesses a troubling scene: "He recognized the elusive,infernalposture--the icy, frozen restraint and the stillness of the ghoul who had justrisen out of the grave." Fedor flees his campsite only to return thenextday and find that his friendly dog has changed ("the stillness of thedog was unnatural"). Fast-forward to Viktor, a computer programmer goingthrough a rough patch with his wife, Masha. After their apartment is visited bya "grim-lookingold man," Viktor is launched into a state ofparanoia,amplified by a Great Dane Masha brings home. He dreams his wifehas sex with the dog; afterward, Masha and Viktor engage in love making thatleaves Viktor feeling"as if it was not him who made love to his own wifebut someone else."Soon, the previously barren Masha announces she ispregnant.Other characters find themselves in similarly fantastic andunfortunate situations; for example,Igor sells his soul on television and dealswith the consequences, and Andrey struggles to survive an unforgiving forest.The stories--interspersed with conversations between Lucifer and hisson--contain their share of terror and brutality. Fans of Tales from theCrypt-like fare will find a similar world of the hapless and the morbid,such as a man who sees a note, signed by his wife, which approves the use ofhis body for necrophilia. The dialogue needs trimming (one character explains,"There's 10 grand in every pack.Here, hundred euro bills in every pack,100 euros, 100 bills in a pack, 100times 100--10,000"), but an over allsense of desperation will rivet readers.
Protracted but deliciously creepy explorations of the macabre.
~Kirkus Book Reviews
This imaginative, dark fantasyexplores the innate depravity in the hearts of men.
Sergey Mavrodi's dark fantasy, Lucifer's Son: The TemptationChronicles,Book One, lays bare the depravity of the human heart aseveryday men make bargains with the devil to obtain their desires.
Composed of a series of vignettes, the book is united both by theme and by thepresence of a prescient, mysterious man in his thirties who offers to fulfilleach protagonist's deepest wish--an "opportunity" that comes withconditions that would be totally unacceptable were it not for the lust, greed,and desire for power already lurking in each man's heart.
Mavrodi has a good grasp of theworkings of the human mind and the weakness of the human will. He adeptlyreveals the mental gymnastics that the protagonists go through as they plumbthe depths of their own inner worlds in an attempt to justify the betrayal ofall they hold sacred for some short-term, ego-based gain. With his knowledge ofeach man's weakness, the evil one is able to craft a scenario that, in mostcases, his victim is unable to refuse. Thus, the book reveals how thin theveneer of morality, honor, and love can be, even when the man being tempted isan apparently upright citizen, husband, father, and employee.
The picture the book gives of the humancondition is almost uniformly bleak, with sadomasochistic sex andpornography high on the list of men's hidden desires. Unfortunately, it soonbecomes easy to foretell the response of each protagonist, and after a while, eventhe most lustful and imaginative orgy can become boring and repulsive--a factto which some of the characters attest. Some of the stories include morelengthy rumination and rationalization than seems necessary, and in theseplaces, the pacing drags. Furthermore, the employment of "King JamesEnglish" whenever Lucifer is addressing his son's questions makescomprehension of these passages difficult due to errors in word usage and theinclusion of infrequently used, archaic, and unfamiliar words.
The translation from Russian, done by Yuriy Chetverzhuk, generally flows well,but the book would benefit from further proofreading and editing to remedyerrors that include missing or extra words (as in the use of "the"where unnecessary), incorrect use of the apostrophe, incomplete sentences,occasional misspellings, and a certain awkwardness in the use of idiomaticexpressions.
The cover art, with its requisite flames, is appropriate and attractive. Thebook's design and layout are pleasing and easy on the eye, and the table ofcontents helpfully indicates the theme of each story. Of special interest isthe chapter "Satanist. Day 11," in which a Satanist makes a ratherconvincing argument that the world is actually ruled by Satan, and is thebetter for it. With this imaginative,dark book in which Lucifer's work is made easy by the innate depravity ofman, Mavrodi easily defends histhesis that "a grain of evil seed was sown in Adam's heart from thebeginning."
About the Author
In the year 1993 he was the only one who openly opposed the privatization thatstarted in those times, saying that it was a real robbery of the country, andthat he would spare all efforts to prevent it. In the same year, on the basisof the cooperative he created the joint-stock company MMM. The plan was simple:to accumulate people's money, buy up all state property on the money auctionsheld at that moment, and distribute among the shareholders. Less than sixmonths MMM encompassed already about 15 million members, and Mavrodi himselfcontrolled more than one third of the country's budget.
At that point, he was arrested on a completely absurd charge of tax evasion(the criminal case later fell to pieces), and all cash budget of the company wasseized and disappeared to an undisclosed location. In particular, only from thehead office of MMM authorities took out 17 truckloads of money.
Straight from prison Mavrodi registered as a candidate for Deputy in the StateDuma of the Russian Federation at the special election in one of the districts.In this regard he was released. He easily won election with a huge margin andbecame Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. After a year onalmost-unanimous decision of deputies he was stripped of his deputy powers (thefirst case in the history of Russia).
In 2003 Mavrodi was arrested again and placed in the federal special prison#99/1, the gloomiest and obscure institution of modern Russia. Sharing his cellwith professional killers, maniacs, terrorists and criminal lords, he went on15 hunger strikes (one of them was dry and lasted for 8 days) and countlesspunishment cells (he was even released from the disciplinary cell).
In the year 2007 Mavrodi was released.
The novel "Lucifer's Son" was written by Sergei Mavrodi while in thefederal special prison #99/1.