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Metro 2033: First U.S. English edition (METRO by Dmitry Glukhovsky) Paperback – January 17, 2013
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About the Author
Dmitry A. Glukhovsky is a Russian author and journalist known for Sci-Fi, Magic-Realism, and his exploration of social and political structures. He began writing his first novel, Metro 2033, at the age of 18, and then published it on his website in 2002, available for all to read for free. The novel has become an interactive experiment, drawing in over 3 million readers world-wide. It has since been made into a video game for the Xbox and PC, was published in Russia in 2005, and in the US in 2010. Most recently it was optioned by MGM studios. In 2007 It's Getting Darker was published, followed by Metro 2034 in 2009, Russia’s best-seller that year, also available free on-line, both as text and as a collaborative art-project with Russian electronic performer Dolphin and visual-artist Anton Gretchko. This was followed in 2010 by a series of satirical stories about Russia today - Stories about Motherland. As a journalist, Dmitry Glukhovsky has worked for EuroNews TV in France, Deutsche Welle, and RT, (the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel broadcasting the Russian view on global news world-wide.) He writes columns for Harper’s Bazaar, l’Officiel and Playboy. Currently living in Moscow, Glukhovsky has lived in Israel, Germany and France. He speaks English, French and Hebrew fluently, reads German and some Spanish, as well as his native Russian.
Top customer reviews
The universe METRO builds begins in our world. The cold war is over. The USSR is a thing of the past although it’s shadow lingers over modern day Russia. The main character, Artyom, is a young adult. He was born before the event but only has very few and fragmented memories of it. On the day of the event, he and his mother were visiting a park close to a metro station. That is why they survived. The metro stations could be sealed to stop contaminants from coming in (the metro was designed and built during the USSR period). Artyom and his mother make it into the metro and past the doors before they are sealed.
The metro develops into a new society. As time goes on, the different lines or branches develop different political ideologies. Some stations are more desirable than others, some have more resources, some have ways to grow food underground, some have access to uncontaminated water. Before long treaties are made, broken and fighting begins. The metro is no longer one system but a collection of city states that are connected by dark tunnels.
What is in the tunnels is the mystery that lies at the heart of the METRO 2033 book. Traveling even a few hundred meters into the tunnels can be dangerous. Some of the dangers are defined; hordes of rats, mutated life forms that got into the tunnels from above, marauding humans who prey on their own kind. Some of the dangers are undefined. People, groups of people and caravans, evenly armed ones disappear without a trace, without a sound and no sign of struggles. The tunnel dwellers have dubbed the cause of these disappearances as the “Dark Ones”.
The website [...] has a virtual tour of all the stations mentioned in the book. It is a wonderful way to connect the descriptions of severely damaged places with what they looked like in reality. Since the story begins in our reality, the photos are showing the reality of the Metro universe before the nuclear event.
METRO 2033 is the quest Artyom undertakes to save the entire Metro system. He is tasked with this by a mysterious man who is only referred to as “Hunter”. There is a time element to the quest. As in life in 2016, life in post-apocalypse 2033 does not go as planned. Artyom tours, sometimes unwillingly, many of the various city-states that make up the Metro. It is a fascinating trip. The characters are real. The various ideologies of the city-states are believable. The unknowns in the dark tunnels ratchet up the suspense to terrifying levels. By the end of the book, I was deeply impressed by the world the author created and how much I came to care about the characters in it.
METRO 2033: The Gospel According to Artyom is a bridge to METRO 2034. It is only twenty-seven pages but well worth the $2.99 price. Artyom illustrates the consequences of the events the ended METRO 2033. But this short piece also gives significant background into his life before and during the apocalyptic event. It really is worth the price.
METRO 2034 begins not long after the end of METRO 2033. The main characters are the “Hunter” from the first book, a man called Homer who believes it is his vocation to write a history and chronicle of the Metro, and a teenage girl named Sasha who has been recently orphaned. Sasha’s father used to be one of the dictator’s of a Metro city-state until he and the girl were banished to an area that had little to no hope of survival. They did survive. Her father managed to live long enough for her to mature and learn to defend herself before his death. Hunter, Homer and Sasha come together in a collision of missions, Sasha’s to survive, Hunter and Homer to find out what happened to a station that no longer broadcasts or sends runners with news. Artyom does not have a large part in this story. He does not make an appearance until Chapter 10. Yet everything that is happening is a consequence of his actions in METRO 2033. The threat this time is not the Dark Ones. It is something much worse and something almost impossible to stop. As with the first book, the characters are fantastic and I grew to care about them. The action is non-stop.
The audiobooks of METRO 2033 and METRO 2034 are narrated by Rupert Degas. He is fantastic. His accent for the Russian speakers if marvelous. When simply narrating, not the dialogue, he has a very clear voice with an English accent. His female voices are very well done. I have since added several of his titles to my wish list.
The last book in the series METRO 2035 has not been released in English yet. I wonder if a social media campaign of begging to the author could help facilitate that happening.
This book has an excellent premise, creative post-apocalyptic creatures and features, good development of the society envisioned by the author, and an engaging style that kept this reviewer up until 2 am without realizing it - always the sign of a good read. It is a really interesting story and all delightfully Moscovy, including a Metro map printed on the inside covers. While Americans new to Russian literature may find the Russian novel style a bit long in some sections, this book is Russian post-apocalyptic writing in its most characteristic form, and well worth the read... until page 310 (end of Chp 13).
The last 148 pages should have been nuked by the editor. It is obvious that the author was rushing to finish the work and had gotten a bit tired of his own story. It is very frustrating to the reader who has become engaged with the book to complete it: Overuse of psychic dream sequences, a boring subway creature; characters committing suicide just to get them out of the way, and interesting people/items which one expects to reappear but which the author has entirely forgotten (the Troskyists and the Metro Map especially); rambling, and clichéd anti-war prose; schematic mistakes (e.g. station VDNKh is north of all habitable Metro stations, but the author refers to Antyom walking *south* from the Mir station to reach it); absolutely unrealistic situations (e.g. Antyom is apparently awake for 3-4 days straight despite long marches and various crises; the Speznaz team goes patrolling with a prisoner and child in tow; surely the author could have asked a few Russian veterans?); underdeveloped/under-written new characters and monsters; the typically Russian emotional landscape becomes randomly psychotic without any explanation (emotions being a key theme for the book's ending); and a huge build-up to the ending which, while it includes an extremely worthwhile "kiosk" scene, turns out to be a few hasty pages.
The author has some interesting ideas thrown in there, but it really needs a thorough rewrite and the editor should have demanded it - I'm sure this book would have won some international prizes if the last chapters were as good as the first thirteen chapters!
So, in sum, I would recommend this book as worth the price just for the two-thirds of wonderful storytelling it contains. Perhaps now that Mr Glukhovsky is becoming known in the West, he will produce a second edition that brings the final 1/3 of his book up to his usual standards.