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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'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.


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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 beats more deeply, like a huge and generous heart. 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 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. View all 3 comments. Aug 08, Jenny Reading Envy rated it really liked it Shelves: read , location-russia , reviewcopy , around-the-world , ebooks. 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.

Books: Dream-like novel, The Blizzard, rips a page from the past

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. View 2 comments. Dec 01, Lori rated it it was amazing Shelves: has-zombies-in-it , fiction , fricken-awesome , arc-reviewers-copy. 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.

The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin

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. 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, the more fantastical and otherworldly their circumstances become and all the while our characters grow more and more suspended in this sort of timeless past-future, which adds to the overall awesomeness of the novel. It's beautiful, relentless, and tenderly harsh.

Feb 11, Madeline rated it really liked it Shelves: favorite-books , fiction. The Blizzard: A Novel is a quirky short story and I loved it. The premise of this dystopian story is simple: A Dr.

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I haven't read too many Zombie books, but I thought I would give it a try This story is about the journey of a Dr who wants to do his job; save people's lives. What an adventure!

The Blizzard: Chillingly dystopian in true Sorokin style

You will read abo 4. 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! Dec 18, Ioana rated it liked it Shelves: dystopic-fiction , fiction , eastern-block-lit , fantasy , communism , magical-realism , russian-lit.

Books: Dream-like novel, The Blizzard, rips a page from the past

I guess, as they say, "there's a first for everything". 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. 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.. 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 anyone more dead-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.

But, perhaps I am wrong. I am very conflicted. Perhaps I misunderstood the whole thing. I should like, or probably more like love, Sorokin, if precedent is to be trusted. So, this review may change in the future. Dec 19, Jim rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy-horror , russia. 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?

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.

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