- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Two hundred years after the "Blast," Moscow has become a primitive and brutal postnuclear holocaust society, inhabited by citizens with conspicuous physical "Consequences": rooster's crests, missing limbs, claws where feet or hands should be. In this world of everyday horrors, the ultimate terror is the legendary, nightmarish Slynx, an invisible monster rumored to live in the forest who hunts humans for its own inexplicable purposes.
Enter Benedikt, a typically impoverished working-class bachelor with a healthy fear of books. Healthy, you may ask? Well, in this futuristic society, possessors of such items are promptly whisked away for "treatment" by the dreaded Saniturions, never to be seen again. Benedikt also resists any "Freethinking," another practice that's strictly verboten. Instead, he behaves as he is told, working as a scribe, copying the prose of classical writers, and attributing authorship of each book, play, or poem to the resident tyrant, Fyodor Kuzmich (Glorybe).
In search of companionship, Benedikt decides against befriending the eagerly intelligent but physically repellent Varvara Lukinishna in favor of pursuing the affections of the more beautiful Olenka. But as he vies for Olenka's attentions and the approbation of her repugnant but powerful family, he accepts, by degrees, greater moral and ethical compromises. Now securely behind the gated walls of his father-in-law's mansion, Benedikt is living a life of luxury formerly unimaginable, and he should feel safe from the ghastly Slynx…unless, of course, the Slynx comes not from the forest but from somewhere closer to home. (Winter 2002 Selection)