Vladimir Sorokin, Sally Laird
Paperback $21.00 - The New York Review of Books, Inc
Fiction - Published: 15/Jan/2009 - ISBN: 9781590172742
Over the last twenty-five years Vladimir Sorokin has established himself as a provocative and unignorable presence in contemporary Russian literature, and The Queue, his first novel, is now recognized as a modern classic. Sorokin's brilliance-his formal daring, his keen eye and ear for the absurdities of life and language, his unequaled playfulness-is manifest in this sly comedy set during the late Soviet "years of stagnation." Thousands of citizens are in line for ...nobody knows quite what, but the rumors are flying. Leather or suede? Jackets, jeans? Turkish, Swedish, maybe even American? It doesn't matter-if something's for sale, it's time to queue up. The endless line of expectant, irritable, inquisitive, bored but never less than determined people has a life and a will of its own, and Sorokin, in a tour de force, conveys that life entirely through the ebb and flow of conversation.
We get to know his characters as they joke and curse, flirt, fight over position in line, make love or break up, slurp down ice cream and vodka, run errands, fill out crossword puzzles, fall asleep and stand to attention again when morning comes around and the queue-which may be as long as life and as wide as the world-exercises its hypnotic hold. Sally Laird's translation of The Queue has been revised to reflect the changes in the latest Russian edition of Sorokin's youthful masterpiece, while in a new afterword Sorokin himself looks back with peculiar nostalgia on the bygone world of the Soviet Union.
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- Queue Paperback $21.00