Day of the Oprichnik: A Novel

By Vladimir Sorokin, Jamey Gambrell

One of The Telegraph's top Fiction Books 2011

Moscow, 2028. A scream, a moan, and a loss of life rattle slowly pull Andrei Danilovich Komiaga out of his drunken stupor. yet wait―that's simply his ring tone. So starts off one other day within the lifetime of an oprichnik, one of many czar's so much depended on courtiers―and one of many country's such a lot feared men.

In this new New Russia, the place futuristic expertise and the draconian codes of Ivan the bad are in excellent synergy, Komiaga will attend extravagant events, partake in brutal executions, and devour an arsenal of substances. he'll rape and pillage, and he'll be moved to tears by means of the sweetly sung songs of his homeland.

Vladimir Sorokin has imagined a close to destiny either too stressful to consider and too reasonable to brush aside. yet like any of his most sensible paintings, Sorokin's new novel explodes with invention and darkish humor. A startling, relentless portrait of a and troubling empire, Day of the Oprichnik is right now a richly imagined imaginative and prescient of the longer term and a razor-sharp prognosis of a rustic in crisis.

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The ever alert Potyka increases his hand. “If you’ll let me, Batya! ” “Go on, Potyka, communicate. ” “Forgive me, Batya, however it turns out to me that there’s no gain for us in preserving lifeless males. simply because a lifeless guy doesn’t care no matter if there’s a roof over his head or now not. For that topic, it’s now not a roof he wishes, yet a coffin. ” Silence hangs within the bathhouse. It’s silent because the grave. The count number turns eco-friendly. Batya smacks his lips: “So you spot, count number. be aware that this can be the voice of our kids. you could think what the elder oprichniks must say approximately your proposition? ” The count number licks his cold lips: “Listen, Boris. You and that i aren’t kids. What lifeless guy? What coffin? So I fell lower than His Majesty’s sizzling hand, yet it’s no longer endlessly! His Majesty understands how a lot I’ve performed for Russia! A yr will pass—and he’ll forgive me! And you’ll nonetheless have the revenue! ” Batya frowns: “You imagine he’ll forgive you? ” “I’m convinced. ” “Oprichniks, what do you're thinking that: Will His Majesty forgive the count number or no longer? ” “No-o-o-o,” we solution in unison. Batya’s palms gesture in dismay. “You see? ” “Listen! ” the count number jumps up. “Stop being silly! I don’t have time for jokes! I’ve misplaced nearly every thing! yet I swear to God—everything can be lower back! every thing may be lower back! ” Batya sighs and stands up, leaning on Ivan: “You’re similar to task, count number. every little thing could be returned…But not anything can be back to you. and also you understand why? since you put your lust larger than the kingdom. ” “Boris, don’t pass too some distance! ” “I’m now not taking whatever too a long way. ” Batya walks as much as the count number. “You imagine His Majesty is offended since you wish to fornicate in hearth? simply because you’re shaming his daughter? No. That’s now not why. You burned kingdom estate. hence, you took a step opposed to the nation. opposed to His Majesty. ” “Bobrinskaya’s home is her personal estate! What does His Majesty need to do with it?! ” “You blockhead, what he has to do with it really is that we're all His Majesty’s teenagers, and all of our estate belongs to him! the total state is his! You of every person may still understand that! existence hasn’t taught you whatever, Andrei Vladimirovich. You have been His Majesty’s son-in-law, yet you grew to become a insurgent. and never only a insurgent, yet a son of a complain. Rotten, lifeless meat. ” The count’s eyes flash with darkish fury: “What?! You cur, you…” Batya places hands in his mouth and whistles. And as if through command, the younger men rush the count number and seize him. “Into the pool with him! ” Batya orders. The oprichniks tear the sheet off the count number and throw him into the pool. The count number comes up, sputtering: “You’ll resolution for this, you canine, you’ll answer…” instantly knives seem within the young children’ fingers. Now that’s new! it may be transparent to you currently, you dolt! Why didn’t i do know? Curtains for the count number? They gave the go-ahead? the children stand round the fringe of the pool. “Haaiiilll! ” cries Batya. “Hail, hail! ” cry the kids. “Hail, hail! ” the remainder of us soak up the cry. “Death to the enemies of Russia! ” Batya exclaims. “Death! demise! demise!

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