Tuesday, 14 December 2010
"Кысь" - Татья́на Ники́тична Толста́я
I was recommended this in a book shop, and I was sold right there. It's a post-apocalyptic novel by a woman who can actually write. I've never really read a book by a woman before, and I've never really read a post-apocalyptic novel by someone who has a poetically flowing prose. As far as translation is concerned, this is done really well, and the prose seems authentic to the original.
It's described as "satirical" and "comical", which are its biggest downfalls. The events in the book are really padded out, and after 102 pages it really doesn't say anything, or feel very apocalyptic at all. Throughout the chapters, you'll find a lot of sentimentalism. It's not straight forward. It's being sentimental towards things no one can really justify why. The author seems to be unable to write a decent character either.
It's an attempt at something apocalyptic by an author who should be writing soppy love stories surrounded by her cats, big fluffy cushions, and hot baths... the latter was about as interesting as the book got for me.
Perhaps there are bits in here that are good, but if I cut them out the book would be at least half the size. Yes she can write, but I can't imagine why people would endure reading chapter after chapter just for the sake of it. It's like an antique story: unless you intend to buy something, or have an obsession for old junk no one wants, you won't enjoy it. Perhaps you can imagine the lady who sold me the book raving on about it straight for half an hour?
Sofas are mostly comfortable as they are, yet some people insist on having hundreds of cushions on them, regardless.
P.S.: Here's another view that only briefly mentions what I felt, "she drifts": http://www.mostlyfiction.com/world/tolstaya.htm