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Day of the Oprichnik

by Vladimir Sorokin

The Russia of the near future is outrageously depicted in a book that manages to be both funny and scary on the same page. The vision of an authoritarian regime, controlling the masses, fuelled through sex and drugs, carrying out random executions and beatings is unflinchingly fearless and sharp.

Extract

This River Pirate, jumping around western Siberia like a flea, has been caught between the nails twice: first the local Secret Department squashed it; then we did. They got away from the department guys, and they hopped away from us using Chinese aquariums. While negotiations over the ransom were going on, our guys managed to put three newscasters on the rack and dislocate their arms, and like a huge bear Sivolai knocked up the female announcer. But the backbone of the radio station remained whole; it bought a new, horse-drawn studio, and those shackle-fetters began broadcasting once again. Fortunately, His Majesty doesn't pay much attention to them.
Translated by Jamey Campbell

Parallels

Moscow 2042 by Vladimir Voinovich
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
 

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