Quite various - Russian writers of the 19th centuryTitle:
Белое привидение: Русская готика (The White Ghost: Russian Gothic stories)Genre:
gothic stories and novels - decent 19th century-fashioned Language:
That's a collection of stories and short novels of famous - and not-so-famous - Russian writers of the early 19th century. To name several - A. Pogorelskiy, V. Odoyevskiy, A. Tolstoy (his novel 'Upyr', or 'The Vampire' is the one which comes into one's mind at once when the adjectives 'Russian' and 'gothic' appear together). The only story I've read before was this 'Upyr', other ones were completely new to me. They were amazing. I like this old fashon of writing, of narrating... the very air of 19th century gothic stories... The language, in brief, was very refreshing - after all those stupid modern bestsellers, in which the author violates the language, the style, the plot (if there's any plot present).
I recommend this book to all my Russian-speaking friends. And I also think these old writings are worth being translated into English.#25
That was formally a reread. But I've last read this marvellous novel not less then nine years ago. In addition to that, I've only read it in Russian translation. So this book was a real treat. The edition was also one, with those thick yellowish pages and a very long introduction by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (I didn't like many ideas of this lady, but I adore reading long introductions and literature criticism even if I don't agree with them). I won't say anything on the book itself - I guess it is known by everyone. I like it very much, that's just the sort of thick 19th century novel I adore. And the depiction of relations between Jane and Mr Rochester, ah! I didn't remember them to be so-o-o sensual. This book is a must-read for anyone (however, I doubt, whether there's someone who hasn't read it).
As a foreigner, I also should add that the language is rather sophisticated. It took me some effort. Jane Austen's novels have much 'easier' language.#26
Марина і Сергій Дяченко (Marina and Sergey Dyachenko)Title:
As always, difficult to say - between fantasy and sci-fi. Let's say, psychological sci-fiLanguage:
The latest book of Dyachenko. A Ukrainian high-school student, Alexandra, gets under the influence of some horrifying dark man Farit. He tells her to do strange things: to bathe naked in the sea at four o'clock a.m.; to run in the nearby park at five a.m. each day - if she fails, something terrible - most likely, lethal - is going to happen to her mother or stepfather. After her graduation, she is forced to enter some eerie university in a small provincial town. There the rules are the same: study hard (and studying there is frighteningly difficult, for it seems nonsense), otherwise something terrible will happen to your relatives. Closer to the end Alexandra starts to see some sense in that... and then she comes to the final exam.My thoughts:
This book is said everywhere to be probably the most powerful of Dyachenko's novels. As for me, I can't agree with that. Yeah, it is strong - and quite cruel, as well. But the end is almost a disappointment. For me (and my mother, we've both read the book) there's no catharsis in it. ( a spoiler )
However, the book is pretty philosophical; captivating to read - few books offer such depth. That's the reason for my high rating.#27
Travelling with the DeadGenre:
Russian (read in translation)Rating:
I won't say anything on the plot (better ask google(C) ), only my ardent emotions. That was great. As great as the first book ('Those Who Hunt the Night') was. Same Edwardian England - or, rather, pre-World War I age - we are shown France, Austria, and Turkey. Same precision of details, same subtle humour and ironising. And more on the characters. Especially on don Ysidro - here, when he is constantly in female society, we see that he is a real gentleman. And on Lydia Asher. She's my favourite beyond all doubts, me also being red-haired (I say, golden-haired), short-eyed, scientific-minded and studying and loving medicine and pathoanatomy. In addition to that in this novel I encountered a most moving vampire love story (for those who've read it: I'm not talking of the Farrens, not at all!) - so unspoken, so kept inside and so affecting!
This is the book I would (and I already do) advise to everybody. The Russian translation is perfect (bad translations are a pest for us). The scene, the plot, the ... oh yes, I've already said all this.#28
Генри Лайон Олди (Henry Lion Oldie)Title:
fantasy, parody, mysteryLanguage:
Henry Lion Oldie is a pen-name for Dmitry Gromov and Oleg Ladyzhensky. Sir Oldie is among the 'best Russian-language writers' of the present day, having a great number of novels and stories in stock. This one takes place in a world similar to Renaissance (or even probably 18th century) Europe, only with magic taking an important hand. The very subject of the book is quite serious. But in small details which describe the world, in the dialogues of the characters there's so much parody! Rich and hilarious - this is the depiction of the book. As for the plot... may I say only that it's one of a detective story mixed with mystery and fantasy (to say nothing of the humour...) Recommended. Both to be read and to be translated.#29
Олег Дивов (Oleg Divov)Title:
Братья по разуму (Brothers in Mind)Genre:
I'm so tired and have no force to write more on the books... May I say only that this one is rather nice and it should be made into a blockbuster - it's a 'secret service action' set in the 2030s. The novel is 'a novel for boys' - my Dad, for instance, enjoyed it as much as possible. For me that was a bit too harsh. However, I did like it as well.#30
Philip K. DickTitle:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Genre:
Russian (read in translation)Rating:
"A typical Philip K. Dick" - I've already read three other his novels and watched several movies (no, not this one - it somehow went by). I enjoyed it, although I usually don't like books about societies with mentalities quite different from what they are nowadays. And that's an acknowledged masterpiece, is it not?
If one would like to ask more about these books and what do I think of them, he's always welcome.