Consistently bleak — 1 year ago
Russians must be the most consistently bleak people in the world and they have a lot to show for their outlook. They have suffered all varieties of collapse: political, economic, cultural and so forth. The casual cruelties on display in this book of horrific fairy tales are unsettling, they concern a society in which predators reign supreme, where social cohesion is chimeric, where the every day compact is distorted. This is a portrait of a society in distress. True you can read this as the darkest type of humour and certainly the craft of the storytelling, the matter of fact language are worth celebrating but the effect of reading these tales is akin to ingesting an emetic. It may purge you of all illusions about mankind but what point is there to life with one’s eyes wide open if the everyday is a waking nightmare. I’d rather go with social living than its reverse.