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Feature Story August 24, 2003
 
Jesus Ate Their Brains!
By John Dolan Browse author Email
 
 

One Day in the Life of Alexander Ronaldovich Vershbow

Sasha Ronaldovich, Rosinka-7 Inmate #221B, woke at dawn. Instantly the cold assailed his unprotected hands and face. "I told the damn housekeeper to turn the air conditioner down," he muttered. His stark, monastic 15-room ambassadorial townhouse offered no reply. Sighing, Sasha Ronaldovich heaved himself out of his King-Deluxe Sealy Posturepedic. "God, my back...that can't be the Xtra-Firm mattress I ordered," he sighed. "It's maybe medium-firm, not X-tra...." Sitting for a moment on the grim eiderdown duvet, he stared out at the high barbed-wire fences which encircled the compound. Rosinka-7: his home. His prison. Rosinka-7 was notorious in the Foreign-Service Archipelago as the "escape-proof" gated community. Sasha's cold grey eyes took in row after row of grim luxury brick townhouses, standing to attention under the gaze of vigilant videocams. Every ninety seconds, the dreaded Rosinka Okhrana swept by in their fearsome Ford Taurus, brandishing their dreaded baseball caps and coffee mugs. The working day would be a long one. There were low-price compact disc merchants to drive out of business, Halliburton emissaries to help with sweetheart petro-deals...and then Sasha Ronaldovich remembered with horror that today he would face the most dreaded task of the entire Foreign-Service Archipelago: giving a toast to a crowd of tipsy Moscow middlemen. For a moment, Sasha Ronaldovich's strong, simple face sagged as if he had aged a decade. Then he stood, groaning, massaging the small of his back, and went forth to meet another day "inside the wire" at Rosinka-7.

The Master and Mavrodi

The Master and Mavrodi By Mikhail Bulgakov

"The Master and Mavrodi" by Mikhail Bulgakov

Suppressed in the Yeltsin years, this banned novel is a magical realist satire in which Satan comes to Moscow to wreak havoc, but winds up getting fleeced by Westernized oligarchs and English-speaking Young Reformers, and eventually gets thrown out of Moscow because he doesn't have a propusk.


Not You

By Evgeny Zamyatin

"Not You" by Evgeny Zamyatin

A dystopian novel about an elite nightclub that slowly and deceptively begins allowing second-tier people past face control, and how the club's decline destroyed the weekend of Ksenia Sobchak. This novel is said to have influenced Orwell.


The Sushi Ward

By Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"The Sushi Ward" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

A harrowing, fearless novel that takes the reader into a Putin-era private clinic for those who eat bad sushi, featuring unsentimental tales of a patient who ate a bad hamachi roll, and another who suffers from eating sub-standard unagi. An allegorical masterpiece that not only teaches us compassion for those who eat bad sushi, but also teaches us that being rich and eating well has its dangers in the New Russia.


It's Me, Gorky

By Maxim Gorky

"It’s Me, Gorky" by Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky's explicitly asexual autobiographical novel about a 60-year-old emigre's celebrated return to the Soviet Union, and his shockingly unerotic attempts to form the Union of Soviet Writers.


Lolitas

By Vladimir Nabokov

"Lolitas" by Vladimir Nabokov

Nabokov's shocking novel features over 28,000 middle-aged expatriate protagonists and their torrid, doomed affairs with over 119,000 12-year-old Russian girls.


And Corpse-Filled Flows The Don

By Mikhail Sholokhov

"And Corpse-Filled Flows The Don" by Mikhail Sholokhov

Epic novel of the life of a Soviet Cossack hero named Anatoly Chikatilo, divided into four parts: "Impotence"; "Rape"; "Delicious"; "Let's Roll".


Twelve Plastic Lawn Chairs

By Ilf and Petrov

"Twelve Plastic Lawn Chairs" by Ilf and Petrov

Classic satire about a pair of Caucasian swindlers who run a cheap shawarma stand on a busy, polluted Moscow street and manage to fool elitny Muscovites into believing that their kiosk is a Parisian-style summer cafe after they place plastic tables and lawn chairs out in front of their kiosk.


Doctor Zhidvago

By Alexandr Prokhanov

"Doctor Zhidvago" by Alexandr Prokhanov

Sweeping, epic love story about a Jew who comes to Mother Russia posing as a pediatrician in order to drink the blood of Christian babies during Passover. Set in the background of turbulent times as Zionists conspire to bring Russia to her knees. Based on a true story.


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dolan@exile.ru
 
 
FROM THE VAULT

DOOM-A : How To Watch Post-Soviet Politics
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