This… was truly a bizarre book.
A terribly dark book of teenage hooligans raping and thieving their way through the nights, all speaking the most bizarre Russianish slang that’s… interesting at best to read–up until the main character is caught and then re-educated in a perfect example of ‘do the ends justify the means’. It’s… really really bizarre.
It probably doesn’t help when this version at least starts with an author’s note that more or less tells you not to read the book:
I should myself be glad to disown it for various reasons, but this is not permitted. I receive mail from students who try to write theses about it, or requests from Japanese dramaturges to turn it into a sort of Noh play. It seems likely to survive, while other works of mine that I value more bite the dust. This is not an unusual experience for an artist.
At least the original 21st chapter is included? I’m not sure if it makes as large a difference as they claim it does.
Overall, it’s probably worth a read? Maybe? It’s hard to say. Now I feel like I have to go watch the film. Wish me luck.
Random bizarre thoughts:
Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else. They had no licence for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the new veshches which they used to put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels And Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg.
Drug milk. That’s certainly a thing.
But old Dim, as soon as he’d slooshied this dollop of song like a lomtick of redhot meat plonked on your plate, let off one of his vulgarities, which in this case was a lip-trump followed by a dog-howl followed by two fingers pronging twice at the air followed by a clowny guffaw.
The … whole dang book is like this. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. But man it’s … hard to read.
‘It may not be nice to be good, little 6655321. It may be horrible to be good. And when I say that to you I realize how self-contradictory that sounds. I know I shall have many sleepless nights about this. What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?
There’s a hint of something really deep here with the whole ’ends justify the means’. I don’t know if it’s turly gone into in as much detail as it could be, but it’s still an interesting thought.