This collection features Svetlana Vasilenko's novel Little Fool, nominated for the Russian Booker Prize. Rich in folklore, legend, and history, the story follows the transformation of Ganna, a girl from the Volga shores, into a modern-day Madonna. Also included are the novella "Shamara" and several short stories, including the acclaimed "Going After Goat Antelopes."...
|Title||:||Shamara and Other Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||245 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Shamara and Other Stories Reviews
Oh, so very Russian: Pain. Misery. Despair. Cruelty. Death.Some of these stories are very great; some are just ok. And damn, I love darkness, but the Russians seem to know nothing but.A brief review of all the longer stories:Samara (good): A story about a hell-cat woman (her name means a violent sea-born storm), her jailbird boyfriend/husband, the new hot roommate/potential love interest for the jailbird, the Jailbird's albino boss, and daily life for women factory workers. Nothing but drunkenness, beatings, a rape of two, debauchery, disloyalty, abortion, pain. For me, a standard post-Stalinist Russian story. As I read it I keep thinking, "It would mean more to me if I was born in the USSR in the 60s."Piggy (great): Yikes! A damn great story about a woman's hatred for her poor mother's pig and the subsequent very violent slaughter of said pig and the subsequent very intense reaction from the son of the woman, and there's resolution, of sorts, but covered in blood and bile and sweat and tears and resulting in a fissure that's probably life-long and damaging, and also reflects a similar fissure the woman had as a girl while witnessing a similar animal killing when she was young. Powerful and awful and reminded me of my own rural upbringing and my own horror at witnessing death first hand.Going After Goat Antelopes (damn great): This story, even more than "Piggy," is going to stick with me. Passion and desire captured in words. A woman and her friend are having dinner. Two attractive soldiers approach and the game of sex and desire begins. It's beautiful and horrible how Vasilenko describes the "game": as an animalistic drive that is trapped in archetypes and the desires of the body and in ancestors and lineage (!), not to mention booze, and then another weird looking soldier who reminds the woman of a dying bird she found as a child who she smothered to death in sleep, and he is now in the mix. And he is ugly but intense and now she just wants — not necessarily the attractive soldier, but whoever, just wants, physically, and lets go, and let's go, let's you and I go now, whoever, weird dead-bird looking intense guy, or confident handsome guy ... but here the story goes all sideways and the narrator goes unreliable, and the ending I can't tell you about, but what happened? Well, we know what happened, but not so sure how or why. But it happened. But what happened? ... Yeah. Good question.Little Fool (good): Another very Russian story full of pain and death and religion and torture. Also the Russian version of magical realism ala The Master and Margarita. An unreliable narrator. A deaf mute fool who possibly a saint. Interwoven fairy tales. Eh. It was good, but again, struck me that things would make sense if I was Russian, and had the "Russian soul."
Interesting, and also slightly insane... Many issues touched, but not in-depth enough