An anti-utopian novella about a near future in Russia, where the moratorium on the death penalty has been lifted.
Segal’s grim predictions look almost like literal realism. And the sadness which has become more perceptible in his prose only adds to its charm. There is nothing superfluous in Segal’s prose. Even if you wanted to cut it down, there is nothing you can take out. Interest never wanes, every detail is necessary and every weapon is used. He learnt this from film. Film lays claim to the viewer’s time and you can’t use that time inconsiderately. Better to just sleep or lie about on the grass with your girlfriend than to read bad prose or watch boring films. That’s why Segal saves time on everything, just as a good contemporary film director should. And believe me, reading this book is the best way you can spend the next three hours.
Dmitry Bykov, writer.