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Please join us at Malvern Books for Fantastical Fictions, an odd-monthly event focusing on the literary fantastic across genres and cultures. This month host Rebecca Schwarz will discuss the novel FARDWOR, RUSSIA! by Russian journalist and activist Oleg Kashin.
Worth noting: if you buy FARDWOR, RUSSIA! for the discussion, you’ll get 10% off the list price!
The forces of science, human error, and power run amok collide in this wildly inventive, funny, and razor-sharp political satire about Putin’s Russia, from one of the country’s most fearless journalists.
When a scientist experimenting on humans in a sanatorium near Moscow gives a growth serum to a dwarf oil mogul, the newly heightened businessman runs off with the experimenter’s wife, and a series of mysterious deaths and crimes commences. Wonderfully strange and ringing with the echoes of real-life events, this political parable fused with science fiction has an uncanny resonance with today’s Russia under Putin.
In 2010, two months after he’d delivered the manuscript of this book to his publishers, Oleg Kashin was beaten to within an inch of his life in an attack with ties to the highest levels of government. While absurdly funny on its face, FARDWOR, RUSSIA! A Fantastical Tale of Life Under Putin is deadly serious in its implications. Kashin’s experience exemplifies why so few authors dare to criticize the state—and his book is a testament of the power of literature to break the bonds of power, corruption, and enforced silence.