Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a cult-classic dystopia that managed to catapult high despite originally being given away for free a little more than a decade ago. It's a testament of word-of-mouth.
I found myself curious even before having this recommended to me, but I'm only now getting around to reading it. For shame, right?
This is very much a Russian tale with everything that implies. Post-nuclear survival tale within the metro tunnels, humanity becoming Morlocks and strange flying creatures preventing any egress. (Along with the heavy radiation, but who's really counting that?) ;)
The novel was very interesting in how the novel was nearly a traditional coming-of-age tale, but more than that, I nearly had to stop at a regular basis because of how episodic it seemed, too. Maybe I should have. I might have enjoyed it more.
As it was, we followed the main character from one part of the metro tunnel to another, discovering strange belief systems that happen to be pretty much everything that we moderns know now. Christians, fascists, satanists, worm-worshiping cannibals and of course capitalists were discovered with fresh, unpolluted eyes. The novel had a lot to say. It was very ideal-and-idealism oriented. Maybe it was just the utter feel of being disillusioned by all the lies that we humans keep telling ourselves, and maybe it was that old Russian pragmatism at work, but I thought this was both the novel's main strength and main weakness.
Maybe I wasn't in the mood for it. And maybe I've already had my fill of such classic translated Russian novels. :) Either way, I appreciated this novel while not entirely getting into it.
That's not to say it wasn't full of great parts. It refers to and pays homage to Roadside Picnic, Stalkers and all. The ending made up for almost all the slow parts that felt like kind-of a slog.
All told, I'd recommend this for fans of extremely well-developed post-apocalypse literature with a huge serving of what classic Russian literature is known for: shovels and ideas. :)
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