Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sin by Zakhar Prilepin - Book Review

Title: Sin
Author: Zakhar Prilepin
Publisher: Glagoslav Publications Ltd
Publication Date: April 2012 (2007)
Pages: 272
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

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 Zakhar Prilepin 's novel-in-stories, Sin, has become a literary phenomenon in Russia, where it was published in 2007. It has been hailed as the epitome of the spirit of the opening decade of the 21st century, and was called the book of the decade by the prestigious Super Natsbest Award jury. In the episodes of Zakharka 's life, presented here in non-chronological order, we see him as a little boy, a lovelorn teenager, a hard-drinking grave-digger, a nightclub bouncer, a father, and a soldier in Chechnya. Sin offers a fascinating glimpse into the recent Russian past, as well as its present, with its unemployment, poverty, violence, and local wars social problems that may be found in many corners of the world. Zakhar Prilepin presents these realities through the eyes of Zakharka, taking us along on the life-affirming journey of his unforgettable protagonist. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I really enjoyed the first half of this book, finding the story and characters interesting and engaging. Towards the middle and into the second half, it did start to lose steam a bit and I found my attention drifting, but then it pulled back for a strong ending.

I thought the style of the novel worked well with the series of stories and it was certainly intriguing to see glimpses of characters at different stages of their lives, experiencing things in different ways.

It is a piece that in some ways is very modern and yet it still relates back to the classics of Russian literature in its choice of themes.

I thought the translation came across well and the book was easy to read yet still thought-provoking.

I can recommend this for literary fiction readers and fans of Russian literature - it's not perfect but it is well worth your time checking it out.

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