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The Vital Needs Of The Dead By Igor…
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The Vital Needs Of The Dead By Igor Sakhnovsky (original 1999; edition 2012)

by Igor Sakhnovsky

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1812561,019 (2.38)1
Member:chocolatedog
Title:The Vital Needs Of The Dead By Igor Sakhnovsky
Authors:Igor Sakhnovsky
Info:Glagoslav Publications Ltd. (2012), Paperback, 164 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, russian literature, russia, post-soviet, read in 2012

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The Vital Needs of the Dead by Igor Sakhnovsky (1999)

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My first thought with Vital Needs of the dead when I started reading it was that not everyone is going to understand this book. As I continued reading I continued to feel that way. For those born in a privileged western world that have not had to deal with the experiences of something like Soviet run Russia they cannot always identify with what is going on.

Now I am one of those who was born in the Western world but I have done a lot of reading of this era and like to think I can connect with what is being told. Igor Sakhnovsky writes a very detailed story that is full of images that seemed to speak of me. Gosha is a character that I could really connect with and so I was interested in his story and what was happening to him throughout.

Some of the translation could be a little bit rough but for me that did not really take away from the book. A lot of times I think you have to read a book in its mother tongue to get all of the subtle nuances of what is being told. I would recommend this book to someone who is willing to take the time to understand what the story is telling you.
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  LadyAmbrosia | Apr 18, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I tried, repeatedly, over a number of months, but this book is like reading thru gauze. I don't know if the story is worthwhile, because I could not get to the story. I have given up on it, and cannot recommend it as anything but kindling.
  EverettWiggins | Mar 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Vital Needs of the Dead had some interesting things going on but it wasn’t exactly a riveting read. Even though it’s not very long, I couldn’t help but think it would have been better if it was shorter.

The language is really weird and I’m not sure whether the author or the translator is to blame.
  amanda4242 | Feb 24, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was interesting. It's written in a realistic style, and follows the coming-of-age story of Gosha Sidelnikov. Gosha, as we find out after a few chapters, is developmentally slow, so we see the world through his particularly naïve eyes. He is closer to his grandmother Rosa than to his mother, and after Rosa's death, she continues to visit him in his dreams, providing him with guidance as he grows into the world.

The story is interesting, but just that. I did not find it compelling. 2 stars. ( )
  SirRoger | Feb 10, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This might be a good book, but I really can't tell because the translation seems to be terrible. Witness: Through images of that autumn and the premature onset of winter, there showed a haphazardly primed canvas onto which the autumn and winter were superimposed in a slapdash manner (pg. 65). See what I mean? If there was any clarity or subtlety or beauty of language in the original Russian, it has been lost. Twice(!) I actually didn't realize that sexual intercourse had taken place between characters because the description was so cryptic and vague. Most of the book is like that, with the events and characters obscured by the phrasing.

And there are so few actual events or distinct personalities that this was quite a chore to read, I'm sorry to say. I felt no connection to any of the characters, and nothing really happened. The few concrete details I managed to suss out -- that Sidelnikov gets his nose broken and subsequently stays several days in the hospital -- were inexplicable to me. Is this novel meant to be so surreal and unlikely? I get the sense that maybe this book's strength is its atmosphere -- the country during the Brezhnev era -- but it was entirely inaccessible to me because of the awkward prose. ( )
  edenic | Jan 22, 2013 |
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