Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Slynx
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
A postmodern literary masterpiece. The Times Literary Supplement Two hundred years after civilization ended in an event known as the Blast, Benedikt isnt one to complain. Hes got a jobtranscribing old books and presenting them as the words of the great new leader, Fyodor Kuzmich, Glorybeand though he doesnt enjoy the privileged status of a Murza, at least hes not a serf or a half-human four-legged Degenerator harnessed to a troika. He has a house, too, with enough mice to cook up a tasty meal, and hes happily free of mutations: no extra fingers, no gills, no cockscombs sprouting from his eyelids. And hes managedat least so farto steer clear of the ever-vigilant Saniturions, who track down anyone who manifests the slightest sign of Freethinking, and the legendary screeching Slynx that waits in the wilderness beyond. Tatyana Tolstayas The Slynx reimagines dystopian fantasy as a wild, horripilating amusement park ride. Poised between Nabokovs Pale Fire and Burgesss A Clockwork Orange, The Slynx is a brilliantly inventive and shimmeringly ambiguous work of art: an account of a degraded world that is full of echoes of the sublime literature of Russias past; a grinning portrait of human inhumanity; a tribute to art in both its sovereignty and its helplessness; a vision of the past as the future in which the future is now.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
Billypar
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Pickpick

There's a lot that could be said about a post-apocalyptic novel set in a Russia populated by a society of mutants who subsist on mice and are raised to fear books and a mysterious creature who steals your sanity. But my favorite thing was how Tolstaya created a novel of ideas that still lets itself get carried away by poetic descriptions, no matter how weird things get. I was happy not understanding everything and just hanging on as a passenger.

vivastory I have to admit that I'm really happy you read this one. This seemed like one you would like. I liked this just as much the second time around. I think that you will also dig the October selection. 2mo
Billypar @vivastory Yeah, definitely my kind of novel! Seems like a great one to reread too and maybe appreciate more things you miss the first time. 2mo
See All 9 Comments
batsy I like your description of it being a novel of ideas that still lets itself get carried away by poetic descriptions. I might have liked it less than I expected to, but it's challenging in a thoroughly memorable way. 2mo
youneverarrived You describe it perfectly! Have to admit I think part of the reason I didn‘t gel with it at first was because I didn‘t understand what was going on. Only after reading reviews etc did I really appreciate it. 2mo
Billypar @batsy Yeah, I don't always love satire, but I think the poetic parts and the complexity gave it the right proportions. It didn't feel like Tolstaya was winking at the same joke for the whole novel: it was constantly in motion. 2mo
Billypar @youneverarrived I'm still tempted to flip back through to certain scenes and try to get a better handle on some things. There was that one chapter with Nikita Ivanich, Lev Lvovich, and Benedikt where it seems like they were discussing important stuff thematically, but it gets so crazy and ends with them singing songs, so my tired brain didn't want to make sense of it at the time 😅 2mo
Cathythoughts 😱😱😱 2mo
youneverarrived 😂 yeah I totally get that! 2mo
35 likes9 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
merelybookish I don't read a lot of dystopian or post-apocalyptic books and I wondered if this one fits that genre. It felt to me like a fairy tale. The way the world was described in the beginning and then all the creatures. Maybe like an updated Gingerbread Man? 2mo
vivastory @merelybookish I like that! 2mo
vivastory To me this reads as post-apocalyptic rather than dystopian. I would say that post-apocalyptic is a sub-genre of dystopian, which makes sense for The Slynx & similar books as they inevitably portray the consequences of an absence of government or a repressive government as is the case of The Slynx. 2mo
See All 23 Comments
DrexEdit @merelybookish oooo! I hadn't thought of that but I like what your saying! 2mo
DrexEdit Agree with @vivastory post-apocalyptic seems to capture the feel of this book best for me. Funny you should mention We. I just got a copy of that from #netgalley and it's next on my list! It's going to be an autumn full of Russian dystopia for me. 😄 2mo
Liz_M I think this may be a literal post-apocalyptic (I assumed a nuclear event. didn't it refer to a blast? And the books were toxic for several hundred years, and the mutations....). But as it is set so far after the event, rather than the immediate aftermath, it does feel more like a fable. 2mo
vivastory @DrexEdit I read We over 4 years ago & will def be grabbing the Penguin Vitae edition next month. Looking forward to reading it again!
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/292313/we-by-yevgeny-zamyatin-translate...
2mo
vivastory @Liz_M I believe it's 200 yrs after the blast. I have seen some arguments online over how to categorize it. Some have even labeled it as fantasy. I agree with you, IMO it's post-apocalyptic with dystopian elements (edited) 2mo
DrexEdit @vivastory that's a beautiful edition! My #netgalley copy is from HarperCollins and has an introduction by Margaret Atwood that I'm interested to read, 2mo
vivastory @DrexEdit Nice! That sounds interesting. I'll look for your review. I remember enjoying it when I read it & appreciated the influence on Orwell & Huxley 2mo
Liz_M Admittedly I am too lazy to look up the definitions and distinctions between post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and fantasy 😇 do all this is off the cuff. 😁 2mo
youneverarrived @merelybookish yes, that‘s brilliant! I would never have thought of it but I can definitely see that. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I‘m always interested in how humans survive in post apocalyptic, the speculation of our survival skills kicking in , adaption forced upon them or sought out.I haven‘t read “We” though it‘s been on my radar for years . (edited) 2mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I think you'll like We I recall there being quite a bit to mull over in it. 2mo
BarbaraBB I‘m sorry I missed the book and the discussion, I was abroad and couldn‘t join. Thanks for hosting Katie and @vivastory ! 2mo
quietjenn I love the characterization @merelybookish makes. These aren't naturally my genres either and I definitely got those fairy tale and fable vibes. Post-apocalyptic does feel more accurate than dystopian. And I'm so curious imagining what a novel from Benedikt's mother might've looked like! 2mo
quietjenn And on the fairy tale to, I love that of all the things Benedikt reads, the one story that seems to stay with him and horrify him if the Gingerbread Man. 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB No worries! Safe travels, friend 🙂 2mo
vivastory @quietjenn @merelybookish He also repeatedly mentions Turgenev's Mumu. I haven't read the story, but I found this bit from the Wikipedia page interesting, “As an extremely influential work, which was taught in schools during the Soviet Regime, Mumu has had many adaptations. Several film and media adaptations have been created since its publication, as this work was extremely influential for many Russian-speaking children.“ It seems like (cont) 2mo
vivastory the Turgenev story might have a similar fable like aspect to it. 2mo
batsy @merelybookish I like that! Yes, kind of a post-apocalyptic fable. 2mo
sisilia @youneverarrived @vivastory Interesting questions! I will come back to these when I get to read the book 2mo
GatheringBooks @Liz_M definitely felt the grimm fairytale vibe here - the juniper tree type of fairytale with the darker underbelly. I also bought WE, so am looking forward to reading it. 2mo
31 likes23 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
merelybookish This is where it felt beyond me. I figured it was trying to say something about society but...🤷 So interested to hear what others have to say. 😉 2mo
vivastory I think that it points out that reading does not automatically equate to improving empathy or consciousness of one's condition. Or, I should say that reading more doesn't improve empathy. There is the conversation between Benedikt & Nikita where Nikita keeps telling Benedkt to study his letters. It seems to me that he is telling Benedikt that what matters is not the quantity of what he reads, but the quality (I could be way off base 😅) 2mo
vivastory There's also the social commentary: beware of revolutions, the new leaders might be worse than the ones they are replacing. `This feels like an old lesson, but to be fair Tolstaya began writing this in '86 . 2mo
See All 15 Comments
DrexEdit @vivastory I was thinking along those same lines. 2mo
vivastory @DrexEdit I have read books that featured both themes, I'm hard pressed to think of many authors that did so as imaginatively as Tolstaya. 2mo
DrexEdit @vivastory agree! They are both big themes to tackle and I would also find it difficult to think of a writer who could manage both as well as Tolstaya did here. 2mo
Liz_M There is also some exploration of capitalism. On the one hand, allowing the people to catch their own mice and trade them is seen as a good thing. On the other hand once the main character succumbs to greed (for books) he turns into an oppressor. 2mo
vivastory @Liz_M This is a great point & one where I think that Tolstaya really portrayed post-Communism economics really well. 2mo
Liz_M @vivastory In addition to the quality over quantity, Nikita is dismayed because Benedikt's version of reading is just consumption. There is no engagement - no empathy or thinking, just reading for plot or escapism. 2mo
vivastory @Liz_M Engagement. I think that is the exact word. Both Nikita & Varvara talk to Benedikt about how meaningful their books are to them & it's because they have reflected on them on multiple levels & haven't just immediately moved onto the next one. Engaged. 100% 2mo
youneverarrived Keeping people down, telling them they will catch the Illness if they read (awaken), the whole power and glory of the people in power I thought were powerful statements on government. This is where I think a bit of knowledge on Russian history might have come in handy. 2mo
Leftcoastzen Like all these comments @vivastory to quote The Who Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. 2mo
quietjenn For me, the most salient points are about control of information - and what one does with information when one had it. And some cynicism about the nature of power and rule. Like, sure you think the new guy will be better - or that you would be different if you were in charge. But in reality, they/ you just get in there and immediately start changing names and issuing decrees ... 2mo
batsy I think the most profound one is like what @vivastory said—you can have access to information and art and culture, but what it does it mean if you don't know *how* to read? Literacy being more than just being able to read the words on a page. Taking things too literally and not being able to think or exercise one's imagination despite all of that reading. That's a bit scary to contemplate 😅 2mo
GatheringBooks I resonated with @youneverarrived here the most; it isn‘t just the mindless consumption of reading materials that stood out for me, but what reading per se stands for - the capacity to awaken consciousness and to some degree they demonstrated the inevitability of this with the farcical revolution of sorts. I felt the bold reference to fascism, tyranny of the mind, the brainwashing, and mindless obeisance to chest-thumping buffoons. 2mo
24 likes15 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
merelybookish Yes, yes I was surprised to learn he had a tail! He seemed "normal" up till that. And then I felt sad when he described missing his tail. But I don't know what it meant or why it was important. 2mo
vivastory This was a reread for me & I couldn't believe that I had forgotten this aspect of the book! In some ways I can't help but wonder if his devouring of books isn't to compensate for losing his tail 2mo
DrexEdit Yes! I also didn't know why Nikita Ivanich wanted to cut it off! As consequences go, it didn't seem to be a bad one. I think that's where Benedikt stopped feeling like any other Golubchik, when he lost his tail 2mo
See All 12 Comments
sarahbarnes @vivastory @DrexEdit interesting points! At first I thought it would make him more worthy of Olenka, but then found out that wasn‘t necessary. 😂 I do wonder if it contributed to his becoming so consumed with consumption by the end. 2mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes @drexedit The whole plot point with Olenka & the Degenerator taking his job. So strange, yet also 😂 2mo
sarahbarnes @vivastory yes! 😂 That part of the story really bothered me though - the Degenrators. I assume they are people who had been forced into that role, either because of their Consequence or their standing. 2mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes Same here. Their Consequence didn't seem to be worse than anyone else's, but the dehumanization of them was based on a purely social construct. (edited) 2mo
Liz_M @DrexEdit I think Nikita saw the tail as evidence that the race, rather than progressing and maybe someday being really for the iron age (or his friends xerox), was actual devolving, regaining the tail that it took eons to evolve away from. But I'm still not sure how this fits the rest of the story. 🤷 2mo
DrexEdit @Liz_M 👍 2mo
quietjenn I was as surprised as he was to learn he had a Consequence and it made me sad that he/Nikita got rid of it. 2mo
batsy I was surprised! I think the effect was to cause a sense of alienation, like @DrexEdit mentions. He was, thus, paradoxically no longer like the others of his kind. 2mo
GatheringBooks I think I was so far removed from Benedikt that I felt neither surprise nor pity towards him with the tail revelation. All the characters felt unlikeable, except for perhaps the Oldener who can breathe fire, forgot his name, but yes, I think the appearance of the tail seemed to legitimize the baser urges he now feels entitled to indulge in. 2mo
24 likes12 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
vivastory I think that it is beneficial, esp during the banter between the Oldeners. I don't know if it would ruin the reading experience to not have that knowledge though 2mo
DrexEdit I don't know much Russian history, but I think I got through the story without being too confused. It would certainly add some nuance to have that background though. 2mo
sarahbarnes I will admit that many times it felt like things were going over my head in the story, and I wonder if this is why. 2mo
See All 9 Comments
Liz_M I don't know if it is specifically Russian history that would be helpful. The author creates a complete world and it should stand on it's own. But I would be interested in understanding the context her world was created from or a reaction to. 2mo
youneverarrived @sarahbarnes I had the same thought. I think you can read and enjoy the book without that knowledge but it would probably be a richer read with it. 2mo
Leftcoastzen So many elements worked for me anyway , but I think there were many inside jokes about the Soviet years that flew over my head. 2mo
quietjenn Like @Leftcoastzen I feel like there were jokes and references that I didn't quite a get. A better knowledge of Russian history and culture would've enhanced my experience with the book. 2mo
batsy I think so, or rather it's more like how @Liz_M puts it. The world in the book is self-contained and obeys its own logic, but I felt like I was missing *something* in reference to the Oldeners, or even how his in-laws behaved. A part of me just kept thinking, "What am I not fully getting?" and that interfered with my enjoyment of the book. I think like @merelybookish mentioned by the time I got to the end I was skimming to make it end faster ? 2mo
GatheringBooks Love the thought of @Liz_M here about the book standing on its own with the world-building and vision of a mice-eating dystopian hunger-games-like future. Yet as what everyone noted, the book seemed like a political satire or commentary of sorts, with allusions that I am certain too miss, hence the nuances were not fully appreciated as they were. 2mo
21 likes9 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
merelybookish Yeah, I'm not even sure what he becomes conscious of other than a desire to own and consume books. I was struck by how he had no desire to re-read the books. And there is no sense of the different qualities of books. They are all the same. He just wants more! 2mo
DrexEdit Benedikt may learn more about how the world works, but I wouldn't say he had his consciousness raised. He knows more but doesn't learn anything. He still has no empathy. 2mo
vivastory @merelybookish Agreed. I had posted a picture of this with Don Quixote, but I have to agree with a review I read that said that Benedikt's love of books is closer to Madame Bovary's than DQ's. I def. skipped over the catologue of books listed towards the middle of the book due to the indiscrimate nature that you mention 2mo
See All 14 Comments
sarahbarnes Agree @merelybookish - books only motivated in him a level of greed, a desire to own them all himself. And to look down on/hold power over others. 2mo
youneverarrived I agree with that. His consciousness might have been raised but to what extent really? It definitely didn‘t lead to freedom. Was anyone surprised by the ending? All their ‘knowledge‘ and all those books read and they (the father in law especially) just basically overturned Fyodor to rule in the same vein as him - all greed & power. (edited) 2mo
vivastory @youneverarrived I remember when I first read the book that I found the ending to both make sense, yet to be a bit wild. It heads off into this direction it sort of hints at in the beginning of the novel, I admired it for that. 2mo
Leftcoastzen Agree with @merelybookish and others he has a ravenous appetite for books but it seems like he‘s stuffing himself at a feast , he doesn‘t seem to have a ah ha moment , no conscience raising here. 2mo
quietjenn I agree with that and the observations others have made. He consumes, but there's no real understanding, just devouring. There's little meaning derived and no conscience raised. 2mo
batsy I agree! And felt a little jolt of terror at that need for consumption... A little bit like how we gorge ourselves on Netflix and books to shut out the (hellish) world out there? But no amount of reading/watching changes the material conditions of the world; it doesn't quite set us free. This bit hit close to home 😅 2mo
GatheringBooks @batsy I definitely hear you. Although I would hazard that our ravenous consumption of stories (be thru netflix or books) may be more a means of narrative escape, to slip into another world momentarily, taking us out of ourselves which can be both a gift and a curse; for the characters in the story, it seemed like mindless/thoughtless consumption for the sake of it, with neither rhyme nor reason. (edited) 2mo
GatheringBooks I recall reading something along the lines of: “A book is a mirror: If an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out.” - as @youneverarrived @sarahbarnes @vivastory @drexedit noted here, this quote is spot on with Benedikt. 2mo
batsy @GatheringBooks That's the tough one, imo. The difference between escapism and unengaged consumption. I like that the book raises these questions even if I might not have fully cottoned on to what was going on! 2mo
Billypar @batsy I had the exact same thought about this hitting too close to home. I wasn't too far from having a "Oh my god... I'm Benedikt!" moment ? 2mo
batsy @Billypar Same! 😆 2mo
20 likes14 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
LeahBergen I didn‘t get to this one this month but I‘m going to enjoy reading everyone‘s comments! 2mo
merelybookish Well, my tendency is to see things in terms of mental health so I started to see the slynx like depression, like an overwhelming oppressive hopelessness. But interested to hear how others thought of if! 2mo
DrexEdit Can I say both? From the descriptions I sort of pictured a cat-like predator. But there was definitely a mythic aspect. I'd have to go back and see specifically when the slynx was mentioned to get a better sense of that mythicness. 2mo
See All 19 Comments
vivastory @LeahBergen No worries! If you do, I'd love to hear your thoughts! 2mo
vivastory I agree with @merelybookish but I also noted that Benedikt hears the Slynx after eating a fireling, which made me wonder if it was possibly a side effect. 2mo
vivastory @DrexEdit This is is the sense of it that I had as well. 2mo
youneverarrived I took it at face value at first, thinking it was some sort of creature but the more I read on and ‘settled‘ into the story I viewed it the same way as @merelybookish. One review I read mentioned it being like an existential dread which made sense to me. 2mo
arubabookwoman I read this 10 yrs or so ago, and wanted to reread for this discussion since I didn't think I wld remember enough. Unfortunately my library didn't have it & I didn't want to purchase it again, so I didn't get to reread it. I will post my review from 10 yrs ago on the book page. 2mo
arubabookwoman As to the slynx, I do remember feeling like it was somewhat of a mythic monster being used to keep the people in control. 2mo
sarahbarnes @youneverarrived I like the existential dread theory. 2mo
sarahbarnes And it‘s interesting that he doesn‘t escape it despite all of his actions and decisions in the story. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I kept thinking an existential dread or some sort of mutated real creature.then bounced around idea of some sort of organized yet hidden control. (edited) 2mo
Liz_M I haven't finished the book and I suspect I shouldn't answer this question until I do.... But from the few mentions so far, I like the idea of it being a representation of existential dread. 2mo
vivastory I really like the idea of The Slynx being existential dread. I think it's a very powerful figure because of how mysterious it is. 2mo
quietjenn I feel like it's evolving and adaptable to the situation. Like originally it may have been an actual animal mutation, which became mythical to help control the population, but by the end it's psychological or something existential within everyone. 2mo
youneverarrived @quietjenn that‘s exactly how it felt. 2mo
batsy I did quite like the description of the Slynx; in a way it reminded me of the how Dan Simmons' constructed the monster in The Terror. I would have liked more of the dread/horror, but the book went in a more satiric direction. I do think that it stands for existential dread or despair like the others have said; the abyss made monstrous, in a way. 2mo
GatheringBooks I love the term “existential dread” - although it always just appeared like the bogeyman for me thruout, it wasn‘t developed enough to make me fully appreciate the existential aspect of it. More than anything, it felt like a means of controlling the population, a way of keeping them in line. 2mo
Billypar @merelybookish I finished this late, but I had the same thought about it being a particular kind of depression. "Overwhelming oppressive hopelessness" is a great way to describe. Someone who isn't happy no matter how many mice they catch. 2mo
17 likes19 comments
review
quietjenn
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Pickpick

Ah, what can I say about The Slynx?! One of the weirder and, at times, more challenging books that I've read in a while. I'm certain that I missed a lot, but once I managed to immerse myself in the world, it was pretty compelling. Really memorable imagery, with some dark humor. Really looking forward to the #nyrbbookclub discussion tomorrow! @vivastory @youneverarrived

youneverarrived Great review! 🤍 2mo
60 likes1 comment
review
Leftcoastzen
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Pickpick

#NYRBBookclub say what?🤔I‘m with @batsy I like the gallows humor but feel I don‘t know enough about Soviet Union culture & history to get all the jokes. When Benedikt is reading all the books I couldn‘t help but wonder post blast if cultural context really had any sway in this mutating world , to few , to many? When you count your fortune in caught mice what really matters anymore? Hope we can make some sense of it all.

vivastory That's a good point. Considering the circumstances it's hard to imagine how much of an impact it would make if people knew that Kuzmich's works were plagiarized 2mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I liked rolling around in my brain the question of are the books literally toxic from the blast , toxic because of the need to control knowledge, and / or discovery of the plagiarism? All of the above? Guess I should wait for real discussion but you started it ! 😂🤨 2mo
youneverarrived I had the same questions going on while I was reading it too. Definitely a book that‘s made better for discussing/analysing I think! 2mo
batsy Good point re: counting one's fortune in terms of mice. 2mo
45 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
merelybookish
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Mehso-so

Welp, if it's good to read outside your comfort zone, then mission accomplished? 🤷 This book is disturbing and satirical. I don't love disturbing. I avoid satire. A LOT went over my head.
But the writing is powerful. The world was vivid. The descriptions could enchant as well as repulse. Benedikt's descent was simultaneously compelling and discomforting. I wanted to see how it would end.
But now I need the #nyrbbookclub to explain it. 😂

batsy Hahahaha! Yes to your final sentence. Great review; you've summed up why it's both compelling and alienating at the same time. 2mo
quietjenn Yes, to all this! I am feeling very similar, although I still have a ways to go. 2mo
See All 10 Comments
youneverarrived I completely agree! Not my usual type of read at all but it was worth persevering with. Looking forward to the discussion 🤍 2mo
vivastory Great review! If it makes you feel any better it was only after my second reading & reading several articles that I feel like I have a bit of a grasp of it. I think it will be an interesting discussion. 2mo
vivastory Oh, & thanks for the art link! I've seen a few other Slynx related art, but none of the Degenerators or Santurions 2mo
merelybookish @batsy Thanks! This is exactly the kind of book you want to read with other people! 2mo
merelybookish @quietjenn Haha, well I may have skimmed the last 30 pages or so. 🙈 2mo
merelybookish @vivastory Good to know. Although I don't intend to re-read this. 😉 And I figured this is the kind of book that would inspire art since the creatures were so vivid and bizarre. 2mo
52 likes1 stack add10 comments
review
sarahbarnes
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Mehso-so

What a WEIRD book. Looking forward to discussing it! I‘m not sure what to say about it, to be honest.

vivastory I think it's the strangest book our group has read. Which is saying something after the Carrington 2mo
sarahbarnes @vivastory Seriously! 😂 2mo
merelybookish I love the mice on the cover. 😁 2mo
youneverarrived @vivastory 😂 I didn‘t think I‘d read another book as strange as that one, but here we are 😂 2mo
sarahbarnes @merelybookish honestly I can‘t get the mice part of the story out of my head. 😬 2mo
27 likes5 comments
review
batsy
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Pickpick

I was on board with this on a purely aesthetic level—the gallows humour, the carnivalesque absurdism, & the utterly irreverent tone of a dystopic future in a place that used to be Moscow, with humanity resembling some of the creatures that one imagines might have been lurking in the primordial soup. I think that a better knowledge of Russian history & culture would have enabled me to "get" this book in a way that would have made the satire click.

merelybookish Great review! I'm about halfway.and have no clue where it will end but I get what you're saying about knowing more about Russian history...presumably each group in the book Is based on some facet of Russian society. Like the inlaws. 😬 2mo
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! And yes, I had the same thought. Felt like different groups or political affiliations were being skewered in those depictions but it went over my head 😶 2mo
See All 7 Comments
youneverarrived Brilliant review 🖤 2mo
batsy @youneverarrived Thank you! 💜 2mo
vivastory For some reason I didn't receive your tag notification, so I didn't see your review until now. Wonderful review! I agree with your point about Russian history, esp. when the Oldeners have arguments they are def frequently talking about Russian politics/culture 2mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you! Yes, I felt a bit sad that quite a lot of the satire was passing me by in that aspect 😅 2mo
80 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
vivastory
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image
Pickpick

I read The Slynx in Feb '18 & looking at my review, “The Slynx is one of the strangest books about books I have ever read“ three & a half years later & this remains true. I was reminded of several books while reading The Slynx (the ones that frequently come to mind are pictured) but IMO this deserves to be as widely known as Fahrenheit 451. I wondered how I would react to this book this time around as the world has become much more dystopian👇

vivastory since I first read it, but Tolstaya's black humor & absurdism interjects some levity into what is otherwise a grim scenario. #NYRBBookClub @youneverarrived 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I will read this one ASAP but won‘t manage before the discussion - which I‘m not able to join either 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I understand! I'll look forward to your review on this one. I think that this is one that you'll either love or hate 2mo
86 likes2 stack adds3 comments
blurb
Leftcoastzen
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image

Nacho, keeper of the kindle ,thinks I should relax and read my #NYRBbookclub book.Feels like I‘ve had a long day , maybe it‘s the change in the weather. Well, who am I to question kitty wisdom 🐈 #catsoflitsy

vivastory I'm gonna have to agree with Nacho 📚 2mo
TiredLibrarian Always trust kitty wisdom 😻 2mo
LeahBergen Wise kitty! 2mo
Ruthiella Has Nacho steered you wrong before? 😹 2mo
4thhouseontheleft Wise 🐈! 2mo
62 likes5 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image

I‘m not sure if drinking beer while reading this is going to help or hinder me 😂 it‘s not like any other book I‘ve read before. I‘m still early on but hoping to get a good chunk read tonight. #nyrbbookclub

squirrelbrain Sounds…..different! 😬 Might need something a bit stronger than beer! 🤣 2mo
merelybookish I'm about 1/3 in. And it's definitely out of my wheelhouse but I'm intrigued (and a bit creeped) by it. 2mo
vivastory It's a wild book! 2mo
See All 6 Comments
youneverarrived @merelybookish I feel the exact same. 2mo
47 likes6 comments
blurb
vivastory
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image

Join @youneverarrived & I on 10/3 @ 2 CST/8 BST as we discuss The Slynx by Tolstaya. Due to shipping delays & other supply issues, I think that it would be wise to vote on the November selection. The Vet's Daughter will be the October selection, with my co-host @LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen I look forward to your nominations for the Nov. selection. #NYRBBookClub

BarbaraBB Unfortunately I won‘t be able to join the discussion as I‘m traveling that weekend but I‘ll step by later! Thanks as always!! 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Traveling somewhere fun? Feel free to chime into the discussion late. I'd love to know your thoughts on this one. 2mo
See All 12 Comments
LeahBergen That‘s very clever to plan our November pick a bit early. 👍 2mo
vivastory @LeahBergen I'm trying not to panic, but I have been seeing quite a few articles popping up lately strongly encouraging people to plan their book shopping even earlier. My thinking is that it would be a good idea for the next few members to nominate their selections once I post the date for the discussion. At least until labor shortage/supply issues have been resolved (edited) 2mo
Leftcoastzen I‘m on it! Not tonight but sometime tomorrow. 2mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Sounds good 👍 2mo
GatheringBooks Happy to hear we will know our upcoming books early! How about planning til end of year? 💕💕💕 2mo
LeahBergen I‘ve been reading all sorts of stuff, too, and think it‘s a good plan! 2mo
batsy Thanks for thinking of this! I've been reading on supply chain & shipping issues & it's not great. 2mo
emilyhaldi Luckily was able to get this one from my library yesterday 👍🏻 looking forward to discussion! 2mo
sisilia I couldnt get into this one 😫 I guess the mood is not right for dystopian story. I will keep this for some other time @vivastory 2mo
66 likes12 comments
blurb
GatheringBooks
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image

I honestly do not know how I feel about our current #NYRBBookClub read for this month. Part of me wants to abandon it, while another part is urging me to stay on, stay on, because #Completist. 💕 I wonder how the rest of the NYRB group is doing?

Leftcoastzen I haven‘t started yet. 3mo
sarahbarnes I haven‘t started it yet, but it does sound like it will be a little outside of what I usually read! Interesting to hear how you‘re feeling about it so far. 3mo
quietjenn I've not started yet, either. Not one I would've picked up on my own! It will be interesting to see how everyone respond to it. 3mo
See All 6 Comments
charl08 I also found it odd: but it does stick in the memory fwiw 3mo
merelybookish Did you finish? I'm about 1/3 through. I don't hate it but I feel disoriented. 2mo
GatheringBooks @merelybookish yes I did - not my fave but appreciated its intention. 2mo
53 likes6 comments
blurb
vivastory
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image

Thanks to @mklong for co-hosting in August. The discussion this past weekend shed new light on the book for me. Great perspectives from the group. Join @youneverarrived & I next month as we read Tolstaya's The Slynx. I look forward to your nominations for October @KVanRead Please post them by 9/5 so the group will have enough time for ordering. #NYRBBookClub

Simona This is the author who makes me curious, and I still haven't read any of her books 🤗 3mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for another great read and discussion Scott and @mklong 🤍 3mo
See All 8 Comments
vivastory @Simona This will be a reread for me. I first read it years ago & I loved it. Feel free to join us. Typically the discussion is the final weekend of the month. 3mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Thanks for your wonderful input! 3mo
Simona Thank you @vivastory but I‘m not good or reliable contributor to the debates. 3mo
LeahBergen And here I am still reading last month‘s pick. 😆 3mo
vivastory @LeahBergen You were on vacation though, so it's completely understandable. Free Day isn't the greatest vacation read 😬 3mo
52 likes8 comments
blurb
vivastory
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
post image

This is the closest vote that we have had between the three selections. With just 1 more vote than The Murderess, Tolstaya's The Slynx will be our September selection. Join @youneverarrived & I next month as we read & discuss this strange, yet memorable, book.
#NYRBBookClub

AlaMich This sounds very interesting! 4mo
vivastory @AlaMich It is! Feel free to read & join the discussion 4mo
See All 11 Comments
BarbaraBB Exciting! I am going to look for a copy! 4mo
AlaMich @vivastory It sounds tempting, but I am the slowest reader ever, and my attention span has only continued to diminish in the past few years. 4mo
batsy Nice! 🤩 4mo
Billypar Is it weird that I found the close vote really exciting (even though I would have been happy with any of the three)? I kept checking back and counting the votes 😅 4mo
merelybookish @Billypar Not weird, passionate. 😉 (I checked a few times too. 😆) 4mo
LeahBergen @Billypar @merelybookish I do it every month. 😆 4mo
vivastory @Billypar @merelybookish It always makes it a lot more interesting when it's a close vote! I thought Boston Adventure was going to win for a minute 4mo
sisilia I just placed my order 😀 Not a theme that I fancy, but I am curious 💕 4mo
51 likes2 stack adds11 comments
blurb
Nihiljames
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

I started out not really enjoying this book. But the more I get into it, the more I‘m appreciating the humor, tragedy, and revolutionary themes.

blurb
charl08
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Yay! Reading my own shelf update - I finished The Slynx, so can tick it off the list.

From this list, Currently reading [Insurgent Empire] (on and off).

review
charl08
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
Pickpick

I've never read anything like this dystopian fiction. Benedikt doesn't really understand much about the world around him, Moscow in ruins 300 years after the blast. The world is pretty dark and hard to make out, survival dependent on strange decrees and the memories of those who have mysteriously survived the blast and can't die. But then Benedikt finds some original books from before the blast...

arubabookwoman Is this The Slynx by Tatania Tolstaya? When I read it several years ago, I was so impressed that she was Tolstoy‘s grand-niece (or something like that). 1y
29 likes1 comment
quote
charl08
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

When Benedikt got his pass to the books...

mrp27 Truth! 1y
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
charl08
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Even in the dystopian, post-nuclear future, books (booklets) are in demand.

...it's true: you start reading and your belly doesn't growl ad much.

vivastory I love this book 1y
charl08 @vivastory It's taken me a while to get into it, but half way through now don't want to put it down. 1y
34 likes2 comments
review
vivastory
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image
Pickpick

Fahrenheit 451 with a generous portion of the black humor & grotesqueness of Russian Absurdism. Set 200 years after The Blast in former Moscow, the lower class (serfs essentially) economy is largely based upon bartering animals. Due to the lack of personal farmland & agricultural resources, they are forced to resort to bartering mice & rabbits. As a result of fallout, birth defects are not uncommon. People occasionally are born with 👇

vivastory for lack of a better word, mutant abilities. The Slynx is one of the strangest books about books I have ever read. Another solid publication by NYRB. 4y
AshleyHoss820 Sounds weird and interesting! 4y
saresmoore WHAT. That first sentence made me want to read this immediately. 4y
See All 22 Comments
saresmoore Also, great review! Also, also, NYRB! 4y
LeahBergen Great review! 4y
vivastory @AshleyHoss820 It really is! 4y
vivastory @saresmoore Thanks! Right?! Two of my 5 star reviews the past week have been NYRB. They. Never. Disappoint. 4y
vivastory @LeahBergen Thanks! 🤗 4y
2BR02B Sounds like a good book to make my spec fic book club read. 🤔 4y
vivastory @2BR02B I think it'd fit 👍 4y
AlaMich I love #NYRB and I periodically peruse their site to see new titles. I don‘t remember seeing this one, and it has such an usual title! It sounds intriguing! (edited) 4y
vivastory @AlaMich I believe this was published in 2003. They also published a collection of short stories 4y
batsy Your first sentence had me internally yelling, "STACK!" ? Fantastic review. 4y
vivastory @batsy My work is done 😂 You're too kind! 4y
ApoptyGina69 Very cool. LOVE Russian Lit. I also have White Walls. 4y
Moray_Reads I have this one! It's a while since I read it but I remember it being quite brilliant 4y
Liz_M I started this and put it down -- not enough brain power to get into it. Now I'm much more interested in trying again! 4y
monalyisha I was totally sold until I read the word “rabbit.” As someone with a pet rabbit, I know that, typically, rabbits in fiction do not come to happy ends. Is this something I need to be worried about, do you think? 3y
vivastory @monalyisha I don't recall scenes of graphic animal cruelty, from what I remember it was that they were exchanged for food. 3y
monalyisha @vivastory Maybe I‘ll make my husband read it first. 😅 It seems up his (both of our) alley(s), anyway! 3y
vivastory @monalyisha I look forward to his (& possibly your) thoughts 3y
monalyisha @vivastory Ha! He doesn‘t use Litsy (or read super often). But if he reads it, maybe I‘ll force him to make a Guest post. 😉 Thanks for the rec! 3y
77 likes10 stack adds22 comments
quote
LibrarianRenee
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Sounds about right!

5 likes1 stack add
blurb
LibrarianRenee
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

blurb
Moray_Reads
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Here are a few of my physical #womenintranslation. I love translated literature (almost as much as I hate that movie tie-in cover for All Men Are Mortal 😛) #aprilbookshowers

andrew61 A great selection, I will now be trying to track down Sofia petrovna, thanks. 5y
Moray_Reads @andrew61 It's in the grand tradition of heartbreaking Soviet literature, haunting but lovely 5y
batsy What a fascinating selection! Akhmatova, Beauvoir, and I've had that Klougart book on my TBR for awhile, I should get around to it. 5y
48 likes3 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Today's plan: read a good book, eat my feelings (the best vegan ice cream!!), cuddle under a comfy blanket & listen to Christmas music. #booksfixeverything #almost

melbeautyandbooks I like the way you think! 5y
BibliophileMomma Sounds like a great idea! 5y
Libby1 Sounds similar to what I've been doing. No good can come of me watching it or engaging with it today. 5y
See All 10 Comments
Suzze Love the name Nada Moo! 5y
Karen_V Always looking for a good vegan ice cream! Thanks for sharing 😃 5y
GlitteryOtters @Libby1 my thoughts exactly! 5y
GlitteryOtters @Karen_V it is really good! Coconut based, but without the coconutty aftertaste/sub flavor like the So Delicious coconut ice creams (my husband hates the flavor of coconut but misses the creaminess of dairy ice cream, so finding this was perfect for us). I first saw these out it CA a year or so ago, but our local Whole Foods only started carrying it recently, so I think it is still in the process of working its way into stores across the country. 5y
GlitteryOtters @Suzze tells you what you need I know at just a glance, right? 😂😂 5y
GlitteryOtters @Tiffness83 it is definitely the best way to keep my sanity! 5y
GlitteryOtters @melbeautyandbooks it is certainly doing the job! I've been trying to read this book slowly so I can savor it (it is a really good book), but I decided today I'll binge on it and read as much as I want. It's keeping me from stressing/worrying too badly at the moment. 5y
41 likes10 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

I'm a bit minimalist when it comes to my #readingequipment. Cellphone & headphones--used either to listen to audiobooks, to listen to music while reading a physical book or, if ebook, used to read the book (usually while music plays on my headphones. My husband is a noisy sort & doesn't understand that I cannot read with Law & Order: SVU blaring away on his laptop 12 inches away from me). Optional winter equipment: warm & cozy blanket (see above)

CocoReads @GlitteryOtters when we first got married many moons ago, we were opposite in the noise department. I always had tv on (although more for background than to watch) and my husband always had to have quiet. I've discovered this winter though that except for sleeping, he cannot do quiet. If he's sitting down the tv must be on--usually at ear shattering volume. 5y
GlitteryOtters @CocoReads I just cannot tune out people talking...singing, yes, but talking I cannot tune out. It just makes me feel wildly overstimulated to have sentences pouring into my brain via both ears and eyes simultaneously. Plus, after years of service-related jobs I think my brain is just programmed to think that I have to pay attention to someone if they are talking (people would often walk up to you, not even address you or make sure you were... (edited) 5y
See All 7 Comments
GlitteryOtters @CocoReads ...listening and start barking out information you had to retain (nothing worse than shelving books or stocking grocery shelves and having someone stealth walk up on your back and start spouting a list of books or products they need, STAT. And they tend to get mad if you ask them to repeat any of it, or miss remembering one of the half dozen items they just spouted at you). I don't think I will ever be able to untrain my brain. 5y
CocoReads Yep-I used to be in the service industry too. And there's a day care in my church where I work now. When I get home I just want some quiet. 5y
ChasingOm ❤ the Tardis blanket! 5y
GlitteryOtters @ChasingOm it was definitely one of my best wedding gifts! 5y
44 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

This is where (and how) I read in bed...usually with the curtain on my side of the bed wide open & with a dog companion on the other side of the bed (sometimes there is a husband there instead, but since he insists on watching loud tv shows or off key YouTube musicians without headphones when he is there, I typically don't read in bed when he is in bed. The dogs are, thankfully, much quieter). 💕📚💕#photoadaynov16

LauraBeth 🐶❤️️ 5y
RealLifeReading I love your shelves in the room and what a beautiful dog! 5y
Bklover Cozy!!! Love it! 5y
See All 7 Comments
LeahBergen ❤️❤️❤️ 5y
CocoReads Lovely! 5y
GlitteryOtters @RealLifeReading this is my favorite room in the house! We've only had those two bookcases there for the past 4 years. Before we did that, it was a nice room, but nothing special, and I was constantly rearranging furniture to try to figure out how to make the room better. Once we put those bookcases in, it was like suddenly the room was absolutely perfect! I haven't felt the need to change anything in this room since then. 💕📚💕 5y
60 likes7 comments
blurb
vivastory
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

#SetInEasternEurope
Tatyana Tolstaya is related to Tolstoy & she is a damn fine writer.

19 likes2 stack adds
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

The references to the Gingerbread Man story in this book keep making me think of when my 12 year old dog was a young lady. She had this Gingerbread Man toy she was obsessed with. When you squeezed it, it said "Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!". She was obsessed with squeezing it immediately after the toy said "run, run", so we had this never ending loop of a toy yelling "run, run! Run, run!" In our house ?

GlitteryOtters Totally unimportant, but the references to the story keep making me smile, remembering how obsessed she was with making her toy say the same two words over...and over...and over again for HOURS. I love how crazy dogs are. 😂😂 5y
Zelma 😂😂🐶 5y
LeahBergen Silly dogs. My dog used to have a plush cell phone that rang. He always brought it around when we had company and had everyone reaching for their phones when he bit it. It was fun to say, "Never mind that ... it's just Charlie's cell". ? 5y
GlitteryOtters @LeahBergen oh man, if we'd only had a toy like that...! Miss Clara Bow (aforementioned dog) would do the exact same thing! 😂😂 5y
25 likes4 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Time for a little reading in between taking in the view outside my train window. 💕📖 🚂

LeahBergen Cozy!!! 5y
scripturient This looks like a lovely, private space! :) 5y
See All 7 Comments
8little_paws So jealous! 5y
Lynnsoprano Love traveling by train! 5y
GlitteryOtters @8little_paws @Lynnsoprano so, we need to have a Litsy meet up on a cross country train, just take over an entire sleeper compartment & occasionally meet & eat, but mostly just read and enjoy the scenery 😂 5y
34 likes7 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

A few shots from California (upper left), Nevada (upper right & lower left) & Utah (lower right).Almost to Colorado!💕🚂📚💕

8little_paws Looks awesome!! 5y
krismlars Welcome to Colorado! 5y
Dragon Great photos! 5y
See All 7 Comments
GlitteryOtters @krismlars thank you! It is such a beautiful state (if I didn't live in Michigan, it would be a toss up between Colorado or New York state) 5y
GlitteryOtters @8little_paws it is so very awesome! 💕 5y
GlitteryOtters @dragon thank you!! It's hard to get good shots sometimes when you are trying to photograph between window smudges on a moving train! 😂😂 5y
Dragon What an adventure! I liked the photo of your compartment 🚂 5y
30 likes7 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

This morning's view in Green River, Utah. Eating vegan cheese sandwiches for breakfast, reading my book & enjoying the train view. 🚂

LauraBeth Beautiful country 😀 5y
GlitteryOtters @LauraBeth the views on this train are amazing! 💕 5y
30 likes2 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

2.5 day Amtrak train ride homeward, starting off the trip by continuing a good book. 👍👍

8little_paws Have a great trip! Hope you have a nice view! 5y
GlitteryOtters @8little_paws the view is sooo nice...I've been taking tons of snapshots. I'll probably post some of the best collaged together periodically throughout the trip. 💕 5y
LeahBergen This trip sounds like it's going to be a ton of fun. Enjoy! 5y
GlitteryOtters @LeahBergen thank you! It is definitely fun (and a good way to catch up on podcasts & books!). 5y
29 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Ok, Littens...I don't know how much longer I can keep reading for the #readathon as this photo shows you how I feel right about now, but I'm going to head to bed with a good book & will do at least a little more reading. I know #deweysreadathon still has several more hours, but I need to make sure I get some quality sleep tonight before I start my 2.5 day cross country train trip. Happy reading to those who are soldiering on into the wee hours!📚

Sydsavvy Lol me too 😲😲😲 5y
DebinHawaii Great job! Sleep well! 👍😀😴 I fell asleep reading but going to try to stay awake the last couple of hours. 5y
OceanCityMama Safe travels!! Thanks for readathoning with us. 🎉 5y
45 likes3 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Plan for the rest of tonight: more of The Slynx paired with vanilla bean nutmeg bubble bath & 🛀! 🙌 #HelloOctober #readathon

melbeautyandbooks Sounds heavenly! 5y
GlitteryOtters @melbeautyandbooks it was! And so relaxing. 5y
32 likes2 comments
blurb
GlitteryOtters
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
post image

Look what arrived!! The book @Liberty recommended for me...! Of COURSE it arrived 6 days before I leave home for 3 weeks. Do I a) try to read it quickly before I leave b) take it with me (even though I don't have room in my luggage because I have to bring a bunch of my own food for the first 9 days because low sodium vegan food is hard to find in/near Disneyland) c) read it when I get home? What do you think, Littens?(Not available on audio/ebook)

LeahBergen Hmm.. It's less than 300 pages. I think you can do it before you leave! 😃 5y
britt_brooke Binge read. Go!! 😁😉 5y
SusanInTiburon Okay, not with that book, but my sister and I used to tear paperbacks into chunks for sharing and abandoning on trips. 5y
See All 6 Comments
GlitteryOtters @LeahBergen @britt_brooke I will try, but it looks pretty dense, not a quick read! Fingers crossed that I can finish it in time! 5y
GlitteryOtters @SusanInTiburon I know a lot of people who do that with mass market paperbacks and all, but I just can't do it. I was raised with an extreme reverence for books & I know it is practical (especially with battered books bought for next to nothing from the used bookstore), but I just have a mental hang up & totally can't do it 😂😂 5y
SusanInTiburon @GlitteryOtters I totally get it! Looks like a book worth taking time over; hope you love it. 5y
29 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
Babs_book_obsession
The Slynx | Jamey Gambrell, Tat?i?a?na Tolstai?a?
Pickpick

First rate, weird, post-apocalyptic and Russian, need I go on?