Monumental Propaganda by Vladimir Voinovich

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From Vladimir Voinovich, one of the great satirists of contemporary Russian literature, comes a new comic novel about the absurdity of politics and the place of the individual in the sweep of human events.

Monumental Propaganda, Voinovich’s first novel in twelve years, centers on Aglaya Stepanovna Revkina, a true believer in Stalin, who finds herself bewildered and beleaguered in the relative openness of the Khrushchev era. She believes her greatest achievement was to have browbeaten her community into building an iron statue of the supreme leader, which she moves into her apartment after his death. And despite the ebb and flow of political ideology in her provincial town, she stubbornly, and at all costs, centers her life on her private icon.

Voinovich’s humanely comic vision has never been sharper than it is in this hilarious but deeply moving tale–equally all-seeing about Stalinism, the era of Khrushchev, and glasnost in the final years of Soviet rule. The New York Times Book Review called his classic work, The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, “a masterpiece of a new form–socialist surrealism . . . the Soviet Catch-22 written by a latter-day Gogol." In Monumental Propaganda we have the welcome return of a truly singular voice in world literature.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Vladimir Voinovich

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Vladimir Voinovich is also the author of Pretender to the Throne: The Further Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, The Fur Hat, Moscow 2042, The Anti-Soviet Soviet Union, The Ivankiad, and In Plain Russian: Stories. He lives in Munich.
Published December 18, 2007 by Knopf. 382 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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This frequently palls, but Voinovich offers a beguiling host of vividly imagined supporting characters, including Aglaya’s nemesis Shubkin, a labor camp survivor and novelist (and Solzhenitsyn caricature) whose inflammatory novella The Timber Camp makes him both famous and notorious;

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The New York Times

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The Stalin-loving protagonist of Vladimir Voinovich's satirical novel has no use for wimps like Nikita Khrushchev.

Aug 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Monumental Propaganda

Publishers Weekly

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Voinovich is a self-consciously Gogolian writer, whose first novels, published during the 1970s, spiced the sometimes self-important prose (and posing) of the dissidents with a very earthy humor.

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