The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin
The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur

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Synopsis

Victor Pelevin, the iconoclastic and wildly interesting contemporary Russian novelist who The New Yorker named one of the Best European Writers Under 35, upends any conventional notions of what mythology must be with his unique take on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. By creating a mesmerizing world where the surreal and the hyperreal collide, The Helmet of Horror is a radical retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur set in an Internet chat room. They have never met, they have been assigned strange pseudonyms, they inhabit identical rooms that open out onto very different landscapes, and they have entered a dialogue they cannot escape — a discourse defined and destroyed by the Helmet of Horror. Its wearer is the dominant force they call Asterisk, a force for good and ill in which the Minotaur is forever present and Theseus is the great unknown. The Helmet of Horror is structured according to the way we communicate in the twenty-first century — using the Internet — yet instilled with the figures and narratives of classical mythology. It is a labyrinthine examination of epistemological uncertainty that radically reinvents this myth for an age where information is abundant but knowledge ultimately unattainable.
 

About Victor Pelevin

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Victor Pelevin is one of Russia s most successful post-Soviet writers. He won the Russian Booker prize in 1993 Born on November 22, 1962 in Moscow, he attended the Moscow Institute of Power Engineering, and the Institute of Literature. He s now been published throughout Europe. His books include "A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia, Omon Ra", "The Blue Lantern", "The Yellow Arrow", and "The Hall of the Singing Caryatids". Andrew Bromfield is a founding editor of the Russian literature journal GLAS, and has translated into English works from authors as diverse as Tolstoy, Michael Bulgakov, and, more recently, Sergei Lukyanenko, whose NIGHT WATCH series has sold more than three million copies worldwide.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Canongate U.S.. 290 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Helmet of Horror

Kirkus Reviews

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Pelevin evidently enjoys himself more than most readers will, toying with theoretical possibilities while analyzing the nature of such mazes as that in an “amusement arcade,” the Roman catacombs, the gardens at Versailles, penitential labyrinths dug beneath churches and cathedrals and—of course—t...

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The Guardian

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The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin Canongate £12, pp274 Although the notion of a labyrinth has always exerted a hold on writers, modern experimentalists such as Borges have found themselves particularly drawn to its forks and turns, where ideas of multiplicity, circularity and loss of meaning...

Mar 19 2006 | Read Full Review of The Helmet of Horror: The Myt...

The Guardian

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The most authoritative version of the encounter occurs not in reality - if such a term may be applied to a book so determinedly indeterminate in its planes of action - but in a dream of Ariadne's, in which it is revealed that the masked figure is indeed the minotaur, and that his elaborate mask i...

Apr 22 2006 | Read Full Review of The Helmet of Horror: The Myt...

Publishers Weekly

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In the Greek myth, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos of Crete, falls in love with Theseus and helps him kill the fearsome Minotaur, a half-bull, half-human monster trapped in the center of a vast labyrinth.

Feb 20 2006 | Read Full Review of The Helmet of Horror: The Myt...

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