The Yellow Arrow by V. Pelevin
(New Directions Paperbook)

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Synopsis

Set during the advent of perestroika, a surreal, satirical novella by a critically acclaimed young Russian writer traces the fate of the passengers on The Yellow Arrow, a long-distance Russian train headed for a ruined bridge, a train without an end or a beginning—and it makes no stops. Andrei, the mystic passenger, less and less lulled by the never-ending sound of the wheels, has begun to look for a way to get off. But life in the carriages goes on as always. This important young Russian author's first American translation garnered rave reviews.
The main character, Andrei, is a passenger aboard the Yellow Arrow, who begins to despair over the trains ultimate destination and looks for a way out as the chapters count down. Indifferent to their fate, the other passengers carry on as usual — trading in nickel melted down fro the carriage doors, attending the Upper Bunk avant-garde theatre, and leafing through Pasternak’s Early Trains. Pelevin's art lies in the ease with which he shifts from precisely imagined science fiction to lyrical meditations on past and future. And, because he is a natural storyteller with a wonderfully absurd imagination. The Yellow Arrow is full of the ridiculous and the sublime. It is a reflective story, chilling and gripping.

 

About V. Pelevin

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He was born in Moscow. 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 May 1, 1996 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. 92 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Yellow Arrow

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While the Soviet space program, that repository of Party and national pride, provides Pelevin the setting for his satire of Communist-era Russia (see Omon Ra, above), he takes on contemporary Russia b

Apr 29 1996 | Read Full Review of The Yellow Arrow (New Directi...

Publishers Weekly

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In a starred review PW wrote that this Russian novella ""fuses pungent, visceral imagery reminiscent of Maxim Gorky with an absurdist comic outlook."" (May)

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From time to time, people escape the train's stifling communal space by climbing out onto the roof, where they communicate in wordless gestures.

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Reader Rating for The Yellow Arrow
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