Day of the Oprichnik

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Day of the Oprichnik
Author Vladimir Sorokin
Original title День опричника
Den' oprichnika
Translator Jamey Gambrell
Country Russia
Language Russian
Publisher Zakharov Books
Publication date
2006
Published in English
2010
Pages 224
ISBN 5-8159-0625-5

Day of the Oprichnik (Russian: День опричника, Den' oprichnika) is a 2006 novel by the Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin. The narrative is set in the near future, when the Russian Empire has been restored, and follows a government henchman, an oprichnik, through a day of grotesque events. Sorokin in one of the later interviews[1] confessed that he did not anticipate his novel to come to life so true in many ways, even some subtle details, but rather wrote this book as a warning and "mystical precaution" against the state of events described in the storyline.

Reception[edit]

From the New York Times Book Review: "Sorokin’s pyrotechnics are often craftily twinned with Soviet-era references and conventions. The title and 24-hour frame of Day of the Oprichnik shout to mind Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962), an exposé of a Gulag camp that depicts an Everyman-victim who finds dignity in labor, almost like a Socialist Realist hero. But whereas Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece unintentionally demonstrated the deep impact that Soviet tropes had had on its author, Sorokin’s comic turn deliberately shows how Soviet and even Old Muscovy mentalities persist."

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