The Sad Detective (Russian: Печальный Детектив) is a story (a short novel) of notable Russian writer Viktor Astafyev. The novel was firstly published in January 1986 issue of Oktyabr magazine. The book shows the urban life in stagnation-era Soviet Union as seen by the protagonist, Russian policeman Soshnin. Main topics of the Sad Detective are criminality and deprivation of human beings. The setting is in two imaginary towns: Veysk and Khaylovsk. The work was written between 1982 and 1985. It was published in 1986, at the beginning of Perestroika. The critics had divided opinions on Astafyev's piece, mostly crediting the author with showing a realistic picture of the urban life in 1980s, but some also accusing the author of anti-intellectualism. The Encyclopædia Britannica characterises the novel as “a gruesome look at the alcoholism, violence, and animosity among Soviet people″.
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