S.N.U.F.F.❰KINDLE❯ ❂ S.N.U.F.F. Author Victor Pelevin – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Damilola Karpov is a pilot Living in Byzantium a huge sky city floating above the land of Urkaina he makes his living as a drone pilot capable of being a cameraman who records the events unfolding in Damilola Karpov is a pilot Living in Byzantium a huge sky city floating above the land of Urkaina he makes his living as a drone pilot capable of being a cameraman who records the events unfolding in Urkaina or with the weapons aboard his drone of making a newsworthy event happen for his employers 'Big Byz Media'His recordings are known as SNUFF Special NewsreelUniversal Feature FilmSNUFF is a superb post apocalyptic novel exploring the conflict between the nation of Urkaina its causes and its relationship with the city 'Big Byz' above Contrasting poverty and luxury low and high technology barbarity and civilisation while asking uestions about the nature of war the media entertainment and humanity. If you haven't read Pelevin before this will seem fresh and strong If you have it might not The end result it all comes down to is good but I wish it didn't take such a long and winding route to get to itSNUFF tries to poke fun at everything that's currently wrong with society the fake media the political movements the idiocracy but does it in an incredibly cynical way and perhaps tries to poke at too many things? Every character is a caricature that's meant to disgust you as is every social structure Sad to say that even though Pelevin is a master at language he does this ever so tediously and maybe a tad too vulgarly Perhaps you shouldn't read than a certain number of his books because you'll get tired of the 'discourse' as he would say sooner or laterAnother thing is that even though you know the main character is supposed to be the most unreliable narrator ever and he's so full of it it's still pretty hard to deal with the cynicism misogyny and coldness displayed So a warning if you're LGBTIA feminist or just sensitive I suggest maybe giving this one a pass It's very cynical about A LOT of things and mostly minorities or the marginalized I don't think it's meant in a mean way it's probably just poking fun at the system but it will probably hurt you Part of the parody is the absolute objectification of a woman and even though I could see where he was going with this and why it didn't make it any easier to read Basically? If you don't have tough skin don't read this at all I've already read 2 books by Pelevin before I picked up this one And that made all the difference I feel like Pelevin writes the same book over and over again his stories have the same structure general outlines ideas and similar characters Only details and embellishments changeAt first I was entertained by his usual abundance of cultural references and satire but soon the deja vu started to wear on me The long philosophical monologues that blew my mind in his first book were now mildly boring I guess he just doesn't have anything new to say Despite the ironic subtitle ‘A Utopia’ I’m pretty sure ‘SNUFF’ turned up on my to read list via the dystopia keyword library search And for once I actually consider it to be a dystopia The setting is the vicinity of Siberia some hundreds of years in the future after nuclear war and climate change have apparently decimated the global population Those who remain are stratified into a literal underclass known as Orks and a privileged minority who live in Big Byz a sort of fancy space station floating in the atmosphere Periodically there are carefully stage managed and media friendly battles between the two in which the Orks fight with futile pre modern weapons and die in droves The narrator is a freelance cameraman who covers and participates in these wars; his drone cameras is fitted with plenty of missiles His narrative begins when he films an Orkish teenage couple for the run up to a planned battle which propels them to fame and gets him a paycheue Damilola the narrator and most of the characters have remarkably little agency in their own story however The vast majority of the book essentially consists of world building and uasi philosophical discussion of the implications thereof Only the last 15 pages of 470 introduce the possibility of change into this static worldIn principle I have no objection whatsoever to novels especially dystopian novels that place great emphasis on world building I think thoughtful world building that reflects on current social political or cultural issues is part of the definition of dystopia In this case however my two main reactions were a But where are you going with this? and b I’m missing something here The first was in response to the narrator’s role in introducing the Orkish couple and thus the reader to the privileged world of Big Byz full name Byzantion Many many pages are spent on tangents about how the world came to be like this not all of which had a clear point The stuff about GULAG being the euivalent of LGBT didn’t really go anywhere On the latter front I felt like something was being lost in translation ‘SNUFF’ is playful with language and rife with ironic puns which reminded me slightly of reading Andrei Platinov’s Happy Moscow Because that was written in the 1930s however it came it with explanatory notes In this case I felt like a sophisticated parody of Russia's media politics and culture was largely going over my head Of course a certain amount applies universally for example”Why did the wars start?” asked Grim“They started when the infomancers of one clan or another declared that someone else’s reality was pernicious They showed themselves movies about other people and then pretended that those were news worked themselves up into a frenzy and then started bombing those others”“And did people believe the news?”“Belief has nothing to do with it The picture that was created by the infomancers became the truth not because people believed in it but because it wasn’t safe to think any other way What people were expecting from information wasn’t the truth but a roof over their head The surest way was to join the most powerful tribe after learning to see the same visions as the infomancers saw Things were just calmer that way” The use of linguistic world building was interesting in particular the use of the same word ‘manitou’ for god money and computer screen I was happy to just roll with this and wonder what significance it had in Russian so felt a little disappointed when it was over? explained”In ancient times” he said “people believed that the screen of an information terminal glowed because a special spirit descended into it They called the spirit ‘Manitou’ That’s why they called the screen a ‘monitor’ ‘illuminated by Manitou’ And in Church English the word for manitou is ‘money’ that’s what it was originally The prescriptions of Manitou explain it like this”The Slavoj Žižek reference was great though ‘This zhizhek seemed to carry a semantic loading almost greater than that of the words themselves’ And I loved this bit of dialogue”Grim” she asked “Do you believe in love at first sight?” “I don’t know” said Grim “I believe in death at first sight I know for certain that happens But I’ve only read about love at first sight” This is a dialogue heavy book which can be both a strength and a weakness The most appealing parts for me were the arguments between Damilola and his sex doll Kaya about whether she is conscious He says she isn’t; she says neither of them are because consciousness doesn’t really exist She was the only character in the book with actual agency which made up to some extent for the narrator’s depressing misogyny I’m pretty sure the sexism was making a point here rather than reflexive; that makes it less depressing to read but still depressing Overall I found ‘SNUFF’ smart yet stolid in part because I lacked Russian context and in part because it’s very light on plot Pelevin strikes me as an intriguing writer though so I’ll see if the library has any of his other books First I was a little disappointed You know I really like other books of Pelevin but it was like Yeah yeah he's just another one imperial guy who calls ukrainians orks created just to be hated But I kept reading and then new and new horizons was appearing like flashes of light in my brain And then was this unexpectedly bright finish part like a light of Monitu I don't know maybe I can call it a catharsis but it feels almost like I was imagined a buddhist enlightenment Yeah too much pathos I knowThis book helped me organize my mind in a clearly structured picture or I just like to think so In any case it's really worth readingP S sorry for my lame saint English This is a 'hard sci fi' book but while I'm up for a bit of a challenge this book is verging so much on non sensical that I actually found it to be unreadable I do not speak Russian and only have access to the translated text so I am uncertain as to how much of this is due to the translation Whilst there are certainly a number of made up or amalgamated words like 'discoursemonger'; one who stirs up discord amongst the people the real confusion comes from recognisable words from 'Ancient Times' our present that are substituted to mean something else There are people called Torn Durex reference to things called sputniks still not sure what these are Manitou can mean 3 things God computer money etc etcThere was also an overly cynical and slightly problematic tone to this book that I just didn't like For example the author taking a jab at overzealous feminists raising the age of consent to 46 and philophiles defined as those who are sexually attracted to dolls but that would be a pediophile so it's not even correct being given eual rights to heterosexuals and homosexuals The usual stuff about society being so shallow sex obsessed all media coverage is evil blah blah blah is just so overdone and predictable now and not in my opinion accurate The initially interesting elements regarding the fusion of the military and the media and Big Byz the 'offworld' Byzantion supposedly a satire of modern day Russia and its warmongering in the technologically disadvantaged Urkaina comparisons to Ukraine are easy to make were actually some of the dullest and opaue parts of the bookReading it is like pulling teeth and I just find my mind just drifting over the words not actually taking any interest in what is being said There is no plot and no characters worth paying attention to so sadly I have to put this book down and move on to something else Not my cup of teaNote I wrote this review late at night in a kind of stream of consciousness fashion so apologies if it's difficult to follow; I appreciate the irony That being said I still think my review is easier to follow and makes sense than this book One of the better ones by him Two big themes are explored in parallel the usual clever analysis of media ideology brainwashing and the politics of submission and a nuanced AI flavored relationship with a custom built and highly configurable bio robot The exploration of the latter is what made the book worthwhile for me think of Spike Jonze's 'Her' but in a full bodied and very hot manifestation As you can imagine configuring your girlfriend for uber high I and spirituality while maximizing her manipulative skills subliminal and otherwise Kahneman on steroids may end up pretty badly for you Once you blur the lines between manipulator and manipulatee all sorts of interesting things can happen NB English edition First Pelevin I've read and probably the first contemporary Russian SF I've read Rampant deeply unpleasant misogyny and hate for other groups endless speeches to the reader Some interesting ideas rather ham fistedly put across and some fun playing with language that must have given the translator fits Reminds me of early 90s Western SF maybe early Zindell? Very disappointing It should have been a comics rather than a novel It would have been much effective SNUFF is great I simply adore Pelevin's feminine characters Very fresh and sharp I wish I read this first and then IFuck I heard some women got insulted by this book for a particular insult of women nature or something Totally disagree in my opinion it's very flattering for women Bitchy women smart women independent straightforward and irresistible And Pelevin is such a fierce romantic This particular book explained me much about my life Thanks Viktor Olegovich

Hardcover  ô S.N.U.F.F. eBook ¿
  • Hardcover
  • 480 pages
  • S.N.U.F.F.
  • Victor Pelevin
  • English
  • 10 March 2016
  • 9781473213029