Kangaroo

Kangaroo - Yuz Aleshkovsky, Tamara Glenny I was attracted by the idea of this novel. Then I was stopped in my tracks by the synopsis on the back. It says "metaphysical terror." I don't like metaphysical terror. But OK, I wanted to see what it was up to, so I decided to read it anyway. And I do have some friends who like metaphysical terror, so maybe I'd read it and even if I didn't like it, I'd be able to recommend it to them. But the novel is not at all terrifying.

The protagonist is a a petty crook, and proud of it. When faced with an alarming series of events that are so absurd they could only be stalinism, he employs a really very effective and ridiculous coping mechanism. He takes them seriously. He not only admits to a crime that he did not commit(raping and murdering a kangaroo in the moscow zoo, sometime between the years 1796 and 1904), but he finds a way to make himself culpable for it, thus effectivly keeping control over his life, squalid and humiliating though it may be. Sometimes the character almost seems crazy, but when looked at in the light of the absurd-but-true events surrounding him, he comes off as incredibly sane.