Very interesting to say the least. i have read a lot of soviet SF in the past and there are some similarities in this to those, but not many. Mainly it struck me that this novel couldn't have been written in the West, it had to come from someone inside soviet/communist bloc. But what set it apart from other Soviet literature was that the characters had more "life" to them, they weren't all as beat down as the system they were living within. I kind of think this book wouldn't have seen the light of day if the author had been living in the Soviet Union, just too many things that would be uncomfortable and embarassing to let loose. Not only did the book deal with the lack of freedom, the downfalls of communism (indirectly - not stated as such), and its effects on people, but it also looked behind the curtain and you saw the kind of corruption that exists at all levels. Really something else. And the Alice in Wonderland reference was good - similar to but better played than the Matrix (years later).
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