S. N. U. F. F. by Victor Pelevin - Shastrix Books

S. N. U. F. F.

S. N. U. F. F.

ISBN: 9781473213036


Damilola Karpov is a pilot. Living in Byzantium, a huge sky city floating above the land of Urkaine, he makes his living as a drone pilot - capable of being a cameraman who records the events unfolding in Urkaine or, with the weapons aboard his drone, of making a newsworthy event happen for his employers: 'Big Byz Media'.

His recordings are known as S.N.U.F.F.: Special Newsreel/Universal Feature Film.

S.N.U.F.F. is a superb post-apocalyptic novel, exploring the conflict between the nation of Urkaine, its causes and its relationship with the city 'Big Byz' above. Contrasting poverty and luxury, low and high technology, barbarity and civilisation - while asking questions about the nature of war, the media, entertainment and humanity.

Reviewed on 31st July 2018

I picked up SNUFF cheap on the basis that the cover stood out a bit. I think I’ve seen it in shops before, but low cost books tend to lead to greater bravery. This time however it wasn’t a winner for me - I set it aside after 50 pages and didn’t feel any urge to go back.

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where mass media controls everything, and our main character is a film-maker who goes around inciting wars. He tells the story in from an unapologetic first person point of view that really alienated me as a reader.

The choice of language didn’t help. I’m not sure whether the author deliberately decided to make it hard to read, or if this is a side effect of the translation process. I struggle to absorb narratives that don’t have a good natural flow to them, and this didn’t, which really slows down my reading speed and thus my enjoyment of the story, which becomes plodding, awkward and a slow.

So this was a failed attempt at reading something new for me. I’m sure it won’t put me off though.

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