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- Published on Sunday, 12 February 2012 9:53 am
- Written by Seregil of Rhiminee
Graham Diamond's Chocolate Lenin will be published by Lion Books (New York) in May 2012.
Here's a short description of Chocolate Lenin:
The plot of Chocolate Lenin involves a crazed scientist in a chocolate factory recreating Lenin and restoring him to life. An elite but very quirky security team is formed to stop a new revolution from creating worldwide pandemonium and trouble.
More information about Graham Diamond can be found here.
A REVIEW OF GRAHAM DIAMOND'S CHOCOLATE LENIN
Before I write anything else, I'll mention that this review is based on the last draft of Chocolate Lenin before publisher editing, so this is more of a preview than an actual review. (I'll also mention that the ISBN-13 number for this book is: 978-0615594033.)
Chocolate Lenin is an interesting satire/fantasy/thriller set in the near-future Russia. It blends science fiction, adventure and thriller genres in an entertaining way (it's difficult to combine these different genres, but in this case everything works perfectly). It's a story about how a crazy scientist manages to recreate Lenin and what happens afterwards, when a special group tries to control things and stop a new revolution from happening. Chocolate Lenin is a humorous and different kind of a book, because Graham Diamond has a slightly twisted sense of humour.
Here's a bit of information about some of the characters and my thoughts about them:
- Vladimir (Vlad) Petrovsky works hard to get everything ready for the eagerly anticipated constitutional celebration of the democratic New Russian Federation. He has problems with his wife, because he works too hard.
- Boris Sokolov is an older man who tells Vlad about Dr. Mikhail Sunavich's work etc and asks Vlad's help. Boris and Vlad are old acquaintances (Boris has provided Vlad information on several government projects).
- Rabbi Asher Isaac Titlebaum is a physicist, who became a rabbi. He's a fascinating character.
- Alina Vera Galina is a scientist who has worked with Mikhail Sunavich and Asher Isaac Titlebaum. She's an interesting character, because she seems to be a bit reserved and suspicious about people around her.
- The American man, Floyd Dingus, is also an interesting character. He works for the Department of Agriculture and is sent to check the factory.
- Madam Zaza, the psychic, is also quite a character. Her brief apperance was memorable.
- The recreated Lenin is a fascinating character, because he has the same political views as the original Lenin. He's just a bit different kind of a character, because he isn't actually quite human.
The author has created believable and three-dimensional characters who have their own problems and motives, so the character development works nicely and supports the story. I especially liked the way the author wrote about Vlad's life. I also enjoyed reading about the relationship between Alina Vera and Vlad. The author handled it exceptionally well, because Alina Vera and Vlad were strangers when they met, but gradually they began to trust each other as well as they could.
The members of the special group are different from each other (some of them are quite quirky), but they all have to work together in order to succeed in their mission, so there's a bit of tension between them. This adds depth to the story.
Character interaction is good and the dialogues are believable (certain dialogues are a bit over-the-top, but that's a good thing, because this is a satirical book). The story flows nicely and it's difficult to stop reading it, because the author has several funny surprises in store for the reader.
Writing satirical speculative fiction can be a bit difficult, but fortunately there are authors who can write it and Graham Diamond seems to be one of these authors. Graham Diamond writes fluently and engagingly about different subjects from politics to social situations. I'm sure that the author's zany humour will delight several readers. I think it's nice that the author has chosen to write about the recreation of Lenin, because this subject gives him quite a lot of room to write richly and satirically about Russian way of life and culture.
There are several funny and memorable scenes in this book. For example, it was interesting to read about Ivan Pushkin's (a factory worker) encounter with the new Lenin. It was also delightful to read how the new Lenin had trouble getting out of the city and how he talked to strangers. The new Lenin's speeches were very interesting and amusing, because he spoke with heartfelt passion to his comrades. The conversations of the members of the special group were also entertaining (as an example I can mention that it was difficult not to laugh out loud when the members talked about the new Lenin's life force formulae).
I'm glad I had a chance to read Chocolate Lenin, because I enjoyed reading it. It was a nice surprise - the story fascinated me and I had to find out what happens at the end of the book. This book appealed to my sense of humour, because I've always liked good satirical fiction. It also made me want to read more books by Graham Diamond, because he seems to be a talented author (I'll try to read more of his books in the near future).
Chocolate Lenin is a unique and satirical look at Russian society, culture, media, life and politics. People who are familiar with Russian history and Russian way of life will probably get the most out of this book, but other readers will also like it, because the author writes fluently about the events (if you're not familiar with Russian history and Lenin etc, you may want to read this article). If you're interested in satirical speculative fiction and want to read something different, Chocolate Lenin is a fantastic book for you. This book can also be recommended to readers who aren't familiar with speculative fiction, because it will without a doubt appeal to readers who are interested in satirical and humorous books.