Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Book Review - Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

I have to confess that I have tried on a few occasions to read Metro 2033 and didn't get past the few pages. It just felt a bit dull., However I recently completed the games and I enjoyed the storylines in those so thought I should give the original material another try. I'm very glad I did as it's fantastic read and illuminated aspects that were skimmed over in the game. Although the shift from first person in the game to third person in the book felt a bit weird :-)

It's a post apocalyptic tale of the survivors of Moscow living in the metro after a global nuclear war. It's an idea that works well with the stations being centres of civilisation amid the horrors of the tunnels. There's a fascinating mixture of cultures within the population leading to conflict but also representing the various forms of politics from the Russian psyche. There's also some stunning folklore generated from these histories which provided a high point from the story.

I enjoyed the basic story and the journey through the metro. There's a good mix of characters in the story which also reflect the different philosophies of the survivors.The followers of the Great Worm was an interesting idea, and in some ways there's an element of many smaller stories coming together through he thread of Artyiom's quest to save his station.

It can be a little difficult judging a book that you don't read in its native language. I did wonder if some of the nuances were lost in translation. The form of the language is quite dense and archaic in places, although after a couple of chapters I settled into the style and it was fine.

The ending deserves a mention. While it did feel a bit abrupt in the way everything coalesced into a single point, but it was also an interesting and thought provoking ending. In summary this is an excellent story with some strong horror elements and a slightly different post apocalyptic world.

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The civilization most northern outpost, a lonely metro station, attacked by mysterious creatures that somehow have awoken in the recent war. The world lies in ruins, the surface is contaminated, and a prey to the sun's deadly rays. One last human remnant have sought protection in the Metro, the world's largest nuclear bomb secure bunker, where stations have been transformed into small city states with their own ideologies and governments.

Everywhere there is a constant struggle for living space, water filters, electric heaters and fungal cultures, all while darkness and terror reigns in the tunnels.

A young man is forced out on a dangerous journey through the subterranean maze of tunnels, shafts and sidings, where nobody knows what to expect around the next corner.

(This translation originally copyrighted in 2009).


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