When Joseph Stalin died in 1953, he was a moronic old man of seventy-four years, drawn by diseases, consumed by suspicion and hatred. Forty years earlier, he had called himself “Man of Steel”, with 49 he began to earn the worst connotations of this epithet, and eventually became one of the most inhuman and skrupellosesten mass murderers in world history. His regime cost many millions of lives. Influential circles ensure that he is highly regarded to this day with a good third of the Russian population.
Of the states and intrigue in the last phase of life of Stalin, who had “turned into a powerful and mysterious God” (Ilya Ehrenburg) says Christopher Wilson’s hilarious-todtraurige political satire ” The Zoo < ” Christopher Wilson:” The Zoo “on” Since Yuri age of six victims of a traffic accident was, he suffers from a cerebral trauma. He is epileptic, slow and forgetful, his face is disfigured. But it has a particular effect on the others. If they anstieren him and smile, Yuri grins back, and already they believe “kindness” in his eyes, to read “friendship from the slot” of his smiling mouth.
The honest, artless, clumsy beings provoked even strangers to confess his frank confessions widerwärtigster deeds ear. But its essence is different – “they confuse me with my face”
Juris father claims, “my appearance was an impostor, a shameless liar,” and “Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Neurology of the cerebral cortex. “doctor Roman Alexandrovich Zipit’ll know what he says. He lives with his son in a staff apartment in Hauptstadtzoo.
Five years after the birth of the child, Mama suddenly disappeared one day. Juri believes in the hopeful version that Dad tells him – Mom had for a few years on a research trip in the north – but a school friend tells him another truth: Mama was convicted socially dangerous “This-or-That” to eight years of forced labor Service. Of course, white dad that he always picked on, can be “suspicious” and thus found “guilty”. This deadly sword of Damocles dangling over every Russian subject, the most dangerous about the man who has “done nothing”.
But the men kidnap Papa are also in the hallway of the two Zipits (as with many citizens) two packed suitcase ready, and no one is surprised when one evening two secret agents almost down the door. Not in a police station but to a “late-night secret mission.” A particular patient urgently needs his help. While Dr. Zipit fills his instrument case, the two men wonder at the curious, grinning little “fool” and learn from the father that Yuri could not stay alone and would accompany him also as his trained assistant.
Everything follows, must be forgotten for their own safety forever, may never have happened. “In a place that does not exist”, meet the doctor and his son people who have never seen them. The patient is a very big shot: the “Comrade Elephant”, “very powerful, very wise and very friendly too, if he’s not angry is,” and he does not forget anything. After bad experiences with personal physician and other specialists ( “Zionist nationalists, most American spies”, which unfortunately all died or are in pre-trial detention) trusts the “Comrade Nobody-the-we-know” only to veterinarians.
Dr. Zipit examines the patient, who has nothing in common in his frailty and his ubiquitous public likeness, and his assistant records the rich findings: “atherosclerosis”, “dizziness”, “memory loss”, “temporary confusion,” “fits of anger and frustration” , high risk of recurrent ischemic attack. The doctor recommends a quiet lifestyle with no smoking, no alcohol. The signal words tear the sick from the camp, trigger a barrage of insults and foul language that literally killed the addressee and his son. Another “Zionist quack”! Who knows what dark cellar holes and brutal labor camp expect him now. However, is the sick Juris noticed stupid grin, and he orders, the “Puck” should remain. “He can bring me what will I have to care for me.”
Soon the twelve and a half years of Yuri wins the trust of the dwindling powerful dictator Josef Stalin, who gave him the important office of “food taster First Class” transfers. But his childishly naive belief that the “Steel” yes “only human was” that it was not easy, fades, given his experiences quickly and gives way to the realization of his true inhumanity. Almost every page confronted the reader relentlessly with the permanent oppression of merciless arbitrariness of a deadly regime. The initial amusement about cynical escalations and satirical exaggeration dies with every read passage must accept the one that it guaranteed nothing but historical, thousands-suffered reality leads in mind.
While the deceived people an end to the era Stalin can not even think to bring confidant of the “immortals” in the inner circle secretly to succeed him in position. Go huge risks, because the power and influence of the “Wodsch” are unbroken. Four-alike ( “Replacement Wodsch”), a ruthless and bestial than the other, surrounded the ruler to divert to attacks from his person, and all seek his life. Yuri them to eavesdrop and “steely” report what is happening behind his back. The doppelganger in turn knew only too happy that her boss and his “favorite idiot” talk when they are alone. And finally, the boy hopes to find himself something about the whereabouts of his parents. In this dangerous train to be constantly arrested in danger of Yuri knows durchzulavieren sent, because he has internalized all of the many concrete advice of his father: remain silent, to make stupid, do not tell jokes, as often as possible to go to the bathroom, never his mind manifest
Stalin’s dramatic life end designed Christopher Wilson according to the real process -. a long night with plenty of food and alcohol closest confidants, one stroke, the absence of any help for fear of the supposedly one noise ausschlafenden tyrants to awaken and trigger a tantrum, the futile effort to save the dying. But in a cynical nod to the immortality myth that has been dangled before the Russian population, Wilson modifies the symbolic death of the “Wodsch” the victim was his own terror, by a so amusing as monstrous fictional version. His sympathetic, courageous and refined hero saves the author, however, nothing he does not begrudge even a tolerable end.
Christopher Wilson is a master British writer specialties such as irony and understatement ( “Hunger is also not funny “), which manages the feat, the inconceivably brutal reality at the end of the Stalin era clever one in all its pain and hopelessness in a witty satirical fiction told from the perspective of making physically impaired child to life. His father says, “This is how history, especially Slavic history, because things in an instant from bad to worse and from worse to worse It’s can not develop here.” Perhaps something to bear with sarcasm.