A review of the novel, “The Ivankiad”, by Vladimir Voinovich.
This paper reviews the novel “The Ivankiad”, by Vladimir Voinovich. A synopsis of the novel is given, highlighting how the plot illustrates the faults inherent in any bureaucratic system. An analogy about territorial claims is analyzed and the author’s skillful use of humor, sarcasm, and satire to convey his feelings on his personal experiences is raised. Insights into human character and interpersonal relationships is also explored.
The Ivankiad is Vladimir Voinovich’s semi-autobiographical, satirical novel about Soviet bureaucracy and interpersonal politics. Voinovich as the protagonist is a writer living in the Moscow Writers’ Housing Cooperative, a profession-centered collective. When a member of the co-op moves to Israel, his empty apartment becomes the object of personal and political struggle. Voinovich, already hardened by the foibles of the soviet system, further exposes these bureaucratic improprieties to the peripheral characters as well as to the readers of the Ivankiad. The author does so with aplomb and good humor, never waxing bitter even in the face of these frustrations. Because no culture is immune to governmental deficiencies and corruption and because bribery and extortion are human, not Russian traits, all readers can relate to the Ivankiad. In fact, Voinovich deliberately makes references to American culture to emphasize parallels between the two societies
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