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Vita Nostra af S. S. Dyachenko M. Yu.…
Indlæser...

Vita Nostra (original 2007; udgave 2007)

af S. S. Dyachenko M. Yu. Dyachenko (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
8313326,671 (3.86)17
"Vita Nostra" -- a cross between Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" and Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian" [...] is the anti-Harry Potter you didn't know you wanted." -- The Washington Post "Vita Nostra has become a powerful influence on my own writing. It's a book that has the potential to become a modern classic of its genre, and I couldn't be more excited to see it get the global audience in English it so richly deserves." -- Lev Grossman Best Books of November 2018 -- Paste Magazine The definitive English language translation of the internationally acclaimed Russian novel--a brilliant dark fantasy combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way. Our life is brief . . . Sasha Samokhina has been accepted to the Institute of Special Technologies. Or, more precisely, she's been chosen. Situated in a tiny village, she finds the students are bizarre, and the curriculum even more so. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep the students in line, the school does not punish them for their transgressions and failures; instead, it is their families that pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear, Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want. A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence, filtered through a distinct Russian sensibility, this astonishing work of speculative fiction--brilliantly translated by Julia Meitov Hersey--is reminiscent of modern classics such as Lev Grossman's The Magicians, Max Barry's Lexicon, and Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale, but will transport them to a place far beyond those fantastical worlds.  … (mere)
Medlem:MorbidLibrarian
Titel:Vita Nostra
Forfattere:S. S. Dyachenko M. Yu. Dyachenko (Forfatter)
Info:Eksmo (2007)
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Værk information

Vita Nostra af Sergey Dyachenko (Author) (2007)

Indlæser...

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» Se også 17 omtaler

Engelsk (31)  Ungarsk (1)  Russisk (1)  Alle sprog (33)
Viser 1-5 af 33 (næste | vis alle)
Reviewers cannot resist linking Marina and Sergey Dyachenko’s Vita Nostra with Harry Potter, but they usually have to settle for something like Harry Potter as written by Tolstoy, or better, Harry Potter as written by Kafka.
Connections with HP are ready to hand. There is a girl, Sasha, who is repeatedly told she is special. And there is a magic school with teen romance. Students there learn a brand of magic, are transformed, grow wings, and learn to fly, but such connections mislead.
The Institute for Special Technologies in the village of Torpa is no Hogwarts. Its tawdry campus is symbolically located on a street named for Sacco and Vanzetti, the anarchist Italian immigrants who were executed for murder in America after a trial that was a travesty of justice.
None of the Institute students are there by choice. They seem abused, downtrodden, and desperate. The professors routinely use threats and intimidation to achieve their educational ends, which are concealed from the students until the final high-stakes matriculating exam.
The creepiness starts right away. Sasha is recruited by a Svengali who tells her she must swim naked to a buoy each morning before dawn. When she gets home, she vomits gold coins containing the Institute’s logo. Failure might endanger her or her family.
What it has to say about adolescence is darkly Jungian. As a critique of education, it suggests quite literally that it turns students into abstractions that rob them of their humanity. I am too uninformed to say what it says about Russian-Ukrainian politics. ( )
  Tom-e | Apr 24, 2024 |
È stato faticoso leggerlo, ho dovuto intervallare con altri libri per alleggerirlo, è stato un viaggio in una torbida melassa. Non so se l'ho capito appieno o se c'è una mancanza di fondo, ma... bello, a modo suo. ( )
  ravendubh | Dec 21, 2023 |
A reread for my book club

I loved the book the first time I read it, a long time ago. I was overwhelmed, as in ”what is this???” and ”this is the weirdest book I’ve ever read!” But you never reread the same book, because you are not the same reader. So, I am not overwhelmed now, yet the book is brilliant and I see things I hadn't seen before and my thoughts on the reread were not the same.

Your regular ordinary world is slowly turning into a strange, nightmare one. I loved how it was done in the first pages.

This novel is an ode to the power of language and symbols, the gorgeousness and the horror of it. It is about finding meaning in chaos and darkness, through language.

The horrible things done to the students and the manipulation hit me very hard this time. I wonder if only someone who has lived through oppression and experienced a totalitarian society in all its ghastliness and absurdity could have imagined this world. I kept thinking about all the beautiful young things burning so bright, and those who would step on them and twist, twist, twist, until people are remade to suit somebody else.

Towards the end of the book, I started wondering about those text fragments that coalesced out of chaos (this is the power of the reread!). So I googled one of them and found Aristotle ☺ It warmed my heart, of course.

I must confess that I did not understand the ending on the first read. That’s because I swallowed the book whole, dived into it, and then came up gasping for air, wondering what just happened. This time: the oppressors of any kind would have you believe that Love = Fear. The ending is Sasha’s answer to that, and it is full of courage and brilliance.

That quote at the end is from the Gospels. Oh.
( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
I read reviews that call this book the greatest fantasy novel ever, and, while I don't personally agree with that, there is definitely a lot to like ---the gradual reveal about the Institute for Special Technologies, Sasha's emotional and physical development and the other "changes" she goes through, the deeply drawn and interesting characters that were her teachers and classmates, her connection and disconnection to and from her family, and the connection to the systems of language --- all added up to an intriguing and enjoyable book. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was excellent. ( )
  Bebe_Ryalls | Oct 20, 2023 |
This was another one of my series-sampling audio listens, to see if I might want to pursue it in print someday. The verdict: ???!

Audio Narration
The narrator is Jessica Ball. I thought her narration worked really well for this story, although it might have grated on me in a different story if she’d used the same tone. She spoke in a light, almost overly cheerful type of tone that somehow enhanced the darkness of the story.

I think the only complaint I had with the audio format had nothing to do with the narrator, but probably with the editing. There needed to be longer pauses between section breaks. It was jarring at times the way the story flowed from one section to another. Sometimes the only way I knew there had been a section break was because the story unexpectedly shifted in time.

Story
I can’t explain much about this story without revealing too much and spoiling the fun of discovery. Things are happening to the main character that she doesn’t understand and we learn more about what’s going on along with her. The story is told from the perspective of Sasha, a girl in her mid to late teens at the start of the book. It starts off with her on vacation with her mother at a beach. She encounters a creepy man who seems to be stalking her. When she fails to evade him, he demands that she accomplish a strange and seemingly pointless task. If she refuses to comply, Sasha knows something terrible will happen. Things get stranger from there.

In some ways this story was really very repetitive. It’s most obvious at the beginning, when Sasha is completing tasks, yet I didn’t get bored with it because I was very curious to see where things were going. Later, at the school, it also got quite repetitive in the sense that Sasha tended to follow the same patterns in the way she dealt with what was going on. That started to wear on me a little. But overall the story held my interest well and kept me curious to learn more.

Things fell apart for me toward the end. A big premise of the story is that it’s impossible for the people who know what’s going on to explain anything of substance to the people like Sasha who are still in the dark. This of course frees the authors to not have to explain anything substantial to the reader if they so choose, and I felt like this was what happened here. It was all quite nebulous and metaphorical, which is something I tend not to have a lot of patience with. I like more solid plots, whether intricate or simple, and I like all the puzzle pieces to fit together by the end and form a clear picture in my head, regardless of whether the author explains to me what the picture is supposed to be or leaves me to infer it on my own. I was particularly unsatisfied by the abrupt and ambiguous ending.

Maybe reading this in print would add greater clarity than what I got by listening to an audiobook, but I suspect in this case I would have had a similar reaction in print. There is another related book published, so maybe that answers some questions. This was originally published in Russian. The original series has four books, but only the first and fourth have been translated into English. However, if I understand correctly, I believe the second and third aren’t directly related to Sasha’s story and the fourth book, which is translated, continues it.

I’m somewhat undecided on continuing this series in print someday, but I’m leaning toward no. It was interesting and held my interest, but it was ultimately unsatisfying. I suspect this is more a factor of the authors’ writing style than it is a matter of the story simply not being complete yet. I’m rating it at 3.5 stars and rounding down to 3 on Goodreads.

I was somewhat amused when I tried to listen to part of the audiobook during a road trip. I don’t do great with audiobooks while driving, so I only listened for maybe 30 minutes before I’d had enough and tried to switch back to music. And suddenly I felt as trapped as Sasha in my situation, because I could not get out of the audiobook. The car’s screen would claim I’d switched to FM, or whatever else I tried to switch to, and then the audiobook would keep playing. And playing. And playing. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the phone. It kept playing. And playing. And playing. I ultimately had to disconnect my phone from the car and let it sit for over a minute before I could reassert my own will about what I listened to in my car. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jul 21, 2023 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (2 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Dyachenko, SergeyForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dyachenko, MarinaForfatterhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hersey, Julia MeitovOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Weisz, GyörgyiOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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"Vita Nostra" -- a cross between Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" and Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian" [...] is the anti-Harry Potter you didn't know you wanted." -- The Washington Post "Vita Nostra has become a powerful influence on my own writing. It's a book that has the potential to become a modern classic of its genre, and I couldn't be more excited to see it get the global audience in English it so richly deserves." -- Lev Grossman Best Books of November 2018 -- Paste Magazine The definitive English language translation of the internationally acclaimed Russian novel--a brilliant dark fantasy combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way. Our life is brief . . . Sasha Samokhina has been accepted to the Institute of Special Technologies. Or, more precisely, she's been chosen. Situated in a tiny village, she finds the students are bizarre, and the curriculum even more so. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep the students in line, the school does not punish them for their transgressions and failures; instead, it is their families that pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear, Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want. A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence, filtered through a distinct Russian sensibility, this astonishing work of speculative fiction--brilliantly translated by Julia Meitov Hersey--is reminiscent of modern classics such as Lev Grossman's The Magicians, Max Barry's Lexicon, and Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale, but will transport them to a place far beyond those fantastical worlds.  

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