Fardwor, Russia! A Fantastical Tale of Life Under Putin

by Oleg Kashin


Fiction from Restless Books
Translated from Russian

The forces of science, human error, and power run amok collide in a wildly inventive, funny, and razor-sharp political satire about Putin’s Russia, from one of the country’s most fearless journalists.

SKU: 106 Category:


  • Dimensions: 5″ x 7-1/8″
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781632060396
  • Publisher: Restless Books

When a scientist experimenting on humans in a sanatorium near Moscow gives a growth serum to a dwarf oil mogul, the newly heightened businessman runs off with the experimenter’s wife, and a series of mysterious deaths and crimes commences. Fantastical, wonderfully strange, and ringing with the echoes of real-life events, this political parable fused with science fiction has an uncanny resonance with today’s Russia under Putin.

Oleg Kashin is a notorious Russian journalist and activist who, in 2010, two months after he’d delivered the manuscript of this book to his publishers, was beaten to within an inch of his life in an attack with ties to the highest levels of government. While absurdly funny on its face, Fardwor, Russia! A Fantastical Tale of Life Under Putin is deadly serious in its implications. Kashin’s experience exemplifies why so few authors dare to criticize the state—and his book is a testament of the power of literature to break the bonds of power, corruption, and enforced silence.

 Now in English translation, Fardwor, Russia! is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary Russia or the hilarious and frightening follies of power.


“A brisk read that will nevertheless leave one with a disquieting picture of contemporary life in that cursed country.… The book is a hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of a country whose demons rarely pause in tormenting its populace, as its author found out before it was even published.”

The Chicago Tribune

“In Fardwor, Russia!, Kashin succeeds at depicting the absurdity and corruption of 21st-century Russia.”

The Dallas Morning News

“Compelling and gruesome… Excellent translation… Its plot is rewardingly absurd… Enjoyable.”


“The journalist Kashin has made his fiction debut with a highly topical satirical fiction… The feeling of listless absurdity that the author captures in his novel doesn’t summon any anger, but better than anything else reflects the prevailing atmosphere.… A documentation of our times, dressed in the circus costume of fantasy, written by one of our era’s most eloquent and inquisitive witnesses.”

TimeOut St. Petersburg

“An enjoyable satire… A fine little novel.”

The Complete Review

“Kashin’s short tale swings from being laugh-out-loud funny to saddening.… An entertaining afternoon read.… Clear-headed and unrelenting satire.”

Worlds Without End

“A fierce political satire skewering [Kashin’s] homeland.… Both acidulous and wildly entertaining; Gary Shteyngart fans will embrace.”

Library Journal

“Readers interested in contemporary Russia or satire need to read this book; those interested in a fun novel can enjoy this title of Soviet science fiction and its style.”

New York Journal of Books

“The ridiculous sci-fi dystopia nestled within the garish pink cover bares more than a slight similarity to Russia under Putin and, with new stories of corruption in the Kremlin making the front page of international news sites each month, it has never been more topical.… Fardwor, Russia! is wonderfully strange and fantastically frightening, a gruesome yet hilarious tale of genetic engineering gone awry, combined with a grim political parable of the danger of power in the wrong hands. A ludicrous satire with a serious twist – Fardwor, Russia! is a must read those with an interest in Russian politics, or fans of science fiction that borders on the ridiculous.”

Engineering & Technology

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Dimensions 5 × 7.125 in
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