The latest addition to my website is Alla Gorbunova‘s Конец света, моя любовь It’s the End of the World, My Love). Gorbunova is primarily a poet and this is to a great extent a poet’s novel. We start with the unnamed female narrator telling various stories about life and her life in a post-Soviet small Russian town. Apart from her concern with the forthcoming end of the world, the main features seem to be alcohol, drugs, violence, casual sex and debauchery. The older people try in vain to control it. However we move on to more fanciful and imaginative stories where Gorbunova’s poetical skills are to the fore. Some are linked to the characters in the earlier part, many are not and she uses magical realism, horror, myth/legend/fairy tales and her lively imagination to give us a series of strange and fascinating tales, before telling us a bit of her family history – her family, as you might imagine are not entirely conventional. Often you do not know what is coming next and this is part of the charm of the book . Overall it does not exactly paint a flattering traitor of Putin’s Russia but gives us a wonderful evocation of it as seen through a poet’s eyes.