Andriy Lyubka: Карбід (Carbide)

The latest addition to my website is Andriy Lyubka‘s Карбід (Carbide). This is a very funny novel whose hero is the naive, drunken idealist Mykhailo ‘Tys’ Chvak who lives in the fictitious Ukrainian town of Vedmediv, close to the Hungarian border. Tys comes up with an idea of digging a tunnel between Vedmediv and Hungary to ‘euro-integrate’ Ukraine and enlists other people, all of whom are engaged in illegal smuggling of one kind or another. They see the tunnel as a way to enhance their businesses. As the tunnel is built, the naive Tys, modelled on Voltaire’s Candide is seen as something of a problem by his other corrupt but more practical partners. While mildly mocking Russia (the Bear Empire), it shows Ukraine as a totally corrupt country with only the odd naive idealist like Tys.

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