Andrey Rubanov. Great Dream

Author: Andrey Rubanov
Title: Great Dream

Year: 2007

The second novel from the author of sensational Do Time – Get Time , that was a real literary discovery of 2006 and made its author enter the rows of the most prominent writers of modern Russia. Great Dream has inherited all the virtues of Do Time – Get Time, but still proved to be made not by a talented beginner but by an established author, who has quite recognizable style. The material for the plot is the same – Rubanov’s own experience from the Russian 90ies. But no prison this time. Through the narration devoted to the life of a frank and not always successful guy (his name is –surprise!– Andrey Rubanov) a reader gets the subtly done dynamic image of post-Soviet Russia: from great and romantic dreams of the early 90ies to the money-based and cynic reality of the new millennium. Actually, Rubanov has written his own version of the recent Russian history that is shown through the story of the main character. The plot is quite hard to retell in a nutshell. It consists of many episodes involving many heroes. It is about how a young clever man tried to survive and earn money in the just collapsed USSR . About how he lost his best friend who was his guru and his boss. About how he faced all the difficulties of Russian life in the 90ies and managed not only to stay aloft but to become a rich man. About how he lost everything and had to begin anew. And how he can not make himself be as shit as it is required to win the natural selection in modern Moscow. Russia is changing, backgrounds are changing, Andrey is changing, being tempered by all the hardships. But gradually he understands that there are some values that prevail over everything else, and by the end through the mass of gleaming pictures a reader sees an honest and kind person full of love to his wife and son and ready to do everything to make them happy. What allowed Rubanov-author to create a multifaceted image is the half-mystical figure of the dead friend of Rubanov-character. This wise criminal, who was killed by some bandits just at the beginning of all the story, appears again – as a ghost, or as a fruit of Andrey’s imagination. And so we have the impressions of the person from the early Moscow 90ies who happened to find himself in 2005. Thus, even those, who have seen all the cultural and social development of Russia themselves, start realizing how much has changed during past 15 years. And how we have changed ourselves. This story is both sad and optimistic, naïve and wise. It provides a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with both modern Russian reality and one of the best Russian writers.