Vladimir Medvedev. Hunting with Kukuj

Author: Vladimir Medvedev
Title: Hunting with Kukuj

Year: 2007

This is a collection of stories that take place in some other world but it is too similar to ours to be treated as a total fiction. Everything that happens there could become a reality here – where absurd has been reigning for centuries. Why not a successful businessman fell in love with his dog and started pushing for a law making it possible to marry pets. And be sure, should one spend a proper sum of money and our conservative society would follow the details of this affair with pleasure. The problem is the businessman is killed and it proves that according to his will it is the dog who shell inherit his millions. Suddenly everybody understands that, taking into consideration the new law, she becomes to be one of the richest brides. The line of the newly appeared admirers is very long. Another story starts very naturally: an old man stops on a night road to give a lift to two suspicious lads. They at once start scaring him and soon do kill the ninny just for fun having proved to be hardcore criminals. The problems began when they start pulling the body out of the car: they get stuck to this. One of them recalls frightening tales of his grandma: about lipoons – terrible creatures who do stick to their victims and start sucking their life juices. Suddenly somebody starts roaring in the near forest. The body awakes quite scared and makes the guys go away as this is a terrible Kukuj who is hunting in the night forest. Something huge and terrible is chasing the old car where the three are frightened to death and still stuck to each other. The rescue is near – some motel welcomes them and closes the doors just in front of Kukuj’s nose. But it is too early to take a deep breath. In fact they have just been chased to become a meal at this fantastic place. The hosts are happy to catch a lipoon – a real delicacy for their restaurant. And Kukuj is used by the hunters of the beyond just as falcons in falconry. Medvedev as if is trying the reality, testing the limits of what is permissible. And he reaches the maximum possible tense in these attempts creating the frightening and vivid world. This world is born not just out of fantasy but is a product of that original mysterious horror that lives in each of us. This all gives critics a right to speak about a new Gogol introduced to the Russian literature.