by Vladimir Sorokin
I've learned in recent years that if I want to find my next favorite book, it won't always be handily listed for me as a bestseller somewhere. Some readers go out of their way to read obscure authors, and pride themselves on the exclusivity. For me, it's not a question of how many people appreciate it, but whether it really will affect me the way I want it to, a breathtaking literary experience that I believe will one day join the classics everyone remembers but nobody actually reads, so that it will at least be listed better. 2666 and Your Face Tomorrow are just two of the books that have met that criteria for me. I came across Ice Trilogy as a listing in a trade publication while I was working at a bookstore, one of those catalogs that lists upcoming releases. You will note that you have probably not heard of Ice Trilogy outside of this post. It was never hailed widely as one of those important new books (2666 was, Your Face Tomorrow wasn't). It's a book that tries to do what all the big important books in the 19th century did, represent an entire era. A lot of American books in the last century tried to the American version of that, and most of those books are in fact regarded as classics, but most of them are better windows than doors. None of them are a Moby Dick or Brothers Karamazov. So you can imagine that I hope Sorokin pulled it off.