Sunday, June 7, 2015

2015 NatsBest Goes to Nosov

Sergei Nosov won the 2015 National Bestseller Award today for his Фигурные скобки (Curly Brackets). Curly Brackets looked like a big NatsBest favorite after racking up a record-breaking 19 points in longlist tallies. Nosov felt due for a major award after having been a finalist for several prizes in recent years, with his Франсуаза, или Путь к леднику (Françoise Or the Way to the Glacier) and Тайная жизнь петербургских памятников (The Secret Lives of Petersburg Monuments).

After enjoying Nosov’s The Rooks Have Flown (previous post) and Member of the Society or a Time of Hunger (to come), I’m looking forward to Curly Brackets, which apparently concerns a Petersburg mathematician who goes to Moscow for a microwizard (micromagician?) convention. I'll add information on voting totals for the finals when the official report appears, but will note that three books shared second place in longlist voting, with six points: Oleg Kashin’s Горби-дрим (Gorby-Dream), Anna Matveeva’s Девять девяностых (Nine from the Nineties), and Alexander Snegirev’s Вера (Vera, a name and noun that translates as Faith).

I’ve only read one of the shortlisted books, and only in part: Snegirev’s Vera, which I liked very, very much but decided I’d rather read in book form, you know, with bound paper. Then again, reformatting might solve my problem, which involves an urge to take lots of notes: I’ve been increasing my electronic reading options and capabilities so I can read thousands of pages for the Big Book Award. One of those books is Matveeva’s Nine from the Nineties, which I’m already looking forward to after reading, last year, several stories from her previous collection, which was also a Big Book finalist.

Disclaimers: The usual.

Up Next: New York trip report, covering BookExpo America and the Read Russia Award. And two books: Eugene Vodolazkin’s Solovyov and Larionov, which I’ll start translating this summer, and the afore-mentioned Sergei Nosov’s Член общества, или Голодное время (something like Member of the Society or A Time of Hunger), the sad-but-funny story of a man’s life after selling all his Dostoevsky.


  1. "Gorby Dream" is quite good--I read it a few weeks ago. Hoping to read the Nosov soon, probably after the monumental effort of reading "Свечка"! Or maybe in between volumes of that.

    1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Gorby Dream, Chris T.! How goes Свечка? It's on my "read sooner" list because it's a Big Book finalist; I think I'm going to ask to have it sent in book form, though I'm going to check the dimensions first to be sure it's not one of those blocky Время books with dense text and small type size... if it is, PDF may be the way to go! The Big Book finalist list also includes the Rubina canary trilogy, which I seem to recall you've also been reading. That PDF has a more open layout so should be easier to read on a tablet/reader. (And the books look so short by comparison!)

      (Electronic reading considerations get shockingly dorky, particularly when the books are as long as these finalists!)

      All that said, {Curly Brackets} sounds like fun... I'd been hoping it would a Big Book finalist, so it would be on the "read sooner" list but it wasn't to be!