Rating: 5/5 Stars
The whole book takes place in a line, waiting for unknown goods, in Moscow. The book is written entirely comprised of one-liners between the Soviet people waiting in line. Reading this is exactly like listening in on someone else’s conversation. As I read this I felt as though I was in line waiting to and listening to the conversation all around me.
The Queue manages to give readers a view of the time and place. We are able to see a society interact and understand people’s emotions just by reading one-liners. Whether the conversation is between mother and son, neighbors, friends, strangers, or lovers I felt as though I learned a lot about these people through simple conversation. The reader never learns what they are standing in line for and it appears the people in the book don’t know either. It doesn’t seem to matter though, if there is a line people will stand in it.
In Vladimir Sorokin’s afterward he says, “An era can be judged by street conversations.” and after reading his book I completely agree. Even though I didn’t know any of the character’s names or stories I felt I was able to understand Soviet Russia better.