Ice-which recounted the escapades of a group of blond, blueeyed homicidal fanatics, the so-called Brotherhood of Light, who consider themselves the chosen people and the rest of humanity so many expendable "meat machines"-was a gritty, blistering tale of contemporary Moscow at its most unhinged and violent. Written from the point of view of the sect, Ice now appears as the central panel of Vladimir Sorokin's enormously ambitious and riveting Ice Trilogy. Bro, the first section of Sorokin's chef d'oeuvre, relates the mysterious emergence of the brotherhood in the aftermath of a massive meteorite striking Siberia (a historical occurrence known as the Tungus event). The story of the group's development then unfolds at the leisurely pace and with the vivid detail of a great nineteenth-century Russian novel. 23,000 brings the trilogy to a wildly suspenseful close. All 23,000 members of the brotherhood have at last been brought together and they are preparing to stage the global destruction that will return them to their origins in pure light. Will their vision of innocence redeemed at last succeed?
A modern myth and a myth of the modern, Ice Trilogy is a virtuosic performance by one of Russia's boldest writers. Sorokin demonstrates the raw power of fiction to make and unmake worlds, not to mention the threatening unrealities that underlieu our grasp on reality. Could it be, we come to wonder, that the Brotherhood of Light is, finally, nothing less than the image of humanity, of us?