This strange, earthy, somewhat unnerving book is one I picked up last week at the book fair in Koramangala where you can buy "ANY BOOK FOR Rs. 10 ONLY!". I've been there twice (so far) . Both times the guy at the counter warned me that "today is the last day for Rs. 10, after that it is sticker price". Optimistic and low on funds, I'm heading back for more tomorrow.
This book was written in the late 70s, which may be why it has a lot of sex in it, right at the beginning. Tastefully written, though. It's set nowherr a somewhere that's creepily Orwellian. Or is it? More like half-Orwellian, half-Soviet. Well, it is dedicated to four Russians, and so much of it is their story.
What I like best about this book, apart from the writing and the story, is the realisation I got, like a kick in the butt, about what a silly fool I am not to write more in this free world I live in. When there have been times and places - and no doubt still are - where to put the words from your head down onto paper could be a dangerous thing to do - a treachery, an obscenity, a crime, or simply a waste of time.
Then again, it's the struggle isn't it, that gets things growing? Even words.
P.S. I bought this book purely for its title, as I play the flute. I am halfway through, and must warn any other potential readers: there are no flutes in this book.