Best-selling novelist Dmitry Glukhovsky says sales of his books depicting life in the Moscow subway after a nuclear apocalypse have been booming since Russia placed him on its “wanted” list for opposing the war in Ukraine and was forced to flee abroad. Glukhovsky, 43, is best known for his dystopian novel ‘Metro 2033’ and its sequels, along with their spin-off video games, about how Muscovites survive in the city’s famous subway system – ‘the world’s largest nuclear shelter’ – after a war .
With President Vladimir Putin and other top Russian politicians regularly warning the West about nuclear war for its support for Ukraine, Glukhovsky said it’s no surprise Russians are trying to imagine life after such a disaster. “We are getting very close (midnight) because during the Soviet period, during the Cold War times, no one really dared to invoke that (possibility of Armageddon)…”, he told Reuters in an interview from an undisclosed location. .
“…Never would a diplomat, let alone the head of state, threaten another superpower with the use of nuclear weapons against its capital. So that definitely brings us closer to that possibility,” he said, speaking in English. Atomic scientists on Tuesday reset the “Doomsday Clock” – a symbolic clock – based on their latest assessment of how close they believe humanity is to annihilation due to existential threats such as nuclear war. The “time” is now 90 seconds to midnight, they said, 10 seconds closer than it has been in the past three years.
Glukhovsky deplored what he called Russian leaders’ “routinization” of nuclear threats, but said the war in Ukraine was unlikely to trigger a global nuclear catastrophe. “…the Russian regime is not suicidal. You know, they are not religious or political fanatics. They are very pragmatic. I would say they are mostly motivated by things like greed and self-esteem. ) greed and self-esteem can lead you to start a nuclear holocaust,” he said.
‘FOREIGN AGENT’ Glukhovsky, who faces up to 15 years in prison if he returns home because of his anti-war stance, said his books must now be sold in Russia with a disclaimer label” This was written by a foreign agent”. Children under the age of 18 are prohibited from purchasing them.
“But ‘Metro 2033’ was the number one bestseller within my publisher. And my publisher was the biggest publisher in Russia. So there’s some kind of schizophrenia where, on the one hand, they are persecuting me and On the other hand, the books are still available in bookstores and are bestsellers,” he said. Glukhovsky, a former journalist who also wrote the screenplay for an award-winning film version of his novel ‘Text’, said he drew inspiration for his subway novels from traveling the Moscow Metro during the Cold War as a child and discovering that he was was built 40 to 100 meters underground.
“I really started imagining what it would be like if we get hit by missiles and then we have to live in the subway like it’s a modern Noah’s Ark, you know, and we wouldn’t be able to go outside the subway, the subway, ever,” she said . The nuclear war depicted in “Metro 2033” occurs in 2013, she noted, adding gloomily, “So apparently I was (by) a decade wrong.”
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