The Helmet of Horror: The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur

by Victor Pelevin | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1841958891 Global Overview for this book
Registered by bigcurlyloz of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on 12/13/2008
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by bigcurlyloz from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 01, 2010
I seem to have two copies of this and have spied it on the wishlist of someone going to UnCon.

Journal Entry 2 by bigcurlyloz at Swindon, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 01, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (10/1/2010 UTC) at Swindon, Wiltshire United Kingdom

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Taking to the Swindon Unconvention - to nestle with the other books on the book buffet, or be released.

You've found a BookCrossing book! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to make a journal entry letting the previous readers know what you thought of it. Then keep it or release it back into the wild.

If you decide to join BookCrossing (not compulsory), please consider putting me (bigcurlyloz) as your referring member.

Journal Entry 3 by wingLittleSuzwing at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, October 04, 2010
Thanks bigcurlyloz for this wishlist book which was reserved for me at the Swindon Unconvention.

So far I've really liked the Canongate Myths series.

Journal Entry 4 by wingLittleSuzwing at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I'm not going so far as to claim I understood this, but I kind of liked it in an odd sort of way. The concept of them all being trapped within the same internet chatroom was great. Sadly, my grasp of the philosophy underlying it all was limited at best.

Journal Entry 5 by wingLittleSuzwing at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, January 08, 2011

Released 10 yrs ago (1/8/2011 UTC) at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

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Off to the Philippines as a rabck for akosikulot.

Journal Entry 6 by akosikulot at Panabo City, Davao del Norte Philippines on Sunday, January 30, 2011
Received the other day from LittleSuz as a requested RABCK along with another Canongate Myth book - thank you very much! Looking forward to reading this, and many more Canongate Myths!

Journal Entry 7 by akosikulot at Panabo City, Davao del Norte Philippines on Saturday, February 12, 2011
This book is a total mindf*ck. - Thoughts on The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin (translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield)

Here’s the thing: I don’t know what to feel about this book. It frustrates me; it frustrates me to no end after reading. You see, I didn’t get it. No, that not true, because I did, really, generally get it. But that’s the thing, see – it’s the surface things that I understood, but for anyone who’s ever read Victor Pelevin, there’s always more to his books, and The Helmet of Horror is no exception. Merely understanding does not cut it.

So why am I so frustrated? Why don’t I just altogether hate the book and be done with it? Because it’s so good, that’s why – it is dark, it is funny, it’s subtle, it’s shrewd. It loses you and then pulls you back again and then loses you again, but this time it is you who forces yourself back in it. It is a labyrinthine book about labyrinths – actual and imagined, in all shapes and sizes and meaning – and nothing gets crazier than that.

Pelevin’s modern (and nothing says modern more than a chatroom conversation by virtual strangers, from different backgrounds and with different issues in life) adaptation of the story of the labyrinth, the Minotaur (half man, half bull), Ariadne and Theseus, The Helmet of Horror gets weirder and darker and seemingly confounded as it progresses. It reminds me of the movie Saw, only minus the bloodshed and more of a psychological thriller of sorts. “I shall construct a labyrinth in which I can lose myself, together with anyone who tries to find me,” so it begins, opening up a cyberworld devoid of time and true identity, and touches on aspects of religion, philosophy, politics, technology, even love. “In fact, the whole cycle is simply the circulation of now in various states of mind, in the same way that water can be ice, or the sea, or thirst.”

And yet, with all that heaviness, Pelevin nevertheless threw in some irony and humor for good measure – moments that allowed for one to breathe in-between lines. Mind you, though, these were inserted by Pelevin in the long-winded conversations so discreetly, so as not to mess with the whole somber, mysterious mood of the book. A sampling:

“Dead people don’t hang around in chat rooms.”

“People go bald because they have no choice, but they shave their heads out of self-respect.”

“If you had genuinely free choice, the results could be pretty miserable.”

“If we start worrying about spies, pretty soon the world will be full of them.”


And my favorite, on the subject of free will – not only because the analogy is funny, but because it’s so true, too:

“Life’s like falling off a roof. Can you stop on the way? No. Can you turn back? No. Can you fly off sideways? Only in an advertisement for underpants specially made for jumping off roofs. all free will means is you can choose whether to fart in mid-flight or wait till you hit the ground. And that’s what all the philosophers argue about.”


This book deserves a re-read – one day, when I’m ready enough to devour the book entirely, and not just nibble on the surface. And if this is how Pelevin leaves me after reading his books – babbling and confused – the by Jove, bring it on.

PS. The title isn’t a quote from the book – I couldn’t find one (or if there was one, I’d have missed it) to fully encompass what the book is. Also, it really is a mindfuck.

PPS. Look out for Romeo-y-Cohiba and IsoldA - they’re my favorite of the bunch of online misfits.

Originally posted here.

Journal Entry 8 by akosikulot at Potential BookCrossers, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Released 10 yrs ago (2/23/2011 UTC) at Potential BookCrossers, Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

BookCrossing: the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.

Guess what - you've caught a travelling book! Welcome to BookCrossing, where you can follow the journeys of books released into the world.

How it works: The book in your hands has been registered on BookCrossing and has been assigned a BookCrossing ID number (BCID). Since you've caught and entered the book's BCID, you may make a journal entry below - let us know how and where you found it, maybe even tell us what you thought about the book, but most especially, let us know that one of our books is in good hands (if you wish to remain anonymous, you may opt for the AnonymousFinder option).

It's completely free to join, and I hope you'd consider placing akosikulot or whoever wild-released or sent you the book as your referring member.

BookCrossing is free to use, fun, and can be anonymous! READ AND RELEASE! Happy reading!

***


I'm passing this book, along with two other books in the Canongate Myths, to friends (and potential BookCrossers - fingers crossed!) as a sort of mini-bookring, because I loved the series so much and wanted them to know about it.

Hi guys! I'm pretty sure your curiosity will get the best of you and you'll check out those BCIDs - I hope you'd take the time to make a journal (you can choose the AnonymousFinder option if you want) to let me and the previous readers of the book know where it's traveled! I hope you enjoy the book as much as we did. :)

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