The Helmet of Horror

by Victor Pelevin (tr. Andrew Bromfield)

Rating: ★★★

A breezy read, as a result of the chatroom-esque format, but the meaning is hard to unpick. I had developed something of a handle on it -- working from the vague idea that the helmet stands in for experience itself -- but the ending threw it all into confusion, and I'm no longer sure what a lot of it means, or if it does mean something in particular.

I didn't like how comfortable the characters were with merely implying something, and leaving their intentions and understanding unclear -- it makes me think the author was more interested in confusing rather than entertaining his reader. If we're going to have an abstract metaphorical puzzle, I need something to hold on to as we make sense of it.