Books: Notes from Underground

THE MAKEPEACE EXPERIMENT by Abram Tertz. 191 pages. Pantheon. $3.95.

Abram Tertz (The Trial Begins; Fantastic Stories) is a famous Russian novelist who has never been published in Russia. To stay alive he is compelled to conceal his identity from all but a few intimates, smuggle his manuscripts out of the country for publication abroad. Readers of this witty, surrealistic satire on dictators in general and the Soviet system in particular will readily see the reason for his caution.

Comrade Leonard Makepeace is a provincial bicycle mechanic with a passion for the Marxian notion that man (and society) is perfectible on earth. This...

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