Outlining alternate ways to raise children, keep bees, grow crops, and build a spaceship.
In search of a method of how to extract a valuable nut oil found in the Russian taiga, the author comes upon a young beautiful forest recluse named Anastasia. She has been living there alone (excepting visits from her grandfather and great-grandfather) since she was a child, because her parents’ brains exploded when they got too close to a tree.(pg 125) The story is presented as a true account, and the series (The Ringing Cedars of Russia) has apparently sold millions of copies and given rise to a religious movement.
The writing style is not what you would call pleasant (or good), but the author gives the disclaimer that he is not a writer. He wrote the book because Anastasia told him to. He isn’t a particularly likeable character, and comes off as more than a little dim-witted. The Translator’s Preface, by
John Wordsworth, represented the best writing in the book, and was actually quite interesting on its own.
All that being said, the book is probably worth a read. Anastasia outlines — often in very specific detail — how to go about many tasks. Her gardening methods have the ring of Biodynamics, and her beekeeping recommendations sound similar to those of The Barefoot Beekeeper. Her methods for raising children are interesting to consider, and she seems to prescribe to a lifestyle surprisingly aligned with the Abrahamic religions.
Anastasia is portrayed as a a kind of super-woman: incredibly athletic, very wise and intelligent, and capable of remote viewing, communicating with animals, and some version of telepathy. She accepts a challenge to compete against the supercomputers of all the nations, and I do wonder if that will come to pass (she stated that she would like to compete against them all at the same time, because it would be so boring she would rather only have to do it once).(pg121)
I don’t want to dismiss the contents of the book simply because they are extraordinary — it never seemed rational to me, to dismiss something because it was previously unknown. I haven’t been alive that long, and the world is old (compared to me). If someone says they saw aliens, I’m not going to assume they’re crazy — but I’m going to ask a lot of questions.
When Anastasia met aliens, they trained their mental paralysers on her, but she managed to calm them down and helped them fix their spaceship. And in the book, I was so grateful that she deigned to describe how the spaceship worked, and how it could be built. On first reading, I understood that it was powered by kombucha (but that’s ridiculous! Right?), but upon a more careful examination, I realized that the outer walls are made (grown or cultivated) from something comparable to kombucha (or a related fungus); the microbes that live in-between the inner and outer walls of the flying saucer function to propel the vehicle by ‘vacuum power.’ Some of the details are hazy for me, but I decided to draw the spaceship she described, and I’ve included it here. It was not clear if the walls were only ‘kombucha’, or if they were a product produced by it. Also, it seemed that the walls were perhaps ‘willed’ into existence (which would require a few dozen Anastasias), and the ‘propulsion microbes’ (which reside between the inner and outer walls) were drawn to the site once the outer wall was in place (which would also require the effort/assistance of a few dozen Anastasias. The entire process was stated to require about a year).
Also, I didn’t really know what she meant by the air streams ‘congealing’ before contact with the saucer(pg 111) — but I did not specialize in xeno-aeronautics, so I think it’s forgiveable. The ship runs on energy derived from implosions and ‘vacuum’ power. The entire design and description was very novel (to me, at least) and I was quite impressed with it.
I will mention that, as she describes it, one might not expect this craft to function outside of the atmosphere, since it seems to rely on a directional vacuum (while in space, the vacuum would be more or less ubiquitous). But she did not comment on this, because she was not asked.
To his credit, the author really tried to get her to make a space ship, but she just couldn’t be bothered.
Something else interesting occurred during Vladimir’s three days in the woods with Anastasia — one interpretation of events is that she fucked him so hard that he would never want to have sex again. Which is kind of a super-power, too.
The author is pretty upset about this, but apparently it’s incurable, and from now on he will only ever want to have sex when he also wants to make babies. It sounds like a weapon, or a task force, that the Pope would like to wield. Could you imagine how excited would be the Catholic church, if they had an army of women fucking the lust out of sinners? It isn’t clear if the effects are permanent (Anastasia maintains that they are), but at least, according to Megré, it was the best sex he’d ever had. By far.