Cast of Characters
in order of appearance
Viktor Olegovich — Protagonist of the frame story that precedes the main narrative and is read to Yegor by the story’s author
Yegor Samokhodov — A gangster and literary agent. His last name means “self-propelled.”
Crybaby — Yegor’s girlfriend
Albert Mamaev — Underground cult film director. His name is derived from Mamai, military commander of the Golden Horde, which occupied and ruled Rus’ in the 14th Century
Nikita Marievna — a journalist, later Sister Epifania
Antonina Pavlovna — Yegor’s grandmother
Sveta — Yegor’s estranged wife
Nastya — Yegor and Sveta’s daughter
Yvetta Ivanovna Bang — Director of the Sub-Department of Unpublished American Poetry of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century, where Yegor works.
Igor Fedorovich Chernenko (“The Chief”) — Deputy Director of the Sub-Department of Unpublished American Poetry of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century. Chernenko is also boss of the Brothers of the Black Book gang.
Fedor Ivanovich — The Chief’s father, later revealed as his step-father
Sara — Yegor’s mistress , an American émigrée model, later Capt. Yana Warhola, officer in the Russian State Security Service
Gen. Warhola — Sara/Yana’s father
Major Strutsky — Yegor’s Russian contact in the Caucasus
Ryzhik (“Red”) — Yegor’s childhood friend
The Kagan — Head of the Turkic tribes of Trans-Caspesia
Stas Stasov, nicknamed Ktitor — a religious gangster and big client of Yegor’s;. Ktitor, meaning “founder,” was a title given in the Middle Ages to the provider of funds for construction or reconstruction of an Orthodox church or monastery.
Muza Mertz — impoverished patroness of a shabby literary salon
Naum Ratsov — Russian terrorist bomber
Stella — Mamaev’s college crush
Sergeich — provincial governor and client of Yegor’s, who wants to be known as a talented author in addition to his political activities.
Zalekha — a beautiful young terrorist