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Vadim Babenko – Stories Behind My Books: Laura with Review

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stories behind my books: Laura
by Vadim Babenko
Many years ago, in Buenos Aires, I made friends with Jorge, a journalist with one of the city’s newspapers. He specialized in articles about cars and was creative – he submitted his reviews as the impressions of a made-up character, twenty-year-old Laura, a tango dancer from Almagro. To the soulless cars she imparted bright and precise characteristics, telling about her trips in the automobiles of her lovers and friends – along with stories of her life full of men, tango, and adventures.
A week prior to my departure, Jorge acquainted me with his girlfriend, Agustina, a beauty from a rich family. “She only loves me for my articles,” he joked as he presented us to each other. “No,” Agustina smiled. “I only love you for Laura.” We laughed a bit at that joke.
A couple of days later I saw Jorge again. He spoke of Agustina and how they had met. She tracked him down herself at the office of that same newspaper, told him she adored his work, then invited him to lunch… “See, she really does love you for Laura,” I jested, but it didn’t come across as a joke. Jorge didn’t even crack a smile.
I returned to Buenos Aires three months later. The city was the same, but Jorge had become a different man. He looked bad and drank heavily. He told me Agustina was exhausting him with her fits. He complained she was forcing him to write about Laura, though he had long since tired of the character and wanted to switch to something new. “I don’t have the strength to fight with Aggie,” he confessed. “Of course, she’s not entirely well…”
The situation was clear, though it was quite strange. Agustina took to the image of Laura like a drug. Laura was everything Agustina was not and could not be. Reading about the girl from Almagro it was as if she lived another life.
Thus the romance was changed to drama. And then to tragedy – in a few weeks. Jorge left Buenos Aires – simply fled, finding work in Mendoza. Agustina tried to commit suicide, and wound up in a hospital for the insane… That was no soap opera, it actually happened. It was a real story that looked like fantasy. A story provoked by fantasies that appeared too real. I could not judge Jorge’s articles – my Spanish was too poor. But it looked like he had genuine talent.
While working on SEMMANT I sent him greetings in my mind. Or rather, my hero sent him greetings while inventing Adele.
A brilliant scientist creates a brilliant robot. Working together, they beat the stock market. But which one will survive the battle for love?
When Bogdan Bogdanov, a troubled cybernetics genius, creates Semmant, a robot living inside a computer, he feels on top of the world. Semmant takes on the capital markets and makes money with the ruthless efficiency of a machine. Bogdan grows richer by the day, but when he falls deeply for the irresistible Lidia, Semmant’s artificial mind faces a new challenge. The robot becomes involved in a genuine human drama and is forced to confront the cruelty of real life. He discovers the eternal joy of what it means to have free will, but it takes him to a destination no one could have predicted.
This is a tale of lust and affection, an erotically charged story of betrayal and murder. It explores the scope of human feelings from a truly unique point of view. Universal chaos and the strict laws of society; precise mathematical rules and the elusive nature of love: all interact and clash, working together and against one another. Tragedy looms, but free will fights back – bringing hope that lasts forever.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Amazon UK
Genre – Literary Fiction
Rating – NC17
More details about the author & the book
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SemmantSemmant by Vadim Babenko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Favourite scene …. When Lidia met Bogdan in the hotel. He was wearing a white gown and a lions mask. She had no idea who he was.

Favourite quote … "A gentleman is nothing but, a patient wolf." Very true in some ways, especially when you have just met a stranger and trying to decide what he wants from you.

Did the plot pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book? Most parts didn't feel forced, but some sections that focused on Bogdan's actions were interesting but didn't pull me in as much.

Disclosure - I received a free copy of the book which did not affect my honest opinion.

View all my reviews


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