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Monday Begins On Saturday (Russian: "Понедельник начинается в субботу") is a 1964 novel, one of the most beloved works by the Strugatsky Brothers. A mix of fantasy and science-fiction, it tells the stories of a Soviet research institute dedicated to studying magic and the supernatural, the dedicated scientists who work there, and the wide variety of monsters, ghosts, and other critters that they study and work with. Adapted into a two-part Christmas special back in the early 80s. It's a fun movie in its own right, but it has very little to do with the novel it's supposedly based on (which annoyed the Brothers quite a bit at the time).
Was followed by a much more cynical Tale of the Troika just three years later.
Tropes found in the novel:
- Clingy MacGuffin: A "non-changeable dime" that returns to its owner every time it's spent.
- Cool Old Guy: Cristobal Junta and Fyodor Simeonovich.
- Designated Love Interest: Stella.
- Fun with Acronyms: The secret institute is called the Scientific Research Institute of Sorcery and Wizardry. In Russian, that abbreviates to NIIChaVo, which sounds suspiciously like the Russian word for "nothing".
- One English translation gives the laboratory's name as "National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy".
- The Scientific Research Institute of Kabbalistics and Witchcraft is also mentioned. It abbreviates to NIIKaVo (Sounds like "No one" or "Nobody").
- Gratuitous French: Vybegallo tries to use French to seem intelligent, but constantly fails.
- I Want My Jetpack: parodied with Privalov's travel into future narratively imagined possibilities.
- Jerkass: Vybegallo.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Viktor Korneev
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo/Take That: Vybegallo is modeled after Trofim Lysenko, the infamous Soviet politico and quack agriculturist/geneticist.
- Memetic Badass: Cristobal Junta, in-universe.
- Merlin Sickness: Janos Nevstruev
- Naive Newcomer: Sasha Privalov
- Nice Guy: Edik Amperyan
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Modest Kamnoedov
- Our Vampires Are Different: Alfred
- Our Demons Are Different: "Maxwell's macrodemons" Enter and Exit
- Our Homunculi Are Different: Vybegallo's "cadavers"
- Public Domain Character: Merlin. Strangely, he's not the one with the Merlin Sickness.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: director Nevstruev.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Cristobal Junta and Fyodor Simeonovich Kivrin
- Taxidermy Terror and Taxidermy Is Creepy: Junta's favourite study decoration, a stuffed SS Standartenführer, and Junta himself, an accomplished taxidermist. The Standartenführer was a good taxidermist, too, but Junta proved to be faster.
- Token Girl: Stella
- Those Two Guys: A.Pronitsatelniy and B.Pitomnik.
- Unfazed Everyman: Sasha Privalov