Yes, they called him Little Tuk, but it was not his real name; he had called himself so before he could speak plainly, and he meant it for Charles. It was all very well for those who knew him, but not for strangers.
Once upon a time there was little girl, pretty and dainty. But in summer time she was obliged to go barefooted because she was poor, and in winter she had to wear large wooden shoes, so that her little instep grew quite red.
Each man shouldered his gun, kept his eyes well to the front, and wore the smartest red and blue uniform imaginable. The first thing they heard in their new world, when the lid was taken off the box, was a little boy clapping his hands and crying, "Soldiers, soldiers!"
But I was not comforted, for I knew the visit of the strange woman was not a dream; and I was awfully frightened.
Reading this novel renders one a fly on a digital wall, listening in as half-baked undergraduates urgently chat about everything from the role of repressed postwar frustration as a motivating factor for tentacle-rape manga porn to whether the word "beige" can signify the same thing to two people in two places. All of which, in less skilled treatment, could be unbearable, but Pelevin's secret is pacing.