Metro 2033 By Dmitry Glukhovsky

Metro 2033
Metro 2033

Book Details

Book NameMetro 2033
AuthorDmitry Glukhovsky
Item Weight 1.55 pounds
Paperback460 pages
Product Dimensions6 x 1.16 x 9 inches
PublisherCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 17, 2013)
Best Sellers Rank#14,071 in Books
#325 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction
#588 in Science Fiction Adventures

Metro 2033 is a 2002 post-apocalyptic fiction novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It is set within the Moscow Metro, where the last survivors hide after a global nuclear holocaust. It has been followed by two sequels, Metro 2034 and Metro 2035, and spawned the Metro media franchise. The book’s English edition was published as a tie-in with its video game adaptation in 2010.


The protagonist of the novel is a 20-year-old man named Artyom who was born before the nuclear war. He was saved from a horde of carnivorous rats that killed his mother and the inhabitants of his station as a baby by Sukhoi, a military officer. Sukhoi is now one of the authorities of VDNKh, one of the stations in the Metro, and has raised Artyom as his son. Artyom spends his time on patrol in the tunnels and working in the mushroom factories.

Artyom meets a man named Hunter, who is looking for Sukhoi. The three meet and discuss the situation in VDNKh. VDNKh is facing increasing attacks from mysterious creatures known as “The Dark Ones”, who inspires terror throughout the station. Hunter leaves but asks to speak to Artyom. Artyom confesses that 10 years earlier, he and his friend went to the surface at the neighboring station, Botanical Gardens.

They were unable to seal the exit after their visit and the Dark Ones have been using this entrance to the metro ever since. Hunter tells Artyom that he intends to gather intel on the Dark Ones, and in the event that he doesn’t return Artyom must carry a message to a man named Melnik at Polis with news of the threat. Feeling a sense of responsibility for the Dark Ones’ attacks and seeking adventure, Artyom accepts.

Artyom begins to journey towards the center of the Metro. His first companion, Bourbon, is killed by a psychic force transmitted through the pipes, and Artyom is then guided by a mystic named Khan. Khan leads him to Kitai-Gorod which is controlled by criminal gangs, but they become separated during an attack by the Fourth Reich. Artyom flees, only to be captured by the Reich who sentence him to death for killing an officer. Just before his execution, a band of revolutionary fighters intervenes and rescues him. Pursued by the Reich, Artyom is left at Paveletskaya station and his route to Polis is blocked by the Hansa-controlled Koltsevaya Line, which operates strict border controls. Artyom’s passport was lost during his detention, and after a failed attempt to gain travel papers by betting on rat races, Artyom is taken into custody. After escaping, he finally reaches Polis. He delivers his message to Melnik, and the leadership of Polis gathers to determine their course of action.

Although Polis does not agree to intervene, a faction known as the Brahmins (who consists of scientists and academics who collect books from the library above), contact Artyom. They offer a solution to the threat of the Dark Ones in exchange for Artyom’s help in recovering a sacred book, as they believe him to be psychically sensitive. Artyom travels to the surface with Melnik and a young Brahmin called Daniel. They enter the library and are attacked by the ‘librarians’, mutated creatures that reside there. Daniel is mortally wounded, but before dying, gives Artyom his reward anyway.

It is an envelope containing directions to a functioning missile silo. Artyom and Melnik flee without the book and re-enter the metro, arriving at station Kievskaya. Melnik leaves Artyom at the station while he goes to collect reinforcements but whilst he is away, Artyom becomes involved in the search for a missing child, Oleg. Artyom and Oleg’s father are abducted by a tribe of cannibals who worship ‘The Great Worm’ while following the trail left by the child. They are rescued by Melnik and a squad of fighters and they escape into Metro-2, a secret set of tunnels that lead to the missile site.

The team passes through the metro station leading to the Kremlin, which contains a mutated bio-weapon that attempts to hypnotize and consume them. Several are killed, including Oleg, before they explode a tank of fuel to distract it. The majority of the group go to the surface and the missile silo, while Artyom is accompanied back through the metro so that they can provide targeting coordinates from a suitable location, Ostankino Tower. On the way, they stop at VDNKh, which has been almost overrun by Dark Ones. After a brief reunion with Sukhoi, Artyom reaches the tower and his team provides the missile site with the location of the Dark One’s hive.

As they do, Artyom has a vision, which relates to the dreams and nightmares that he has been having. The Dark Ones had been trying to make contact, unable to communicate with the human survivors within the metro in a meaningful way, before they found Artyom. Artyom re-evaluates their behavior and realizes that what was seen as aggression were actually attempts to make contact, which was only met with violence. As Artyom realizes that the two races could co-operate, the missiles fall and the Dark Ones are killed. Realizing that the Dark Ones were killed senselessly, Artyom tears his mask off and heads back home in tears.


Video game

The first-person shooter video game Metro 2033, developed by the Ukrainian studio 4A Games, was released worldwide in 2010. Glukhovsky said that he had chosen a video game adaptation over a film as it gave him more artistic freedom to work. Two sequels also developed by 4A Games, Metro: Last Light and Metro Exodus, were released in 2013 and 2019.

Film projects

As of November 2010, Glukhovsky has been in talks with Hollywood-based studios and producers to sell the film rights. By 2012, MGM has picked up the screen rights to Metro 2033, setting F. Scott Frazier “Pavito” to pen the script. Mark Johnson was producing via his Gran Via Productions. However, the production was canceled and the rights were returned to Glukhovsky after he refused to have the film be Americanized and set in Washington instead of Moscow. In December 2018, Glukhovsky explained: “In Washington DC, Nazis don’t work, Communists don’t work at all, and the Dark Ones don’t work. Washington DC is a black city basically. That’s not at all the allusion I want to have [with the Dark Ones], it’s a metaphor of general xenophobia but it’s not a comment on African Americans at all.”

On 23 August 2019, Glukhovsky announced the film adaptation of the novel is coming January 2022. The film will be created by TNT-Premier, TV-3, and Central Partnership film studios. Glukhovsky explained: “In Russia, I didn’t see any producers who could make a good screen adaptation of this book. It just seemed impossible. But now I finally met a team that I can entrust Metro with. Our ambitions turned out to be similar: to create a world-class blockbuster and stun even those who have read the trilogy and know it by heart. So as not to disappoint them, I am ready to become a creative producer of the movie and help create it with both my advice and action.”

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About the Author

Dmitry A. Glukhovsky is a Russian author and journalist known for Sci-Fi, Magic-Realism, and his exploration of social and political structures. He began writing his first novel, Metro 2033, at the age of 18, and then published it on his website in 2002, available for all to read for free. The novel has become an interactive experiment, drawing in over 3 million readers worldwide. It has since been made into a video game for the Xbox and PC, was published in Russia in 2005, and in the US in 2010. Most recently it was optioned by MGM studios. In 2007 It’s Getting Darker was published, followed by Metro 2034 in 2009, Russia’s best-seller that year, also available free online, both as text and as a collaborative art-project with Russian electronic performer Dolphin and visual-artist Anton Gretchko. This was followed in 2010 by a series of satirical stories about Russia today – Stories about Motherland. As a journalist, Dmitry Glukhovsky has worked for EuroNews TV in France, Deutsche Welle, and RT, (the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel broadcasting the Russian view on global news world-wide.) He writes columns for Harper’s Bazaar, l’Officiel, and Playboy. Currently living in Moscow, Glukhovsky has lived in Israel, Germany, and France. He speaks English, French and Hebrew fluently, reads German and some Spanish, as well as his native Russian.