Thirst is the story of horrifically-scarred Konstantin. Living alone in his apartment, his only day-to-day contact is his neighbour Olga and her son Nikita - Olga uses Konstantin to move things around her apartment and scare Nikita into bed at night. Konstantin, bitter and confused by his life, drinks heavily, bottle after bottle of Vodka lines his fridge, but when the private that saved his life from a burning-APC goes missing, his equally-injured comrades decides to mount a search party, will they find Seryoga before it's too late?
Thirst runs in three timescales; Konstantin's childhood, his service (specifically the events leading up to and after the fire) and finally, his subsequent life. We see Konstantin as a child being taught to draw by a great alcoholic artist who is permanently thirsty. We learn the events that have misshapen him (figuratively & literally) and consequently the bonds between his brothers-in-arms that still live in the present as we search for Seryoga. All of the ex-soldiers are badly wounded and bitter alcoholics, but Konstantin's rediscovery of his talent for drawing allows him to paint them as if they were whole. He literally fills in what is missing today, whether it's the children people never had, the limbs they've lost or the wife that couldn't bear to look at the scars.
All in all, very short - 113 pages of dialogue-based paragraphs - but interestingly concise and conveys a lot with very little. Truly ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations, but worth a look if you enjoy Russian literature.