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Victor Pelevin's new work of fiction is both a supernatural love story and an outrageously funny satirical portrait of modern Russia. With all his characteristic humor and metaphysical ambition, Pelevin introduces us to an unforgettable cast of perverts, former KGB agents, oil tycoons, and amorous werewolves.
Translated by Andrew Bromfield.
"Full of tour de force passages, and full of sex, the novel yet succeeds in not being one of those showy, sexy, cold-hearted books. The fantasy is fueled by passion, the humor by grief." (Ursula K. Le Guin)
"Pelevin belongs to one strand of the great Russian tradition that goes back as far as Gogol and Dostoevesky, in which metaphysical locutions about the mystery of existence clash with the grotesque banalities of life as it is actually lived." ( New York Times Book Review)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Paul on 03-03-11
if you're looking for a bodice ripping, two-dimensional, paranormal romance with vampiric and lycanthropic sex, you've come to the wrong place.
this book was frigging awesome. and because some short-sided reviewers chose to bash it, less and less people will try it. that really bums me out.
the narrator was brilliant. i wouldn't call the story's progression slow, i'd call it gradual. and i wouldn't call it boring. just because a novel doesn't give you what you want doesn't mean it isn't good. Hamilton and Feehan fans may be expecting a smaller calibar of novel. THIS IS NOT PELEVIN'S FAULT.
this novel has some fantasy elements but they exist to tilt the earth off-center a bit, not to generate an entire fanciful universe. its more surrealistic than science fiction, to a purpose other than simple diversion. Pelevin's story has a point. it's a socio-political commentary on post-soviet russia...with werewolves, werefoxes, and taoist immortals. i'd tell you more, but i dont want to ruin it (for those who are brave enough and sharp enough to try it out despite other negative, unfair assessments).
frankly, i loved it.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful
By Harry Russo on 07-25-15
Victor Pelevin has written better books than this.
The problem with this book ISN'T that people want a titillating fantasy story and got a long philosophical text instead, those people are just uninformed consumers and their opinions are garbage. Do a quick Google search before you make a purchase, how hard can that be?
The problem with this book is that everything is delivered from the narrator's perspective, and Pelevin indulges far, FAR too much exposition and philosophizing. Having the narrator go on tangents explaining the rules of these fantasy creatures, or over-philosophizing about Daoist concepts gets obnoxious fast, in the way he writes the narrator's conversational voice addressing the audience. As far as my disappointment with the book, a quick bout of research on Google shows that this book is somehow well liked amongst people that like Pelevin, which I find baffling.
Homo Zapiens is better.
If possible, Audible needs to produce an audiobook of Homo Zapiens or Omon Ra, etc. I would enjoy those in a heartbeat.
Cassandra Campbell was alright, I have no intention to criticize her work. She seems to have played to the text exceptionally well, but I don't like the text so it's hard to separate her work as a narrator and be completely fair.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful