9780670030668 / 067003066X

Homo Zapiens


3.97 avg rating4,072 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Viking Adult, 2002



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About the book:

Chronicling the garish excesses of post-Soviet Russia, Victor Pelevin's novels have won him cult status at home and critical acclaim in the international press. In his new novel, Homo Zapiens, Pelevin weaves together a deliciously comic vision of vanity, greed, and advertising-Moscow style. The collapse of the Soviet Union has opened up a vast market ripe for exploitation. Everybody wants a piece of the action. But how do you sell things to a generation that grew up with just one brand of cola? Enter Tartarsky, the hero of Homo Zapiens, a lowly shop assistant who is hired as a copywriter and discovers a hidden talent for devising home-grown alternatives to Western ads. Tartarsky is propelled into a world of gangsters, spin doctors, and drug dealers, fueled by cocaine and hallucinogenic mushrooms. But as his fortunes soar, reality loosens its grip and old certainties crumble. Who is the boss-man or his television set? When advertisers talk about "twisting reality," do they mean it quite literally? And exactly what does go on at the Institute of Apiculture?

This is a stunning and ingenious work of imagination, humor, and poignance, a satire that cuts both ways, East and West. It confirms Pelevin as the true heir of Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Bulgakov, a powerful voice of Russian absurdism.

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