Homo Zapiens by Victor Pelevin

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The collapse of the Soviet Union has opened up a huge consumer market, but how do you sell things to a generation that grew up with just one type of cola? When Tatarsky, a frustrated poet, takes a job as an advertising copywriter, he finds he has a talent for putting distinctively Russian twists on Western-style ads. But his success leads him into a surreal world of spin doctors, gangsters, drug trips, and the spirit of Che Guevera, who, by way of a Ouija board, communicates theories of consumer theology. A bestseller in Russia, Homo Zapiens displays the biting absurdist satire that has gained Victor Pelevin superstar status among today's Russian youth, disapproval from the conservative Moscow literary world, and critical acclaim worldwide.


About Victor Pelevin

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Victor Pelevin is one of Russia s most successful post-Soviet writers. He won the Russian Booker prize in 1993 Born on November 22, 1962 in Moscow, he attended the Moscow Institute of Power Engineering, and the Institute of Literature. He s now been published throughout Europe. His books include "A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia, Omon Ra", "The Blue Lantern", "The Yellow Arrow", and "The Hall of the Singing Caryatids". Andrew Bromfield is a founding editor of the Russian literature journal GLAS, and has translated into English works from authors as diverse as Tolstoy, Michael Bulgakov, and, more recently, Sergei Lukyanenko, whose NIGHT WATCH series has sold more than three million copies worldwide.
Published December 31, 2002 by Penguin Books. 324 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Images of 1984 and Brave New World begin dancing through readers’ heads, and the high hilarity flattens out (as it also does in some of Tatarsky’s talks with Che, which are not as consistently funny as Pelevin seems to think).

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Publishers Weekly

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(One key skill described is how to get paid before the client is murdered.) Soon he's spending all his time creating Russian funhouse-mirror versions of American ads and reading vapid American texts extolling the virtues of "comparative positioning."

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In this way, Tatarsky continues his extended analysis of the role of television in Russian society, noting both its formalistic aspects and its ability both to observe and be observed, as the advertisement copywriter is well-placed to determine.

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