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Victor Pelevin

Victor Pelevin(1962- )
Victor Olegovich Pelevin (Russian: Виктор Олегович Пелевин) is a Russian fiction writer. His books usually carry the outward conventions of the science fiction genre, but are used to construct involved, multi-layered postmodernist texts, fusing together elements of pop culture and esoteric philosophies. Some critics relate his prose to the New Sincerity literary movement.

The Sacred Book of the Werewolf: Sweet, profound, bitter and funny

The Sacred Book of the Werewolf  by Victor Pelevin

In our Edge of the Universe column, we review mainstream authors that incorporate elements of speculative fiction into their “literary” work. However you want to label them, we hope you’ll enjoy discussing these books with us.

I think I can safely say that I have never read a book quite like The Sacred Book of the Werewolf before. I found the book in the fantasy section, but it had literary novel packaging with a slightly risqué cover (the back and buttocks of a naked woman sporting a plumy fox’s tail). A medallion in the corner announced that this had been a New York Times Book Review Notable Book. I thought I knew what to expect and that this would be some modern fable about consumerism or humanity’s ... Read More

More speculative fiction by Victor Pelevin

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Life of Insects — (1996) Publisher: In a sophisticated display of allegory, fantasy, and philosophical inquiry, Victor Pelevin creates an Ovidian, shape-shifting world that never fails to resonate on various strata with our own. The Life of Insects opens with a trio of investors — two Russians and one American — discussing business prospects in the Crimea, when, suddenly, they reveal themselves to be mosquitoes in search of hemoglobin and glucose. Other figures morph from human to insect (and back again) in this thoroughly disorienting yet strangely familiar Kafkaesque novel. Both a parody of traditional Russian prose and a savage commentary of post-Soviet culture, The Life of Insects is a triumphant act of storytelling that succeeds in making “insect aspirations and anxiety feel so fragile and so soberingly universal” (The New York Times Book Review).fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Omon Ra — (1998) Publisher: A satire about the Soviet space program finds Omon, who has dreamed of space flight all of his life, enrolled as a cosmonaut only to learn that his task will be piloting a supposedly unmanned lunar vehicle to the Moon and remaining there to die.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsA Werewolf Problem in Central Russia — (1998) Publisher: A story collection.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBuddha’s Little Finger — (2000) Publisher: Russian novelist Victor Pelevin is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most brilliant young writers at work today. His comic inventiveness and mind-bending talent prompted Time magazine to proclaim him a “psychedelic Nabokov for the cyber-age.” In his third novel, Buddha’s Little Finger, Pelevin has created an intellectually dazzling tale about identity and Russian history, as well as a spectacular elaboration of Buddhist philosophy. Moving between events of the Russian Civil War of 1919 and the thoughts of a man incarcerated in a contemporary Moscow psychiatric hospital, Buddha’s Little Finger is a work of demonic absurdism by a writer who continues to delight and astonish.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Hall of the Singing Caryatids — (2011) Publisher: A far-out, far-fetched, and fiendishly funny story about a strange nightclub and its outrageous entertainment. After auditioning for the part as a singing geisha at a dubious bar, Lena and eleven other ‘lucky’ girls are sent to work at a posh underground nightclub reserved exclusively for Russia’s upper-crust elite. They are to be a sideshow attraction to the rest of the club’s entertainment, and are billed as the ‘famous singing caryatids.’ Things only get weirder from there. Secret ointments, praying mantises, sexual escapades, and grotesque murder are quickly ushered into the plot. The Russian literary master Victor Pelevin holds nothing back, and The Hall of the Singing Caryatids, his most recent story to be translated into English, is sure to make you squirm in your seat with utter delight.