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Book Title: Babylon|
The author of the book: Victor Pelevin
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Loaded: 2067 times
Reader ratings: 3.7
Edition: Faber and Faber
Date of issue: April 17th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780571202478
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 887 KB
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"Gucci for Men--be a European, smell better". The irresistible rise of Babylen Tartasky from poet to advertising copywriter followed by the short step to ultimate political power is founded on his smart diagnosis of his country's malaise and his ability to encapsulate his compatriots yearnings in a sharp slogan. This is the new Russia of gangsters, fast-flowing cocaine and the untrammelled free market and it is a very disturbing place indeed, not least because in its rawness is laid bare the anatomy of our own degenerative Western culture. Add a splash of Gucci aftershave and there really is little to tell us apart.
As a literary sensation in Russia, with six novels already to his name, Pelevin has clearly touched a nerve with his acute insights into the national psyche. Written with cruel wit concealing an austere compassion, it is Pelevin's peculiar talent to capture the sheer absurdity of the experience of a nation which, in the space of a century, has undergone two convulsive revolutions, won and lost a global empire, conquered space and yet been defeated by its own habits of dependency. Omon Ra, Pelevin's most controlled work to date, is a novel woven around the fundamental Soviet fantasy of the cosmonaut hero, while The Clay Machine Gun concerns a contemporary madman's vivid imaginings of his experiences as an unintentional hero of the Revolution. In Babylon, though, we are tricked by a double fantasy: the narrative segues in and out of virtuosic hallucinatory prose alongside Tartasky's own drug trips while the story itself veers towards ludicrous revelations about where the power in society truly lies.
At times the strategy can be exasperating and the ultimate rewards are slightly squandered but along the way there are wonderful jokes and acute analysis. -Alex Butterworth
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"Victor Olegovich Pelevin 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 and New Realism literary movements." (Wikipedia)
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