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The Sacred Book of the Werewolf [Paperback]

Victor Pelevin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Jun 2009
High class Moscow hooker A. Huli is foxy in more ways than one . . . And when a client goes inexplicably and fatally berserk at the sight of her in his luxury suite she has to employ all of her cunning to escape. But it's not until she places an ad on the internet that trouble really begins to kick off, as the journey she takes catapults her into a world of perverts, former KGB agents, oil tycoons and amorous werewolves.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (4 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571227996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571227990
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 681,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An astonishing new novel from the 'Zen Buddhist Will Self of the former Evil Empire' (Independent)." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A stunning cult novel - a fantastical satire of modern Russia.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fox's tail 16 Jan 2009
"The Sacred Book of the Werewolf" is one of those rare books that truly and completely defies classifiation.

Rather than a straightforward fiction or genre story, Victor Pelevin's symbolism-crammed book hops from one style to another -- Eastern mysticism, Russian urban fantasy, inhuman love story, wildly funny satire and postmodern exploration of Russia's place in a post-Soviet world. Despite the wealth of symbolism and a heavy dose of Buddhist philosophy woven in,, it's not stuffy or boring -- instead it's a wickedly funny personal journey that slowly slips into a bittersweet pathos as our shapechanging heroine learns some truths of the universe.

A Hua-li is a werefox -- an ancient, genderless creature with a hypnotic tail, a currently obscene name, who feeds off the energy emanated by humans during sex. She's also a virgin, and is starting to get an "old maid complex."

And to stay energized, she works as a prostitute in Russia -- she doesn't have actual sex with her clients, but manipulates them with her tail. But after some disastrous encounters, she finds herself being investigated by the Russian authorities -- and particularly by the handsome Alexander, a werewolf who transforms and molests A Hua-li. She's shocked but captivated by the young werewolf, and soon they're in the middle of a passionate affair. Yeah, great message to be sending.

The subject of the super-werewolf prophecy comes up when A Hua-Li's older sister and her flaky English aristocrat hubby come for a visit, with said hubby intent on becoming the super-werewolf himself. And A Hua-Li sees the werewolves being used to call oil from a dry well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best novel that I've read in 2010! 8 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is like a chocolate trifle - enjoyable at every level, full of unexpected delights, but the deeper you delve, the richer and more rewarding it gets!

Other reviewers have admirably summarised the plot, so I won't reiterate that, but the style perhaps needs a little more explanation. The setting is gritty, realistic post-Soviet Russia - a world where everyone is trying to make money however they can. And A-Hui does it by prostitution. However, since she is a millennia-old fox with illusion in her tail, she is able to perform the whole business with an air of admirable detachment. So whilst her clientele grind away, enmeshed in the illusions of their own desires, she has time to contemplate, and take the long view concerning the situation in which she finds herself.

This is why this novel works so well. The literary allusions come thick and fast - I'm sure I haven't detected them all - but they are never essential to understanding the plot. Instead they represent hidden delicacies to be savoured when found. At one level, we have the protagonist's struggle to survive once a botched assignation leads to some rather special FSB operatives taking an interest in her activities, at another we have the foxes' search for the meaning of their existence - which leads the sisters into a wide range of unorthodox activities - cruelty, martyrdom, & tantric sex...

Despite the extreme sleaziness of the world portrayed, the novel itself is never tawdry. It can be taken as an adventure of supernatural creatures in modern Russia, or a meditation on the purpose of existence - enjoy it at whatever level you wish. The philosophising is never forced; it is an integral part of the plot, and a natural character trait for a creature as ancient as A-Hui.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pelevin does it again, only weirder! 26 Feb 2008
This book is similar to The Clay Machine Gun, in that it focuses on metaphysics, indeed, it seems to be one long metaphysical conversation at times. It is written with Pelevin's usual poetic gift for prose and it adds occasional touches of humour which are in tune with the story's sexual overtones. But I should stress that although the story is about a millenia-old prostitute, the tone is rarely tawdry. It is essentially a love/reality transcendence tail (tee hee) albeit involving a werewolf and a foxy distant Chinese relative. The tone is fairly dark at times, but this may largely be due to the presence of Nordic mythology motifs, which, if you've read the Edda, are obviously nuts!
I would also urge you to purchase it, if merely for the fact that his publishers might get round to printing his other books if this sells well!

Also, the other review for this book is actually about Numbers, which hasn't been published yet, so don't expect any bankers and Pokemon. This is about werewolves, werefoxes and the FSB, fun!
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4.0 out of 5 stars good 30 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i bought this for a friend for her birthday a s a gift. it was on her wish list and i hadent heard of it before. she seemed really happy with it and it made a very personal gift.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love this book 23 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Pelevin, the reincarnation of Michael Bulgakov, Philip K Dick and very possibly Hunter S Thompson. This is his best full length novel; full of hilarity, humanity and transcendence. And foxes.
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