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Hilarious view at the Soviet space programme,
This review is from: Omon Ra (Paperback)
Omon is a typical Soviet boy growing up in a dreary suburb of Moscow with an absent mother, a drunken father and an uninterested aunt who takes care of him. Since his childhood he want to be a cosmonaut and he shares this dream with a boy from the neighbourhood, Mitiok. Together they apply for Flying School and even make it to the training for the space program. Gradually it dawns on them that the Soviet achievements in the air and in space are not as glorious as they are claimed to be: the space program has a whole new interpretation of the term "automation" which makes the people who have to carry out the "automated techniques" into instant heroes, but in a way you do not exactly want. In the end Omon visits the moon, but not in the way he had expected it to be...
Pelevin wraps his criticisms on the Soviet society in a story which is at the same time hilarious, sarcastic and critical and makes you think of Franz Kafka and Joseph Heller. Definitely worth reading.