- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (18 Mar. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571177980
- ISBN-13: 978-0571177981
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Omon Ra Paperback – 18 Mar 2002
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A freshly jaundiced view of a distorted world.
A freshly jaundiced view of a distorted world. "
And in its final moments, about what happens when this poor boy actually finds himself rocketing toward the moon, are surely the most memorable passages I read this year.--Dwight Garner
Pelevin is a master absurdist, a brilliant satirist of all things Soviet, but also of things human: our corruptible dreams, petty squabbles, half-assed inventions and, above all, our tendency to allow the purer parts of our nature to be co-opted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Born in 1962 in Moscow, Victor Pelevin has swiftly been recognised as the leading Russian novelist of the new generation. Before studying at Moscow's Gorky Institute of Literature, he worked in a number of jobs, including as an engineer on a project to protect MiG fighter planes from insect interference in tropical conditions. One of the few novelists today who writes seriously about what is happening in contemporary Russia, he has, according to the New York Times, 'the kind of mordant, astringent turn of mind that in the pre-glasnost era landed writers in psychiatric hospitals or exile'.$$$His work has been translated into fifteen languages and his novels Omon Ra, The Life of Insects, The Clay Machine-Gun and Babylon, and two collections of short stories, The Blue Lantern (winner of the Russian 'Little Booker' Prize) and A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia, have been published in English to great acclaim.$$$Victor Pelevin was selected by the New Yorker as one of the best European writers under the age of thirty-five.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is also a suggestion that the story, far from being completely fictional, is an allegorical account of the life and subsequent death of one Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev, a supposedly unknown Soviet cosmonaut who supposedly died of peritonitis in 1970. The suggestion was apparently confirmed by the author in conversation with another author. The story of Belyayev is a strange one; whilst he was apparently originally supposed to fly Vostok 8 into the Van Allen radiation belts, this was cancelled. Strangely, though, despite the fact that he apparently did nothing special, Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union (March 23, 1965), the Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Star, numerous medals and foreign orders.Read more ›
A lot of the pleasure from Omon Ra was from the twists and turns of the plot and the various revelations along the way and it would do harm to reveal more than the bare bones of Omon Ra's journey to the moon. Suffice it to say - the bare outline mentioned about does no justice to a book that is brilliantly subversive, funny, and thoughtful.
I think the most memorable aspect of Omon Ra for me is Pelevin's style. I know that many people, when they think of Russian and Soviet literature think of dark foreboding where despair is the norm and where ones existence is set out in great detail in dense tortured prose whose many threads require all one's concentration to untangle. Pelevin is having none of that and in fact his writing style is fluid, easy to follow and most of all, humorous. To that extent he is more similar to Vladimir Voinovich than to any other Russian/Soviet writer I can think off.
Pelevin's satire and his prose style is what make him, like Voinovich, so subversive. His story does not bang the reader over the head with a hammer (or sickle) to rail against the empty promises and fake myth-building upon which his nation is built.Read more ›
Omon Ra is entertainment from start to finish, following the main character Omon from early childhood right through to his adventure into the unknown. It's hard to say much about this without revealing huge pieces of the plot (and I just hate reviews which do that), but there's a lot more packed in these pages than just the basic story premise.
It's one of those books that can be read on more than one level. It explores friendship, patriotism, the influence of authority and the burning desire to explore the unknown (and the known). It's bleak and depressing at times, and at others it's emotional and very touching.
This was the first of Pelevin's novels that I've read, and it's a certainty to say that it will not be the last.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a genius book! excellent translation, very funny and thought provokingPublished 13 months ago by Ham Books
I am fan of all his books, he is extremely popular writer in Russia. KGB, landing to the Moon, Soviet Union and Unated States astronauts - great humor and very funny reading!Published on 21 April 2011 by Olga
Omon Ra is everyone who dreams to escape from tedium. When life is bleak and love runs on empty then a man or woman may as well dream of the moon. Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2008 by demola
This book is the most convincing and because of this, perhaps the scariest exploration of ideology I have ever read. Read morePublished on 9 May 2007 by Nina
This was the first of Viktor Pelevins books I read. The fluidity of this rather surreal satire is amazing. Read morePublished on 14 Jan. 2003
This book has everything: drama, great characters, excellent plot and great humor. Well worth buying it!Published on 21 Nov. 1998