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Жизнь насекомых

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,281 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Victor Pelevin has the sort of unbridled comedic imagination that can make most writers seem insipid by comparison. Born in 1962, the Russian writer has already published three story collections as well as a splendidly funny take on the Soviet space program, Omon Ra. From time to time his effects lurch out of control, yet Pelevin's manic level of invention tends to carry u ...more
Published (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cosimo
Feb 24, 2016 Cosimo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il secondo mondo

“Ti stai attaccando alle parole. Posso dirlo anche in un altro modo: quando cerco di prendere una decisione, dentro di me mi imbatto sempre in qualcuno che ha preso la decisione opposta, ed è proprio questo qualcuno che poi fa tutto”.

Il romanzo di Pelevin racconta le vicende grottesche e e surreali di diversi personaggi incarnati in insetti umani: mosche e formiche, lucciole, falene e scarafaggi sono protagonisti di storie esilaranti e allegoriche in un mondo di passione e crudel
...more
Karen
Apr 10, 2009 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this felt like listening to someone tell a joke in a language you only kind of understand. The book is supposed to be a satire, and the things being satirized didn't really mean anything to me, and most of these stories just did not make sense on a superficial, non-symbolic level. That said, the premise is really cool, and I love the way that Pelevin handles the simultaneous humanness and insectness of the characters - they never transition from one to the other, but exist as both, and t ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 05, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
Move over, Franz Kafka. You only have Gregor Samsa turning into a giant Austrian bug. Victor Pelevin has so many insects turning into Russian politicians, soldiers, etc. You both use the insectness of human beings or humanness of the insects as a readable interesting satire or metaphor but since Pelevin has more in his arsenal, he, for me, is your rightful heir in the satire arena of world literature.

This book is mesmerizing in its prose. It will keep you on your toes because you have to figure
...more
Harry Kane
May 18, 2012 Harry Kane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Pelevin's native Russia, there are two specific cricisms aimed at him by the formidable Russian literary establishment. Apart from people whining that he destroys culture, but these we give a wide berth. Anyhow, criticism one is that he doesn't really write novels, but thinly disguised social satires which peddle absurdist Zen values. The second criticism, is that he always retells the same Zen story in every book.
Indeed, that is exactly what Mr. Pelevin does, and exactly why I love his stuf
...more
Victoria
Mar 22, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, philosophy
This book took me on an absorbing journey filled with confusion and surrealism. Pelevin constantly keeps his readers on guard by having characters undergo metamorphosis (literally) between the human and insect state in the middle of sentences. Communism, society, and post-USSR Russia are satirized through such characters as a moth who questions his own existence, a dung beetle who adheres to what he has been taught all his life even when his beliefs do not answer his son's questions, an attracti ...more
Lorenzo Berardi
Despite its title, this book doesn't speak about entomology. Not in its common terms, at least.

Six years have passed since I've read "The life of insects". In the meanwhile Viktor Pelevin, who was considered one of the best contemporary novelists of the so called "new Russian generation" has been forgotten by many reviewers. Unfortunately for him there has been a new wave of angry, young and often attractive teenagelike Russian novelists to talk about. Pelevin who's in his fourties looks like a
...more
J.T.
"The Life of Insects" is not for the Disney-minded, though it delves quite frequently in the silly and absurd, and uses animals -- well, insects -- to represent people. The book is written as a comical "Metamorphosis," at times witty, silly, morbid and profound. Humanity is viewed as insects through some dismal, cosmic microscope. We are the insects always trying to find the light, but finding only darkness, pushing along a ball of dung (our corporeal body) and never rising above our materialist ...more
Allison
I need to read this book again in about 30 years... It's so craftily constructed, with separate narrative strands so intricately interwoven, that you feel you have encountered the ensnaring web of a master. So much comes together at the end that you're left wondering if you really were smart enough to successfully maneuver in and out and around the silk-like threads of Pelevin's web... Or if you are merely a dazzled moth, suspended in flight, vulnerable and unknowing, a Pelevin success.

Either t
...more
Sashinka
Mar 12, 2016 Sashinka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
I really enjoyed these short stories that are all intertwined in their own ways. As much as social commentary on Russia as a novel, this is an intriguing book that deserves more time. It's also very strange... essentially it's about a number of different insects, each of whom have their own characters and journeys to make. More than that would be a spoiler but I definitely recommend it.
Greg Heaton
Sep 06, 2012 Greg Heaton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-greatest
Mind blown. Beautiful, luminous, heartfelt. Transcendent. (And I don't use that word lightly)

Chekhov meets Gogol meets Ovid.

The Seryozha chapter might be the single greatest short story I've ever read.

Read it.
Max Rotem
May 28, 2011 Max Rotem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Одна из моих любимейших книг Виктора Пелевина. Оджнажды слушал ее в формате аудиокниги в исполнении Сергея Маковецкого. Великолепно.
Danielle
The Life of Insects is by Russian writer Victor Pelevin, and was first published in Russian in 1994, with the English translation following in 1996. I was attracted to the story by Pelevin's approach to combining human and insect traits at will; one moment a character is swimming in someone's food as a small insect, and the next they are plucked out and seated at the table as a full grown human.

I wanted to see how he would accomplish this, and if I liked the results. I was surprised at how much
...more
Emre Ergin
Aug 16, 2012 Emre Ergin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Özellikle Mitya ve Dima'nın başrolü olduğu bölümler taklit edilemez bir ustalıkta yazılmıştı.

Kitabın en büyük özelliği her bölümde okuyucuyu kandırabilmesi. "Ha bu bölüm bir insana dairmiş." "Ha bu bölüm bir böceğe dairmiş." dediğiniz her seferinde yanılıyorsunuz. Bunun dışında bölümler kendi içinde çok orjinal öyküler. Kitabın en büyük sorunu da bu. Ne bağımsız öykülerden oluşan bir seçki olacak kadar kopuk, ne de adına roman denmesine yetecek kadar bütünlüklü. Her iki yöne doğru yapılabilecek
...more
Darran Mclaughlin
Pretty good novel, but not as good as I was hoping. I was expecting the Russian equivalent of Houellebecqe, Coupland and Palahniuk, (i.e. a hip young writer with his finger on the pulse about contemporary life) but this didn't reach those heights. Reviews from the Indy on Sunday and the Observer describe this as a cyberpunk novel, which it isn't at all but allows them to throw in a cool contemporary buzz word. It's much more similar to Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino and the work of Gogol. Worth a ...more
Lisa
May 14, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Life of Insects is a challenging read at times, as the characters constantly swap between being human and insects of various kinds. Once I had accepted that, in much the same fatalistic way that the characters themselves accept it, I loved every turn of the story. Despite the Kafkaesque metamorphoses, it has very realistic storylines, showing the different facets of life in a dysfunctional society, with people in dysfunctional relationships. I sympathised with the predicaments of insects dyi ...more
J.M. Hushour
Jan 13, 2015 J.M. Hushour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about bug people or people bugs, depending on how you want to look at it. A small cast of characters meander through their holiday by the Black Sea, flitting back and forth between human and bug. It is this muddy distinction that charges the novel with its pecualiar beauty, for the characters, whether its the trio of businessmen/mosquitoes, the ant queen dealing with motherhood, or the philosophizing dung beetles, are wonderfully rendered. The ambiguity of their identity, or rathe ...more
Amerynth
I should start off saying I detest Kafka, so there wasn't a ton of hope that Victor Pelevin's novel "The Life of Insects" was going to get a high rating for me. Pelevin takes Kafka's ideas from "The Metamorphosis" and elevates them to another level.

In the book, people are bugs. There are quite a few clever bits woven throughout the stories, which I liked. You would probably get more out of the book if you know more about modern day Russia... I felt like there were a bunch of inside jokes that I
...more
Beverly
Feb 01, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-bymrbyd
This was certainly a strange book but also strangely entertaining. It begins with 3 businessmen, 2 Russians and 1 American, meeting and discussing some market research the American intends to conduct. When they prepare to leave we discover that they are actually mosquitoes. That pretty much sets the tone of the book. As various situations unfold we discover that although they certainly sound like things that happen to people all the time, they are happening to a variety of insects. This is a qui ...more
Lina
Mar 04, 2016 Lina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who are you? An ant, a fly or a cockroach?
Keepcoolbutcare
Dec 08, 2008 Keepcoolbutcare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i like bugs
Matti
Jul 26, 2011 Matti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Minulle suositeltiin tätä kirjaa Daniil Harms -fanitukseni perusteella. Olihan tämäkin kirja hieman avantgardistinen sisällöltään, mutta ei mielestäni vertaudu silti Harmsiin. Jo senkin takia että olkoonkin että tarinan päähenkilöt ovat hyönteisiä ja tekevät omituisia asioita, mutta he toimivat silti täysin oman hyönteislogiikkansa mukaan eivätkä olleet arvaamattomia, irrationaalisia eivätkä tehneet odottamattomia sanavalintoja.
Jotenkin kyllästyin myös kirjan lakkaamatta tarjoilemaan eksistenti
...more
Becky
Mar 12, 2014 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Either I'm not clever enough, or don't know enough about modern Russian history, or both, but this "hilarious" satire left me completely cold. Apart from the odd reference to drinking aftershave, the organisation of the ant community and the interference by modern American fancy insects, I didn't get it at all. There's the obvious comparisons to The Metamorphosis, but aside from the obvious (INSECTS!) I'm not really sure where they were headed with that one. Meh.
Ruli
Jun 23, 2014 Ruli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Qué difícil reseñar un libro como éste. Cuando me preguntan si es un buen libro jamás he podido contestar. Definitivamente Pelevin tiene la receta adecuada para narrar la historia de un insecto y un humano al mismo tiempo. Es mediante esta metemorfosis que logra mostrar los vicios, el egoísmo, pero al mismo tiempo la búsqueda de la vida por el hombre. El problema radica en el simbolismo y las referencias a una sociedad postsoviética de la cual no fui ni seré parte. En algunas la evidencia es sen ...more
Stacy
Jun 02, 2015 Stacy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ru, audio, 1001-to-read, 2015
Большую часть книги возникала лишь мысль - что за бред? Моментами однако параллели с реальностью связывались воедино. Столь негативное суждение также обосновано озвучкой, в которой было много посторонних раздражающих звуков и эффектов, по громкости превосходивших сам начитанный текст. В итоге во время прослушивания периодически вздрагивала от резких звуков.
Hudson
Apr 15, 2016 Hudson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly this book would have been more enjoyable had I understood what Pelevin was clearly trying to satirize. Unfortunately, this book is relatively inaccessible for most American readers. Because of this, the whole book lacks a coherent plot for many readers.

However, the surrealism is enjoyable.
Eugene Mamin
Sep 03, 2015 Eugene Mamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Книга-аллегория, лейтмотивом проходит тема вечной суеты, мелочности и мещанства; истинности жизненных ценностей как таковых. Видимо, поэтому выбраны герои-насекомые: комары, букашки и муравьи вызывают у многих презрение уже только своим жалким видом и заботами.

Несмотря на хитропсплетённую композицию, мало того Пелевина, который заставляет читателя чувствовать себя такой же букашкой и недотёпой. Мало странных миров, мало ярких персонажей, которые зажигают огонь своими сумасбродными, меткими и про
...more
Catherine
"И вообще во всем этом постмодернизме ничего нет, кроме хуев и треугольников." Как и в этой книге, на мой взгляд.
Я прямо чувствую, как автор упивается своей оригинальностью, и лично мне это противно. Единственный плюс того, что я это прочитала – я составила свое мнение о Пелевине.
Dan Coxon
Feb 09, 2015 Dan Coxon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly original, with some surreal but poignant imagery. Suffered a little from being TOO allegorical - the satirical barbs were relentless - but still entertaining and thought-provoking. I'm still a little in awe of the way he slips from insect to human to insect again, sometimes in a single sentence. Masterful stuff.
Erma Odrach
Jun 10, 2009 Erma Odrach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Life of Insects is a satire of post-Perestroika Russia. It is an absurdist novel with a Kafkaesque premis. Two Russians and one American businessman visit a run-down resort on the Black Sea, where they try to find ways to make quick money. The characters metamorphose from human to insect and in some sentences find themselves in a human-insect state. It is through their eyes that we witness post-Communist Russia --Natasha, a fly prostitute sets out to seduce her 'johns', a mother ant pushes t ...more
Rose
Oct 03, 2008 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russian history buffs, entymologists
Recommended to Rose by: 1001 Books
This book is interesting. I'm told that it has a lot of allegory and symbolism in it, but since I don't know a lot about post-perestroika Russia, I just had to take it for what I saw, which was a lot of stories about people turning into insects and back again.

It wasn't really engrossing like I want in a novel, so after a while, I lost interest. But there were also some very touching vignettes. Particularly interesting to me was the story of the father dung beetle and son dung beetle. I feel like
...more
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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)

See also http://en.wikipedia.
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