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Omon Ra

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,235 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Victor Pelevin's novel Omon Ra has been widely praised for its poetry and its wickedness, a novel in line with the great works of Gogol and Bulgakov: "full of the ridiculous and the sublime," says The Observer [London]. Omon is chosen to be trained in the Soviet space program the fulfillment of his lifelong dream. However, he enrolls only to encounter the terrifying absurd ...more
Paperback, 154 pages
Published February 17th 1998 by New Directions (first published 1992)
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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr SolzhenitsynRoadside Picnic by Arkady StrugatskyLife and Fate by Vasily GrossmanCancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Best Post WWII Soviet Lit
17th out of 56 books — 59 voters
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
195th out of 393 books — 1,660 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 16, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In between the time I purchased Victor Pelevin's Omon Ra and the time I started reading it, I skimmed an article somewhere that claimed Pelevin was inspired by and indebted to Mikhail Bulgakov. This was not good news. The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov is one of my most hated novels of all time. If I can't easily articulate what it is I hate about it so passionately, I feel that if anyone were to ask me, 'What kinds of novels don't you like to read?' I could point to a ready-to-hand copy of Th ...more
Apr 17, 2013 Mariel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: wore the same hoodie every day like mum-ra
Recommended to Mariel by: omon is an anagram of the moon
Sometimes I remembered my childhood, sometimes I used to imagine what the rapid approach of the final moment before eternity would feel like. And sometimes I tried to finish off really old thoughts that resurfaced into consciousness. For instance, I thought about the question "Who am I?"

In ancient times it was myths before science.

A head wrapped in foil, built into a model aircraft. The aircraft built to contain the plasticine figure. There's no door. A hatch drawn on the outside, and on the in
Apr 24, 2014 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Shelves: russia, scifi, fiction
Omon Ra is a fun little book about the Soviet space program. Much of the humor relies on a heavy context of Soviet society, but there's also some crude slapstick, one of the best kinds. My favorite parts were when Dr. Henry Kissinger stabbed the man in a bear suit and when the tampon fell out of the cosmonaut's nose.

The book is not just silly humor and puns though. There's something stranger and more mystical here, and the slow-burning pain of the narrator's own life. The moon is not a place of
Not a bad story and it's a quick read but I wonder why I picked this book, and this despite many other wonderful classics that were sitting on my shelf.
Nov 26, 2015 Jelena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A Soviet lad dreams about becoming a cosmonaut and enrols a military space programme – a fairly unpretentious premise that will not be further expanded. I never expected a major scientific investigation or a detailed history of the pioneers of space travel from a satire, a genre bound to be easily accessible and comprehendible in order to convey a critical and analytical point. So the dark side of the Moon brings the magic, and the Soviet construct brings the myth.

So many observations about the
Eddie Watkins
Oct 08, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian-fiction
It is possible I will read too much Pelevin and his resolute stance - which for now turns me on with its playful but surprisingly earnest blend of satire, wild imagination, individual freedom, practical application of meditative practices and exploration of mind – will morph into clownish posturing and I will feel a watery neon sickness rising in my throat, but for now… I will keep reading him until I vomit.

Omon Ra is essentially a dystopian coming of age novel in which the hero's childhood drea
Feb 17, 2016 Michael rated it liked it
When I was ten, I stood in my aunt and uncle's yard in Dallas one night and watched Sputnik 1 make a transit across the constellated dome of the "fixed" stars. Awed by the science that made it possible to put a manmade object into Earth orbit, I had no idea at the time of either the political ramifications of this accomplishment or of the effect that that small sphere crossing the sky would have on my subsequent life. The space race had officially begun. Politicians in this country lamented the ...more
Sep 13, 2008 Andrew added it
Shelves: russian-fiction
Fucking funny as hell. The sort of jet black, Bulgakov sense of humor comes out in spades. Lectures on the Marxist-Leninist dialectic of the Moon, socialist messages in outer space, arguments about Pink Floyd, all are found in this decidedly surreal, madcap, quasi-sci-fi adventure, perfect for both fans of Russian literature (I'll count myself in that camp) and those of you who can't sit through Dostoyevsky.
Hamidreza Hosseini
وقتی این کتاب رو میخوندم فقط این به ذهنم میرسید: شوروی ،حکومت تظاهر و دروغ!
و چقدر آشنا بود اتفاقات و حرفهای این کتاب.
واقعا شوک آور بود داستان. از یه جایی به بعد ، ازونجایی که اومون وارد مدرسه نظامی میشه ،دیگه دلم نمیومد کتاب رو زمین بذارم
Stephen Durrant
May 24, 2010 Stephen Durrant rated it really liked it
One of the most creative and surprising books on this list, "Omon Ra" is the first person narrative of a young man who undergoes bizarre training to become a hero cosmonaut in the Soviet space program. From the outset, the astounding "technology" supposedly capable of producing space flight is set in a context of incredible shabbiness and sinisterness. Soon we learn that Soviet space flight is all accomplished by means of self-sacrificing heroes who, for example, unscrew one rocket stage from an ...more
Casey (Myshkin) Buell
Jun 18, 2012 Casey (Myshkin) Buell rated it really liked it
Omon Ra is a fun, poignant, and ultimately powerful satire of the Soviet state, and on a deeper level, a meditation on human longing and the will to be free. Omon's absurd journey from dreaming child to Soviet Cosmonaut will first delight you, then break your heart. Pelevin writes with a beautiful spare style, which allows him to pack a lot of story into this small book. With an economy of words he brings to life the nightmarish world of Soviet "efficiency" and national hubris; a world of willfu ...more
Vrinda Pendred
Feb 04, 2012 Vrinda Pendred rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Oh how I love Russian sci-fi, so much more meaning than western variations usually have. Reminded me strongly of Bulgakov, which is always good. Dreamlike, surreal, absurd and darkly funny but always poignant and moving in that classic Russian way. The ending was excellent, and I spent the whole next day turning over the symbolism woven into the story and drawing out meanings. Checked out the full lyrics to Pink Floyd's 'Echoes' too, which really added to the book.
Jan 19, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it
Absurd and disturbingly poignant, reading Pelevin's 'Omon Ra' feels akin to taking LSD and staring at a child's mobile of the solar system as the drug wears off (possibly while suspended in a harness, wearing full SCUBA gear and after several months of eating only star-shaped noodles in a bland chicken and cabbage broth as your sole form of sustenance).

It runs the full course of: normality - LSD - coming down from LSD - becoming aware of new surroundings - questioning new surroundings - question
Daniel Simmons
Oct 21, 2014 Daniel Simmons rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2015 Haman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-novel
ته قلبم از حکومتی که تهدید خاموشش باعث میشد هر چند نفری که دور هم تجمع میکنند، حتی برای چند ثانیه، مشتاقانه از بیفکرترین و احمقترین فرد جمع تقلید میکنند، نفرت داشتم. ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Alireza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, novel
کتاب اومونرا کتاب طنز تلخی ست. طنز است چون مسخره می کند، تلخ است چون نمی خنداند. تزویر حکومت کمونیستی شوروی را مسخره می کند اما نمی خنداند چون انسانیت را هدف قرار داده. جان انسان هایی که در عملیات های ابلهانه ی شوروی به اسم قهرمان گرایی از بین رفته. احمقانه از بین رفته. کتاب در تقابل دو مفهوم حماقت و شقاوت داستانش را روایت می کند. داستانی که آشکارا دغدغه های بزرگترش را نمایان می کند. بشر چیست؟ آزادی چیست؟ حد آزادی کجاست؟ زندگی چیست؟ دیدن چیست؟ ما که هستیم؟ و اشارات مستقیم و غیرمستقیمی از این دست ...more
داستان تزویر حکومت کمونیستی اتحاد جماهیر شوروی
این بار در غالب مسائل فضایی و رقابت با آمریکا
فکر کنم فضاسازی این کتاب عالی بود ولی حیف که خیلی زود تموم شد
یعنی یکم پایان بندیش با شتاب بود ، موضوعش خیلی جالب بود ولی جای کار بیشتری داست
یک نکته خوب اینکه با ترجمه هایی که پیمان خاکسار انجام میده با خیلی از نویسنده های جدید آشنا میشیم ، نویسنده هایی که شاید اگر خاکسار دنبالشون نمیرفت شاید هیچوقت نمیتونستیم آثارشون رو بخونیم
این خودش واسه اوضاع فعلی بازار کتاب خیلی میتونه موثر باشه
oguz kaan
Dec 19, 2014 oguz kaan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
İlginç bir şekilde kitabın içerisinde yine Pelevin'e ait olan Sarı ok adında bir novellanın çevirisi de var. Burada ikisinden de bahsedeceğim.

Pelevin, Omon Ra'da Sovyetler uzay programınının bir propaganda aracı olarak kullanılmasını, yüzlerce insanın yeraltında ıssız mezarlarda halkının daha ileriye gitmesi adına cansız bir şekilde yattığını anlatıyor. Genç bir zihnin hayatının tükenişine doğru ilerlerken düşündükleri veya hayalleri üzerine kurulmuş bir altyapıda muhteşem bir yergi var. Bunu y
May 07, 2014 Martha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"من و هر چیز دیگری که در این دنیا وجود داره؛همه و همه رویای موجودی هستیم که خواب میبیند."
یعنی من الان واقعا نمی تونم چیزی درمورد کتاب بگم جز اینکه اصلا از ان دست کتابهایی نیست که من لذت ببرم و بخوام توصیه اش کنم به دیگران..... کلااز همه ی دوستانی که این کتاب رو به اون ها معرفی کردم عذر می خوام یه جورهایی......
Artem Huletski
Jun 26, 2012 Artem Huletski rated it really liked it
Осталось неясное ощущение от того, во что превращаются наши мечты и немного грусти о погибших персонажах. Не ожидал, что заденет. Задело.
Darran Mclaughlin
Mar 20, 2014 Darran Mclaughlin rated it liked it
Shelves: russian, satire
Great debut novel from Pelevin. Omon Ra is a worthy descendent of the great Russian literary tradition stretching back through the likes of Platanov, Bulgakov and Gogol. It begins as an earnest exploration of the burgeoning yearning and idealism of Omon who decides he wants to be a Cosmonaut. Eventually he gets his wish as the Soviet Union feels compelled to respond quickly to the Americans making it to the moon. What begins as a bildungsroman evolves into to a satire on the insanity of the Sovi ...more
Michael Burnam-fink
Apr 17, 2014 Michael Burnam-fink rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, 2014
Omon Ra is dark. How dark? Think Kafka shooting krokodil in a Siberian prison camp imagined by J.G. Ballard and then Iain Banks devours the whole thing with a black hole. Sub-infra-black doesn't even begin to describe how dark it is. That said, this is the wonderful and magical story of young man who dreams of flight and joins the cosmonaut program, only to learn that the Soviet space program is less than it seems. It's a mediation on the theater of Soviet heroism, Stakhanovite exceptionalism, a ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Pooriya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
فکر کردم که هر چند بهنظر میرسد ما انسانها به یکدیگر برخورد میکنیم و میخندیم و بر شانهی هم میزنیم و بعد به راه خود میرویم، ولی همزمان در بُعدی مستقل که آگاهیمان جرئت نگاه کردن به آن را ندارد، ما بیهیچ حرکتی در محاصرهی خلأمعلقایم، بیسروته، بیدیروز و فردا، بیاین امید که بههم نزدیکتر شویم یا حتا ذرهای سرنوشت خود را تغییر دهیم. قضاوتمان از آنچه برای دیگران اتفاق میافتد نور پُرنیرنگی است که به ما میرسد و تمام طول زندگیمان به سوی آنچه تصور میکنیم نور است پیشرَوی میکنیم درحالیکه احتمالاً منبع نور مدتهاس ...more
Andrew Martin
Jan 15, 2015 Andrew Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
polled the audience for recommendations for 2015, the year of fiction. whet said "anything by victor pelevin," and: yes.

pelevin was totally off my radar screen, which in retrospect is sort of hard to believe. omon ra is a madcap little novel that punches way above its weight class. there has been a lot of ink spilled documenting the brutality and fundamental dishonesty of the USSR, but it's hard to imagine anything topping omon ra's utterly devastating satire of the Soviet space program, at leas
Dec 27, 2014 Nate rated it really liked it
I remember stumbling upon the name of Pelevin many years ago when someone referred to him as a "Russian Douglas Coupland." I've since wondered if I invented this term. He had a book called Generation P aka Homo Zapiens aka Babylon and the association with P and X was obvious. Read about twenty pages of that, seemed promising, but I was not the reader then that I am now. My local library has since removed this book from the shelves. This makes me sad.

Omon Ra, however, was a thrill. It's an unbeli
May 08, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shit is Victor Pelevin cool.

Nearly every passage of his I read, I think "this is exactly how i'd like to write . . . if i did write". It's creepy, smart, twisted, creepy, sci-fi-y, creepy, dark, creepy and to the point. I love that Pelevin decides what message he wants to relay to his reader, thinks of how to project it in a fun, creative way, adds a healthy does of "dark", and then just says it. As a writer of novellas, he doesn't pad or fluff his works and says what he needs to say in a way a
Mohsen Rajabi
Apr 11, 2014 Mohsen Rajabi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان پیچیده کتاب، ساده و جذاب است و کمتر برای من پیش آمده که بتوانم این سه توصیف را همزمان از یک کتاب داشته باشم. اطلاعات خوب این کتاب از حکومت شوروی سابق، شباهت هایش با دوران سی ساله اخیر کشور خودمان، سادگی مردم و پیچیدگی اتفاقاتی که برایشان می افتد، همه چنان در روایت مبهم اومونرا پنهان و آشکار در هم آمیخته اند، که وقتی خواندن کتاب را تمام می کنی، متوجه می شوی که هنوز بهتی عجیب همراهت است. ...more
Bakhtiyar Aliyev
Feb 19, 2016 Bakhtiyar Aliyev rated it it was amazing
Great book
Jun 20, 2016 Mahmoud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story
عالى بود تا اينكه آخرش شتابزده شد! ...more
Natalia Sofía
Sep 26, 2014 Natalia Sofía rated it really liked it
"[...]and the low grey sky, which looked as though it had turned its back on the Earth,[...] was probably still unaware that soon it would be ripped open by the iron phallus of a Soviet rocket." (73)

If this sort of aggressive, melancholic and tragic imagery happens to be your cup of tea, delve into this 112-page black abyss. Pelevin's "Omon Ra" does what a novella should do: let itself be experienced fleetingly, and then leave the reader to pick up its pieces. More than a science-fiction narra
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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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“...what are they but the voice of history multiplied by millions of televisions?” 7 likes
“There's obviously some strange correspondence between the general outline of a life and that stream of petty events in which a person is constantly involved and regards as insignificant.” 4 likes
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