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Generation "П"

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,077 ratings  ·  185 reviews
„Generation П" е роман за комичните пориви на един сценарист, който нагажда американските реклами към местната действителност, когато старият режим си е отишъл, а новият все още не се е установил.
Paperback, 20x13, 250 pages
Published 2002 by Калиопа (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Glenn Russell



"The author's opinions do not necessarily coincide with his point of view." So writes Victor Pelevin as part of his "author's disclaimer" to this bestselling novel marketed under three different titles in English: Homo Zapiens, Babylon and Generation P

"Generation 'P' had no choice in the matter and children of the Soviet seventies chose Pepsi in precisely the same way as their parents chose Brezhnev." When asked by an interviewer what the "P" means, Victor indicated the references are multiple b
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BlackOxford
The Only Drug You’ll Ever Need

What better therapy could there be for the protagonist, Tatarsky, to cope with the final trauma of the dissolution of the Soviet Union than the invention of advertising slogans? On the other hand, magic mushrooms might achieve the same end, namely, the removal of the “relict [sic] of the Soviet era, the slave mentality he still hadn’t completely squeezed out of himself.” This was necessary in order to play the Game With No Name that has taken over Russia.

The gam
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Jasmine
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
Five stars for a book that I resent? Certainly why not?

From the second that I started to read the book I couldn't quite decide if I liked it or hated it. The book comes off a bit like an elitist ass hole. One of those guys who knows he is smarter than you and decides that instead of acting like a civilized person he is going to prove it to you by, well telling you things that don't make any sense and then acting like they do. and if that is not enough he will include diatribes against things th
...more
Marianna Neal
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-russian
4.5 out of 5 stars

I first attempted reading this book when I was 17, and I didn't get far—I was quickly appalled by what I managed to read, closed the book, and didn't think I would ever read Victor Pelevin again. Well... I guess the years have made me a lot more cynical because this time around I not only finished the book, but also found it to be fascinating, clever, satirical, quotable, philosophical, and pretty damn funny. But also rather depressing, and still a bit appalling. I guess my cyn
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Andrew
I'd like to think that I have a bit of a Russian soul. I stare down long, snowy views pinned down by the sheer weight of being, lose myself in massive novels, like to think that I fight for the proletariat, and attribute certain cleansing abilities to vodka. However, this is a Russia that is long since dead. The modern Russia is populated by thugs in tracksuits and all manner of slimy manipulators of post-Soviet malaise. This is the Russia Pelevin writes about.

"Once upon a time in Russia there r
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Quayar
May 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who work in advertizing or who want to understand Russian culture better, either one.
Victor Pelevin is like a pop culture-savvy and Russian Murakami, or like Tom Robbins but less snarky and less lyrical or something. I LOVE him. This particular novel is really interesting because it approaches the world of advertising from a unexpected perspective: in soviet Russia, the seller is the sucker! Some twists are a little hokey, but the final twist is worth the read. I am a huge fan of Russian authors like Bulgakov, Dostoevsky and co, and he definitely plays around with these classic ...more
J.M. Hushour
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Here we are interested not so much in the frightening prospects for tomorrow as in the no less frightening reality of today."

Lordy, this genius is hard to review!
I call it seance fiction. What this means is contacting a reality that runs parallel to ours for their perspective. They usually know better and are picky about their conveyance avatars, like Pelevin. In Homo, a young Russian guy forfeits a career in literature to work in advertising. His job in the main is to write advertisements for
...more
Tracy Reilly
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind-blowing book about how propaganda, especially of the commercial kind, literally infects our being. Pelevin is as hilarious as he is deadly in his satire of what drives modern life. The setting is post-Soviet Russia, rushing towards capitalism, but the message can send a depth charge to America as well. The visual of the Russian Parliament as a pack of cigarettes is----excuse the modern allusion--priceless. This is a different kind of 5 stars than I usually give, and I am already pushing on ...more
Anna
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pelevin’s Homo Zapiens in Russian Generation P, quickly became a cult books. But, if you think that this novel will explain Russian people’s mindset or describe life during the nineties to you, then you are wrong. The author does not describe or explain Russian lifestyle during the nineties, neither he gives an answer to the question that bothers reader throughout this book. Pelevin is post-modernist and the book is structured as a dialogue between writer and the reader. I believe that Pelevin w ...more
Marzhan Alpysbayeva
As it is now popular, I need to start with a disclaimer that this review is an expression of my humble opinion that you should and hopefully would not agree with, otherwise it would mean that wow-factors are doing their job. And beware, because Pelevin intends to both entertain and puzzle the reader by immersing you into what seems to be fundamental, reasonable and even intellectually appealing historical and philosophical narratives, but reducing it to the postmodernist absurdity.

Vavilen Tatars
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julie
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i picked up generation p at dom knigi in st. petersburg in the late 90s. i'll admit i don't think i appreciated its brilliance at the time. we were still too close to it all, the fall of the soviet union and the rise of a new russia. but at last the time was right to read Pelevin again and fully appreciate him. my edition of this book is actually called Babylon, but from what i can see it is the same as homo zapiens.

it's difficult for me to describe adequately the brilliance of this book, the wa
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Tsuhonets
Indeed, a gem. I'm reasonably excited because I haven't come across such a piece in a while.

The humour was excellent. Surrealistic. Like modernised Gogol. Lots of awfully funny nuances. I think the translation as well deserves to be mentioned because although I do not know the original script, I can imagine that the language in this book has required some real brainstorming, so inventive it is.

My favourite part of the book was probably the lengthy and lavish manifesto by Che Guevara's spirit abo
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Paulina
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
finished it in one day. gave me the strangest dream: I wandered into some derelict building - I could see the sea through one window and some huge mountains through another - and met this flying dragon-fox-angelesque creature.

then we sat down like proper yoga people and had a cup of absent. talked about something - probably commercials and pepsicola.
afterwards I went out through the door and met Tatarsky, who asked me whether I had a light. Of course I had a light. but I couldn't find it.
this
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Nelly Aghabekyan
The book was quote interesting, but not really my kind of read. Among all the imaginary and not so much revelations, those that truly interested me were stories of post-Soviet Russia and references to ancient mythologies. Ending didn't have the closure I expected, but thanks to all the mysteries left untold, my thoughts still keep jumping back to them, as if trying to see something I missed, something that was obvious all along. Was worth reading anyway.
Morgan
Apr 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clearly Victor Pelevin wrote the bulk of this book sitting on the toilet or standing in the shower. He collected all his stray thoughts and tried to make them anecdotes in the life of a cipher of a character. This book suffers from the same problems that Tom Robbins continually stumbles over, which is that he wants to convey some grand idea and then he has one character ask a couple questions to fake a dialog, while the other character expounds endlessly with the writer's voice. Whereas Robbins' ...more
Jacob
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In some ways this is a mundane story of a uninspired young person making his way in the world and inadvertently moving through layers of society he didn't know existed. That's the story line in a nutshell, and you've seen that many times before. But the brilliant combination of place (Moscow), time (Yelstin), industry (advertising), and perspective (cockeyed and lonely paranoia) make this a really interesting book.

The main character Tartartsky is in a world seemingly moving from determinism to
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Thomas Hale
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A satirical Russian novel about a guy who gets a job in advertising, and is slowly and inexorably sucked into the tangled mess of propaganda, money and manipulation at the heart of turn-of-the-Millennium Russian society. The book is a great portrait of post-Soviet Russia and the directionlessness of a society that only ten years before had been a Superpower. It's got a really satisfying cynical style that doesn't go overboard, and the frank pseudo-academic writing on advertising is absolutely wo ...more
Oriana
Mar 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah ha, I am copying my own comment on someone else's review into this review because I am lazy and I think it's sad that I never wrote anything here.

Homo Zapiens is (IMO) Pelevin's tour de force. It's a totally fucking incredible story of advertising and mass psychology in post-Communist Russia, with a heavy dose of psychedelic mushrooms, violence, mistaken identity, etc. It's been a few years since I read it, but holy shit was it ever nuts. Plus one of the best cover illos ever.
Alexandra Prochshenko
Whoa! That was a hell of a ride. Five stars!

The story about the advertising guy, slightly reminding of "99 francs", turns into an partly acid capitalistic consumerist dystopia. The mix of advertising, crime rise, oppressors' lexicon, drug usage, social theories, symbolism and mysticism is literally the gist of Russia in "wild 90s" and 00s.

Crazy, brilliant, engaging, human, even educational.
Sidhartha
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scavengering the post Soviet psyche.
Tara deCamp
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, russian
Incredibly inventive, brilliant book. Pelevin has an excellent narrative voice. This book isn't an easy one to read, but it's worth it.
Dinara
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where Reality Ends and Fiction Starts in Pelevin’s Novel Generation “P”

Reading Pelevin’s Generation “P” is like watching letsplay on the new game on youtube without a sound. You can just observe what the character does with some small understanding of what is going on. Nobody explains you anything and all you can do is to try to make educated guesses.
The main hero of the game - Vavilen Tatarsky is the collective image of people of 70s. Of those mystical times when criminals were romanticized,
...more
A.K.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The End of National Myth?
“Oh, what was it all about?” This is the exact idea that readers are left with after finishing the novel. Published in 1999, in a very controversial period of Russian history, the novel was also perceived quite differently. Literary critics also did not express unanimous views: the novel was awarded a “Bronze Snail” (2000) and totally ignored by the judges of “Booker Prize”. The novel known to English readers as “Homo Zapiens” contains several themes. However, one overa
...more
A.K.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The End of National Myth?
“Oh, what was it all about?” This is the exact idea that readers are left with after finishing the novel. Published in 1999, in a very controversial period of Russian history, the novel was also perceived quite differently. Literary critics also did not express unanimous views: the novel was awarded a “Bronze Snail” (2000) and totally ignored by the judges of “Booker Prize”. The novel known to English readers as “Homo Zapiens” contains several themes. However, one overa
...more
Kate Sherrod
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittany Picardi Ruiz
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love Victor Pelevin, but I somehow managed to miss this one when it came out. I only learned of its existence because a friend of mine, who is a big time film fanatic, mentioned a film adaptation premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year under the title Generation P.

Homo Zapiens, the title refers to a theorized new, devolved form of human being whose thoughts and reactions are largely governed by the television, even if, maybe especially if, what he's mostly doing is zapp
...more
SocrateAD
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sharp and entertaining book that proposes a simple model to understanding the modern world. You’ll find in this book depth in analyzing the reality, memorable concepts and typical situations.
The human transformation in the modern capitalist consumerism advertising based society is as follows:
Homo homini lupus.
Man is wolf to man.
Man is wow to man.
Man is wow to wow.
Wow is wow to wow.
Wow.
Types of Wow: oral wow, anal wow, displacement wow.
The advertising ideas presented in the book with thei
...more
Jason
This is the first Pelevin novel I've read. Homo Zapiens for me had a strong first half or so. It started to get weird with the Ouija board, but the book was still interesting; I had a reason to suspend my disbelief.

But then the plot just seemed to get lost. Like Pelevin had too many ideas and couldn't whittle them down. The whole way through the second half, I thought, This is what's happenening next? And looking back, some scenes didn't seem to serve much purpose.

I stopped caring about the re
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Robert Wechsler
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very taken with this novel, even though it’s in the Pynchonesque school I have little taste for these days. There’s a brilliance that tends to make the showiness and reasonable paranoia seem appropriate. Another way of putting it is that this is often a novel of ideas, a look at the world through advertising, with crazy theories that aren’t so crazy, or at least are brilliantly crazy, such as the oral and anal view of money, taken in and spent, that can only be appreciated by reading it. E ...more
Vincent
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An impossible to book to love or hate. Or: I loved reading it as much as it was a slog. Pelevin has said that it is up to the reader to apply meaning to his work, which is good because there were definitely moments that required me to give up on following a story and just accept what was happening.

Far from perfect, this is a novel that suffers from an abundance of ideas, though, in typical fashion, Pelevin somehow manages to get them in order (sort of). I read his short stories and his novella
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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.

RU: Виктор Пелевин
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