Oh dear, It seems that after my Infinite Jest disaster I would be redeemed but it seems that the last book I read and enjoyed was Hallucinating Foucault. That is not to say that I did not like The Clay Machine-Gun but it definitely is not the novel to read after Infinite Jest. Also I didn’t really love the other Pelevin book I read, The Life of Insects so I guess I’m not a Pelevin fan either. Luckily I was able to finish it in two days as the translation is very good and flowing.
The novel focuses upon a soldier called Petr who stumbles into a friend’s, which leads him into a journey of pure madness. Guest appearances include Arnold Schwarzenegger , Lenin and authors who are prominent in Russian history. There’s also a series of flashbacks which deal with Petr’s past military life and lashings of Buddhism in between.
It is a weird novel but don’t let that fool you. Pelevin is mocking Russian mentality (especially when it comes to modern art) and through is characters we some lessons about life. The philosophical and psychological digressions are quite insightful in their own peculiar way.
Like I said earlier though. I was not in the mood for something like this and would have ultimately preferred a more concrete story but now it’s been read and it’s time to move on to the next book