Homo Zapiens

( 1 )

Overview

The collapse of the Soviet Union has opened up a huge consumer market, but how do you sell things to a generation that grew up with just one type of cola? When Tatarsky, a frustrated poet, takes a job as an advertising copywriter, he finds he has a talent for putting distinctively Russian twists on Western-style ads. But his success leads him into a surreal world of spin doctors, gangsters, drug trips, and the spirit of Che Guevera, who, by way of a Ouija board, communicates theories of consumer theology. A ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$10.75
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$15.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (28) from $4.72   
  • New (12) from $8.25   
  • Used (16) from $4.72   
Homo Zapiens

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

The collapse of the Soviet Union has opened up a huge consumer market, but how do you sell things to a generation that grew up with just one type of cola? When Tatarsky, a frustrated poet, takes a job as an advertising copywriter, he finds he has a talent for putting distinctively Russian twists on Western-style ads. But his success leads him into a surreal world of spin doctors, gangsters, drug trips, and the spirit of Che Guevera, who, by way of a Ouija board, communicates theories of consumer theology. A bestseller in Russia, Homo Zapiens displays the biting absurdist satire that has gained Victor Pelevin superstar status among today's Russian youth, disapproval from the conservative Moscow literary world, and critical acclaim worldwide.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Pelevin] conjures up the spirit of Dostoyevsky, as he dramatizes with a slashing wit and a ferocious moralism the battle for the Russian soul." —The Washington Post

"Pelevin's hardboiled wonderland of a Moscow sits well next to Murakami's Tokyo, Cortázar's Paris, and Terry Gilliam's Brazil." —Los Angeles Times

"...[A] bold, confidently written satire with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments." —Time Out New York

Time Out New York
...a bold, confidently written satire with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments.
From The Critics
In the former Soviet Union portrayed in Pelevin's novel, public figures don't exist except as digitized figures owned by media moguls. The narrator is a young poet named Tartarsky who ingests psychedelics, reads American books about advertising and combines the two aids to become a successful copywriter, cynically using literature to gild ads for Western products. Eventually, Tartarsky leaves the ad world to pursue a career writing for news television, crafting scenarios that go beyond Wag the Dog. Like an early absurdist novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Pelevin's satire has intellectual invention—forays into Babylonian history, a sophisticated discussion of virtual reality—and savagely witty parodies of American ad campaigns.
—Tom LeClair
Publishers Weekly
Pelevin, the bard of the post-Soviet era, returns here with another absurdist novel detailing the crazed Russian collision with capitalism. This isn't new ground for him; as in his previous books (Buddha's Little Finger; Omon Ra; and others), Pelevin delights in creating dizzying sometimes just confusing narratives evoking the peculiar realities of first the Soviet Union and now Russia. This time, the subject is Tatarsky, a former literature student peddling cigarettes from a tiny Moscow kiosk. A chance encounter leads to Tatarsky's employment as a copywriter for promotional videos for nouveau riche gangsters. (One key skill described is how to get paid before the client is murdered.) Soon he's spending all his time creating Russian funhouse-mirror versions of American ads and reading vapid American texts extolling the virtues of "comparative positioning." Tatarsky becomes so absorbed by the ad world that even bathroom graffiti strikes him as advertising copy ("Traced on the tiles in a red felt-tip pen were the jolly, rounded letters of a brief slogan: `Trapped? Masturbate!'"). As his reputation as a "creative" grows, he's drawn into ever-shadier enterprises in which the appearance of success is much more important than success itself. Pelevin depicts Russia as an overstuffed value meal of brand names and quick scams (every car is a Mercedes, every vodka a Smirnoff). No Chekhovian introspection here, nor much plot; perhaps there's no time for such things in the new Russia. Bromfield's translation ably captures the book's energetic tone, though his Briticisms ("tosser," "advert") may strike some American readers as out of place. (Feb. 18) Forecast: Wildly creative but somewhat undisciplined, Pelevin's work has yet to find its center, but he has such talent that a masterpiece at some point in the future isn't out of the question. If that possibility isn't enough to attract readers, perhaps the book's jacket art featuring a teddy bear and a knock-off Barbie in a compromising position will help. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
"Comrades! Let us drown the Russian bourgeoisie in a flood of images," proclaims Pelevin's protagonist Tatarsky, who like Russia itself has been utterly transformed by the shift to capitalism. Tatarsky is part of the generation that came of age as the old order collapsed, and he is as unmoored as his counterparts; he's stopped writing poems because "after the collapse of Soviet power they had simply lost their meaning" and works at one of the fly-by-night kiosks that dot the landscape. Then an old friend introduces him to the world of advertising, and Tatarsky discovers his true calling. Pelevin savagely skewers consumerist society, but he does it in such an underhanded way that you're not always aware of the acid. He has the perfect ear for those who don't quite have a perfect ear for the sloganeering they are imitating, and he gives us an unsentimental, photo-perfect image of the brave new Russia. If this work isn't as exuberant and wildly inventive as Buddha's Little Finger, it's partly that Pelevin is such a good writer he can't help being a little bit trammeled by the language of advertising. This sobering satire belongs in all literary and world literature collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/01.] Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The world of advertising gets a richly comic comeuppance in this latest (1999) novel by the hip absurdist (Buddha's Little Finger, 2000, etc.).
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142001813
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/17/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 349,596
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor Pelevin is the author of A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and Other Stories, The Life of Insects, Omon Ra, The Yellow Arrow, and The Blue Lantern, a collection of short stories that won the Russian "Little Booker" Prize. His novel Buddha's Little Finger was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He was named by The New Yorker as one of the best European writers under thirty-five and by The Observer newspaper in London as one of "twenty-one writers to watch for the 21st century."
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    I This book changed my life

    The book that exploded russian literature in late 90's. It is also changed my view on the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)