Victor Pelevin: Поколение «П» (UK: Babylon; US: Homo zapiens)


The latest addition to my website is Victor Pelevin‘s Поколение «П» (UK: Babylon; US: Homo zapiens), another gloriously funny and wicked satire from Pelevin. This one is nominally about the advertising industry but goes well beyond that. Our hero is Babylen Tatarsky (his first name comes from a combination of Baby Yar and Lenin and has nothing to do with Babylon except, of course, when it does.) He has not adapted to the fall of the Soviet Union, almost pretending it did not happen. While working in a sales kiosk, he is rescued by a former fellow student and taken off to work in advertising, which is the future, as those people borrowing sums of money to start a business need advertising to promote their business and the US companies will need someone to help them to sell to the Russian market. Inevitably, the campaigns, particularly, those devised by Babylen are way over the top. Babylen does so well that he is continually getting promoted, However, drugs, black PR, fake Members of Parliament and oligarchs, the history of Babylon and did I mention drugs? all intervene to take this novel even more over the top. it is great fun, very witty, very inventive and probably not going to be the favourite reading of Putin.

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