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- Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
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- Publication Date:February 17, 1998
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"An inventive comedy as black as outer space itself. Makes The Right Stuff looks like a NASA handout."—Tibor Fischer.
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 absurdity of Soviet protocol and its backward technology: a bicycle-powered moonwalker; the outrageous Colonel Urgachin ("a kind of Sovier Dr. Strangelove"—The New York Times
); and a one-way assignment to the moon. The New Yorker
proclaimed: "Omon's adventure is like a rocket firing off its various stages—each incident is more jolting and propulsively absurd than the one before."
Named by his father after the Soviet OMON, the Interior Ministry riot police, Omon, a Soviet astronaut, renames himself Ra after the Egyptian sun god. As he approaches his final crisis, Omon reflects on the lies he's told and on the one that has just been revealed to him--that the Soviet space program (that he's based his entire life upon) is entirely other than what it purports to be. As Omon tries to reconcile the events of his life, he remembers what a Colonel of the KGB once told him, " ... the more consciously you perform your feat of heroism, the greater will be the degree of truth." The ensuing truths he uncovers are astonishing.
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