The Sacred Book of the Werewolf

Victor Pelevin, Author, Andrew Bromfield, Translator , trans. from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield. Viking $25.95 (335p) ISBN 978-0-670-01988-5

Russian novelist Pelevin's chaotic latest examines contemporary Russia as viewed through the eyes of A. Hu-li, a 2,000-year-old werefox who is able to transform into a beautiful nymphet. The opening chapter is both an introduction to werefoxes as well as an account of how werefoxes, working as prostitutes, utilize their stunning looks to absorb a man's life energy. Hu-li's experiences are standard for an ancient werefox until she meets Alexander, an attractive Russian intelligence officer who happens to be a werewolf. The two share a whirlwind romance, and after some trouble, shack up in Hu-li's bomb shelter. While hiding out, Hu-li and Alexander argue about religion, death, truth and the like until they both claim to be the “super-werewolf.” This argument—and Hu-li's disclosure of her true age—rupture the bliss. Pelevin creates interesting enough characters, but the unexplainable plot twists and the author's preoccupation with philosophical ramblings are nearly as perilous as a silver bullet. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/07/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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