Reader, beware: Victor Pelevin's The Sacred Book of the Werewolf [Viking, Sept. 4] may liberate you. It's not hard to imagine Russian-born Pelevin as a Zen master of the literary, intent on provoking enlightenment—his own? our own?—through his work. Pelevin is such a skilled and sly writer that readers won't notice it happening. Just sit back and follow the hallucinatory love story and see where the fun leads. A Hu-Li, a 15-year-old Moscow prostitute, is really a 2,000-year-old werefox who seduces men and steals their life force. Alexander is a high-ranking Russian officer who is also a werewolf. These characters—and their sexual adventures—unleash a free flow of ideas about pop culture and the “nature of mind” in Buddhist philosophy. The result is an outrageously enjoyable, uniquely mind-blowing and transformational literary experience. A truly liberating read—and one people will want to talk about afterward!
Volume 255 Issue 31 08/04/2008