The Life on Insects was good. Omon Ra was good. But Buddha’s Little Finger was great.
Moving between events of the Russian Civil War of 1919 and the thoughts of a man incarcerated in a contemporary Moscow psychiatric hospital, BLF is a mind-bending, orgiastic blend of Russian humor and Buddhist philosophy, with so much depth I could read it a hundred more times and still miss something. I only wish P.— Library had the book in the original Russian so I could attempt to read it. I give it the full five stars.
As for Pineapple Water for the Lovely Lady (Ананасная вода для прекрасной дамы)?
I read it in the original Russian (very challenging) and didn’t enjoy it. This could just be me, but in PWftLL Pelevin is somewhat of a one-trick pony. I felt like I was reading the same ideas from previous Pelevin stories, just dressed up in a different guise. The first tale – “Operation Burning Bush” – was fairly interesting, but the rest of the book? Meh. Two stars.
I might come back and write full reviews for these books later, but I’m currently occupied with The Senility of Vladimir P. and Thief in Law: a guide to Russian prison tattoos.
Buddha’s Little Finger by Victor Pelevin; translated by Andrew Bromfield. Pub. 2001 by Penguin Books. Paperback, 352 pages. ISBN13: 9780141002323
Ананасная вода для прекрасной дамы by Victor Pelevin. Pub. 2010 by Эксмо. Hardcover, 352 pages. ISBN10: 9785699462919