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Clay Machine-Gun Paperback – January 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0571201266 ISBN-10: 0571201261

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Ltd (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571201261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571201266
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,000,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Introduction: Russian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lars Tackmann on March 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
On the meaning of the universe, the concept of reality and the truth of one's existence - this book really is one of the best things I've read in a very long time. It is also one of the strangest books you're ever likely to pick up, filled with Murakami style pasta-making anti-heroes.

The story begins in Lenin's Russia with a murder, a heap of cocaine following a series of events where the plot pivots between modern day Russia and a revolutionary red army camp. This absurd story throttles right ahead until the very last page which includes one of the best and most fulfilling endings ever.

Written in a insane dialog, Pelevin manages to create a first class thriller about mistaken identity with meditations on metaphysics. In short if you are a Delillo/Murakami/HTS (Hunter S Thompson) fan, or just a reader of truly great literature then this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ananapha on July 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Pelevin gets deeper into reality--or maybe just questioning reality-- with each novel. I love that every plot point, even name and character could be completely crucial, or could not matter at all, simply depending on what you get out of the novel. His delicately detached protagonist (aptly named Voyd) reminds me of Murakami Haruki's pasta-making anti-heroes (who in fact turn out to be heroes after all). Most importantly, perhaps, I could probably read this book again and get something new and different out of it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Igor Smirnov on February 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read it in Russian. It's an amazing book. I am ordering an English translation out of curiousity. In my opinion, it is beyond translation (you will still have a lot of fun but unless you know Russian history and culture you will miss a lot of its power!) There is so much subtle beauty and deep meaning... + icredible humor -- even though it is a very profound piece of art, that explores the most mysterious puzzles of life. READ IT!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on October 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Pelevin's fantastic The Clay Machine-Gun (in Russian the title of this novel is Chapayev and Emptiness) is a great introduciton to the Russian post-soviet (and, believe me, quite postmodern) literature. It incorporates an element of philosofical mystification into a dual story-line construction with wit sparkling like a crazy diamond. Have you ever wondered, who is constructing the story line you are reading, the author, or Roland Barthes, or you? and what is, at the same time, constructing you? here we are, Chapayev!
What fascinates me most is how brilliantly the novel captivates the twists of the post-soviet Russian frame of mind, at the time where the whole world as we knew it has gone to bits, and in this loosely associated cultural field ideas and artefacts breed, while reason sleeps. The time is out of joint.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ivar Dale on May 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm rarely impressed with "absurd" books - in many of them, the plot and the message seems to disappear in all the weirdness, and the authors often seem to take easy ways out. Not so with Pelevin. This contemporary Russian writer has written a delightfully weird and sometimes hysterically funny book - I still haven't figured out what exactly it is he's trying to say, but I have a feeling there's something there...it's an impossible book to describe, but one that leaves you wanting to recommend it to everyone. Try it.
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