Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
The Helmet of Horror: The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur Hardcover – March 27, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In the Greek myth, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos of Crete, falls in love with Theseus and helps him kill the fearsome Minotaur, a half-bull, half-human monster trapped in the center of a vast labyrinth. Armed with the sword that she supplies and holding the end of a thread that marks his path, Theseus kills the beast and makes his way back out. As his addition to the Myths series, celebrated Russian novelist Pelevin creates a brilliant new telling of the myth: a group of strangers find themselves in a modern-day labyrinth, trapped in identical rooms, given archetypal screen names and able to interact only through a chatroom thread begun by one "Ariadne." The figures who inhabit this doomed maze are drawn from many sources, for instance, "Romeo-y-Cohiba" and "IsoldA" both look for love, but are stymied when they try to find it with each other. All are haunted by the "Helmet of Horror," which is both the machine that controls their destiny and the mind that creates the machine, and there is no Theseus to save them. Pelevin has updated this myth in an absurd and terrifying metaphysical consideration of the labyrinths in which we all find ourselves and the traps we willingly enter as we move through our lives. (Apr. 18)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"'A psychedelic Nabokov for the cyber age' TIME MAGAZINE 'Pelevin is one of the funniest novelists writing today' NEW STATESMAN 'What is truly stunning is the whole-cloth originality of Pelevin's vision... A virtuoso performance, at times as deep-hearted as a Tchaikovsky pas de deux, at others as light-fingered as "The Flight of the Bumblebee'" LOS ANGELES TIMES 'One of the greatest pleasures of Pelevin's writing is the perfectly pitched irony of his narrative voice, which pokes fun at his characters but never abandons sympathy for them' GUARDIAN" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
While not the pinnacle of his novels (I still hold The Yellow Arrow as his masterpiece and one of my favorites), and of Pelevin's books are well worth the price of admission, and the translation helps to keep the work both accessible and a little bit exotic. Definitely worth the time!
Borges is clearly a major influence on Pelevin, and it is as if he set out to write a post-national novel in which it isn't clear if any or all of the characters are Russian or anywhere near Russia. There is quite a bit of talk about ways of controlling individuals so that they do what the powers that be want while retaining the illusion of individual choice, which could be about Russia or could be just about anywhere.
When reading Anthony Smith's Nationalism: theory, ideology, history (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010), I came across a statement on the problems of postmodern postnational culture that explains the limits of The Helmet of Horror better than I can: "the skeleton of computerized information technology and the virtual reality it creates must be covered with the flesh and blood of existing cultures, or rather, with selected motifs and elements ('shreds and patches') from those cultures, put together in playful, cynical satire, their original meanings transmuted to fit the ever-elusive present. So, a postmodern and cosmopolitan global culture can only be eclectic, hybrid, fragmentary and presentist, forever being up-dated, forever in search of 'relevance.' Such an esoteric and patchwork culture could only have limited appeal, even when it makes use of popular cultures, and little staying-power and resilience, even though it seeks to avoid pastiche." (146)
The ending is also a disappointment. It reminded me of the last episode of the X-files, which tried to be so ambiguous and so "everything to everybody" that it just flopped.