To call this book bizarre would be a phenomenal understatement. Quirky, surreal, and at times so unintelligible that you wonder whether something got lost in the translation, this is not a book that I would recommend highly unless you know Pelevin's work and have enjoyed his particular brand of humor in the past. He certainly possesses a very unique outlook on Russian modern-day culture, and he is unapologetic in his ruthless assault on mass media, political institutions, and other elements of society. But his humor and his cultural reference points are perhaps too esoteric for the average American reader.
In Homo Zapiens, the main character, Tatarsky, stumbles into a career writing ad campaigns for various consumer products, ranging from Sprite to Parliament cigarettes. His new job brings him in contact with a range of zany characters, and ultimately leads him to some disturbing discoveries - such as the revelation that political leaders do not actually exist, but rather are simply digital images created by media companies for public consumption through the air waves. Homo Zapiens is filled with similar social commentaries that add definition to Pelevin's slightly disturbing world view. It is a refreshing, and at times humorous, insight into the Russian mentality, but ultimately not a particularly enjoyable or important piece of writing.