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When mythic Ariadne helped Theseus escape the Minotaur's labyrinth with the aid of a ball of thread, she set a precedent for the bewildered victims of a twenty-first-century Minotaur.
In this radical reinvention of the ancient story, the labyrinth exists again - in the endless maze of the Internet. The only path through the alienated landscape lies in the threads trailing from chatrooms where strangers sit trapped and alone before their screens, assigned obscure aliases and commanded by the Helmet of Horror, the Minotaur himself.
Victor Pelevin has created a mesmerising world where information is abundant but knowledge is ultimately unattainable. In a cyber age, is technology anything more than a myth itself?
Victor Pelevin has established a reputation as one of the most audacious of the younger generation of Russian writers. He has degrees from Moscow's Gorky Institute of Literature and has written for the New York Times Magazine, Granta and Open City. He has been selected by the New Yorker as one of the 'Best European Writers Under 35' and by the Observer as one of the '21 Writers for the 21st Century'. His novel, Numbers, won the 2004 Grigoriev Prize from the Russian Academy of Critics.
'Pelevin is one of the funniest novelists writing today.' New Statesman
'A psychedelic Nabokov for the cyber age.' Time