Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. At the center of Shteyngart’s rollicking tale of the ridiculousness of life in post-Soviet Central Asia is Misha Vainberg. Patrick Ness applauds Gary Shteyngart’s satirical look at a former Soviet republic, Absurdistan. Gary Shteyngart’s satire on the state of modern Russia, Absurdistan, features a truly grotesque protagonist, says Stephanie Merritt.
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Near the end of the novel, Misha has a spectacularly unpleasant encounter with a Sevo refugee and her young daughter. Absurdistan Gary Shteyngart, Author.
Fat Russian explores the Middle East a la Confederacy of Dunces, except not quite as charming and a bit more overbearing. He is apparently a rather attractive fat man. I really did appreciate Shteyngart’s use of language, which is why I have opted for two stars rather than one.
Overall the language is not interesting, the plot is rambling and stupid, and the main character is self absorbed but not in a funny absurdist way, just a in a whining annoying way. He says of his native land: So, garu, Absurdistan is well written and often funny. Shteyngart even includes a fictional alter-ego, as does Amis – the vain, intellectually risible creative-writing tutor Jerry Shteynfarb, steyngart Russian-Jewish immigrant feted for his overrated first novel, The Russian Arriviste’s Hand-Job not a million miles away from the author’s debut, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook But while John Self lived for money, Misha has a different goal.
Where Martin Amis skewered the avarice and excess of the Thatcher and Reagan Eighties, Shteyngart brings a similar viciously clever humour to a world dominated by the fragmentation of the Russian empire and American ‘interventionist’ oil wars.
Mar 09, Ana rated it really liked it Shelves: I know that this is classified as a satire, but I felt that Shteyngart was making his characters such irritating cliches that I wanted to commit violent acts against them.
Absurd person singular
Too self-aware at times? There is a very entertaining drug scene in which the protagonist, Vainberg, is very high, and consequently acts very silly and has hilarious hallucinations. The ruling class of Absurdistan is in love with the corrupt American company Halliburton, which is helping the rulers in a civil war in order to defraud the U.
Here, his concerns are the same: And women seem to love him back. And it is not pretty. Absurdistan’s reputation for oil riches got it the title ” Norway of the Caspian. And its a fun story to boot, a rollicking yarn ripe with deadpan humor and a shrewdly bursting heart full of gold.
Along the way, Shteyngart’s graphic, slapstick satire portrays the American dream as experienced by hungry newborn democracies, and covers everything from crony capitalism to multiculturalism. Before he can leave to live in the EU, where he can at least be freed from his hated life in St Petersburg, the country breaks out in civil war.
Had I not been reading it for a book club, I probably would have bailed out halfway through. It takes until well into the final act to finally find its feet, but it moves deftly in the all-too-brief period where it’s the narrative’s focus.
Open Absurdistan and meet outsize Misha Vainberg, son of the 1,th-richest man in Russia, lover of large portions of food and drink, lover and inept performer of rap music, and lover of a South Bronx Latina whom he longs to rejoin in New York City, if only the American INS will grant him a visa.
He is doing laundry in an old townhouse in the South Bronx, surrounded by a huge family. On one hand, his voice was at times measured shteyngqrt intellectual, yet the bulk of the book is him as a complete blubbering man-child.
As much as I like eating and fucking as the rest of the world, I really would rather not watch while it is done by the obese. As the city is razed by warring factions, Vainberg confronts the supreme horror and nihilism of war.
But Vainberg wastes no love on either, for he is trapped in the former USSR while his countrymen remain in the west, leading normal lives. After Misha’s father kills a prominent businessman from Oklahomathe INS bars the entire Vainberg family entry to the United States, trapping Misha in his native Saint Petersburgwhich he nostalgically refers to as “St. It seemed like there could have been a whole novel made of what was really only the third act in Absurdistan, and I think I would have liked that novel, but the whole package seemed patched together to a degree.
And it is a gaey about what American corporations the real government of the U.
He sets you up with this almost-WB-cartoon-style violence there’s a moment where ansurdistan secruity guards at the embassy in St. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
Only, it really isn’t all that witty and comes off more like the author’s unwelcome and egotistical intrusion into an already tenuous plot. If you have any standards of decency, stay away from this book.
As a satire though, I thought it fell a bit short. Jul 13, Dave-O rated it liked it.
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
And Gary Shteyngart’s second novel is pretty much what you’d expect from the title: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Books by Gary Shteyngart. And, yes, he does directly mention Dick Cheney. I think perhaps their reviewers need to read better books. You can help Wikipedia absurdostan expanding it.