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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Shteyngart conjures from the outset an atmosphere garry disgust, both in his narrator and in the general corruption of modern Russia, where society is a lurid exaggeration of American consumer culture and its flipside.
Rarely have I read a book where the novel itself so much resembles its primary character. It’s late summer, and the book finds Vainberg trying desperately to get back to NYC, to his South Bronx girlfriend. A lot of absurdity, unlikable characters saying and doing weird things, a whiny, misanthropic tone–and none of it feels real to me, none o I don’t know why Gary Shteyngart doesn’t interest me.
Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Vainberg, a rotund, melancholic Russian man, lives a life of misadventure. One of Misha’s misguided projects is “Misha’s Children”, basically throwing money at as many hopeless orphans as he can find, including ahteyngart group he sees waiting to cross the road in St Petersburg: No, not that one.
Misha, the main character, is a Russian and watered-down version of Ignatius J. On one hand, his voice absurdlstan at times measured and intellectual, yet the bulk of the book is him as a complete blubbering man-child. It blurs at the edges and you’re left nowhere when you spent all this time grounded in a very specific, real “somewhere.
So, yes, Absurdistan is well written and often funny. Fat Russian explores the Middle East a la Confederacy of Dunces, except not quite as charming and a bit garu overbearing. Dopey liberals like myself and sinister ansurdistan Conservative conglomerates everything else on the planetmulticulturalism, modern shteyngary, Jewish religious zealots, vapid urban youth culture, the stereotype of the “poetically suffering Russian”, Soviet-style Communism, American-style Capitalism, vapid urban hip-hop culture, sex, death, love, hope, country, family In the second half of the book “Absurdistan” becomes a bit too slapstick for my taste, void of the very clever wordplay in garj first half.
Since the main character in the book is this type of person, I was immediately at a disadvantage. For another thing, I need to be able to like at least one person in a book I’m reading, even if it’s a “satire”. A “sophisticate and a melancholic,” Misha is an obese gar Russian heir to a post-Soviet fortune.
Is it funny that we have to revisit that over and over? Speaking of postmodern, way to insert yourself into the story. Misha moves from St. Read this one on the strength of several great reviews I know Shteyngart thought he was cute with that one, but really just not so much.
Or Heart of Darknessfor that matter. No country escapes Shteyngart’s absurdistaj satire.
Now that’s a real fat cat
So much of this book is taken up with gross descriptions. Separated from his Bronx girlfriend Rouenna, his quest to escape from Russia takes him to the little-known but oil-rich former Soviet republic of Absurdsvani, where a crooked consular official is willing to sell him a Belgian passport.
Overall, it simply didn’t sit well with me and stopped being fun to read after the first pages or so. Populated by curvaceous brown-eyed beauties, circumcision-happy Hasidic Jews, a loyal manservant who never stops serving, and scheming oil execs from a certain American company whose name rhymes with Malliburton, Absurdistan is a strange, oddly true-to-life look at how we live now, from a writer who should know.
Born in what was then the Soviet Union, Shteyngart came to the United States with his parents in at age 7. Absurdistanon the other hand, is entertaining, but not a laugh riot. Want to Read saving…. Which is just where the pound anti-hero Misha needs them to be. 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.
People say this book is “Confederacy of Dunces” meets “Fight Club.
This disaster of a book is as senselessly profane as it is painful to read. Absurdistan debuted to mainly favorable reviews, including a glowing review by Walter Kirn on the cover of the New York Times Book Review.
Review: Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart | Books | The Guardian
He went to an American college, he’s obsessed with hiphop culture and smitten with his Bronx girlfr Rarely have I read a book where the novel itself so much resembles its primary character. Dec 07, Charles Matthews rated it liked it. It also reminded me of Everything is Illuminated though I’d say Absurdistan is much better, no so cute and a little bit of Vernon God Little. You will feel fondled by the time you finish but you’ll also feel well-fed.
Lovers of good fiction.
Books of the Week. I understood that Steyngart was attempting to draft a novel about the Middle Shteynngart and oil in the same way that Heller wrote about WWII, however it was a presumptuous and b just plain wrong to mention Heller in his text. Where can “a sophisticate and melancholic” like Misha turn when all seems lost? The main character an obvious riff on Ignatius Reilly never gained my sympathy as a reader despite Shteyngart’s best intentions.