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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Reilly who is a graduate of Accidental College in the U. Along the way Gary Shteyngart uses sex, drugs, and violence to present constant dicotomies of pleasure and pain, and hope and despair. Most satires exist in the brain and the gall. Sunni and Shiitewhich generates a passion incomprehensible to absurdixtan but the true believers.

Its topical, hip, in-your-face, and even includes some self-deprecation in the form of a character who is a shteygart for the author. I was skeptical at first because I thought he was going to be an over-hyped “satirical” Gen-Xer kinda thing. Bits with Brooklyn fling quite comical; most other parts too heavy-handed to be laughable.

Shteyngartt main character from “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” makes a cameo appearance, shared with the author himself – “Shteynfarb”.

Scenes become a bit too over-the-top and morality play-ish for me. The novel is written as his appeal, “a love letter and also a plea,” to the Immigration and Naturalization Service to allow him to return to the States, which lovingly and hilariously follows Misha’s attempt to secure a bogus Belgian passport in the tiny post-Soviet country of Absurdistan.

Dec 06, Tommy rated it liked it Recommends it for: Absursistan, the book’s apex is all-too-brief and inconsequential relative to the mountain of rubbish it rests upon. Where can “a sophisticate and melancholic” like Misha turn when all seems lost?

Absurdistan (novel) – Wikipedia

Jun 29, Margaret marked it as abandoned. The character of Rouenna annoyed me endlessly with her silly “urban” talk, and Misha was just a vile simpleton. Shteyngart has given him the further affliction of a mutilated penis, the result of a botched circumcision.


However, if you’re trying to impress absurdistqn with that junk, it’s a wasted gesture, since the people that get it are absurdjstan same people who have already read Dostoyevsky, so they’re already read some shit written in that style. Russian was spoken at home, and he didn’t start speaking and writing English until his early teens.

Russian oligarchs are profiled, and are also funny. You can skip this one, but if you feel you must read it, the hip hop references and absuedistan language as spoken by Russians are pretty hilarious. Kind of a weird book.

Now that’s a real fat cat

Rarely have I read a book where the novel itself so much resembles its primary character. A good read, worthy of its praise. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. It is after his escape from the Absurdsvani capital that Vainberg finds salvation.

Open Preview See a Problem? Is it funny that we have to revisit that over and over? Aug 03, Jack rated it did not like it. Absurdiztan judge a book by its title, but you can bet that a novel called Absurdistan is not going to be subtle or take things seriously.

Misha is Jewish but says this of his religion: I certainly wouldn’t recommend this to anyone else, and envy the people who gave this four or five stars as they must be far more clued in delusional? To me, it progressed as follows: The political satire in the book deals gqry the nature of geopolitics in the age of oil addiction, terrorism and a vacuum in the sort of global stability that existed in the stalemate of the cold war.

Its also an incredibly good read, and, though a slow starter, will keep you enthralled throughout its crazy serenade to all that is hidden, lost and destroyed by a world of nihilistic end-game squabbles over market share. To ask other readers questions about Absurdistanplease sign up.

Absurd person singular

Overall, it simply didn’t sit well with me and stopped being fun to read after the first pages or s Read this one on the strength of several great reviews The ruling class of Absurdistan is in love with the corrupt American absurdisttan Halliburton, which is helping the rulers in a civil war in order to defraud the U. It’s frequently devoid of nuance, as seen in the insistance in reminding what seems to be at least once per page that Misha is really, really obese.


Repetitious sex, gluttonous eating and lame political satire do not make a funny book. He is the narrator of his story here and he reminds us of his fatness on almost every page.

Hence, he is an gsry, and at thirty steyngart done little with his life but eat, drink, and occasionally screw. Jul 13, Dave-O rated it liked it. The US-educated son of a murdered Russian-Jewish oligarch, Misha has more dollars than he can spend, but it can’t buy him the only ggary he really desires – a US visa – since his father killed an American businessman and Misha is banned from US soil.


Apr 02, Sharyl rated it really liked it Shelves: There are darker hints lurking in Misha’s descriptions of his father, and the insulation from the world that his fat provides might also be a layer of protection for a far more personal hurt, the hurt of shteyngadt body that’s been violated. Misha’s father is killed by a fellow oligarch.

It could stand in for almost any country in the region, perhaps even Georgia. What he finds in this country on the Caspian, cheek-by-jowl with Iran, is a place of hovels and Hyatts, swarming with workers from Halliburton which the locals, unable to aspirate shteyngaart English “H,” call “Golly Burton”.

It’s not that this isn’t funny. This hybrid of “A Confederacy of Dunces” and “Fight Club” the book is calculated and scathing in its language.