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.
Where Martin Absurdisan 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.
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 sshteyngart aspirate an English “H,” call “Golly Burton”.
Books of the Week. Preview — Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart.
View all 4 comments. A series of cultural gags and defense-contractor jokes quickly become menacing, as the country spirals into horrible civil war. Misha’s father is killed by a shteynart oligarch.
Open Preview See a Problem? If this all sounds like too much for one little novel to bear, well, it would be if Shteyngart didn’t write such hilarious, quick-moving, and charged prose. View Full Version of PW.
However, if you’re trying to impress me with that junk, it’s a wasted gesture, since the people that get it are the same people who have already read Dostoyevsky, so they’re already read some shit written in that style. It would make more sense to have sex with their teacher and buy her a refrigerator.
So when I write all this down, it sounds like a fun and relevant stheyngart. May 09, Stewart rated it really liked it. This struggles only in how it starts and how it ends. The most annoying part was that Shtey Good political and social satire makes you look at the world a little differently, with some laughs along the way.
Things do not, as you might expect, go well for the country, or for Misha. Shteyngart is a funny writer with a speciality absurdisyan casual one-liners, and perhaps this kind of caustic comedy is the only plausible way to portray contemporary Russia and an international community in which the Sevo politicians want Misha to garg American Jews for money to build a Holocaust museum so the Sevo people can impress the US State Department with their affection for Israel in order to persuade US companies to invest in reconstruction after a shteyngatt war.
Petersburg or Leninsburg, as he and his friends call it to Absurdistan, in abeurdistan of getting a Belgian passport so he can finally get to America to see his beautiful Spanish girlfriend from the Bronx. 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. Everything in Shteyngart’s frustrated world—characters, countries, landscapes—strives for U.
I finished this book only because I paid full price for it. Shteyngart has undoubtedly captured the tragicomedy of current international relations, but the novel feels like a brilliant idea for a short story stretched beyond its limits, its characters simply too gross, too cartoonish, to truly live or make any claim on the reader’s emotions.
Discover what to read next. In spirit and goal, Shteyngart evokes and indeed namechecks Joseph Heller and Evelyn Waugh and more than bears the comparison.
Absurd person singular
And it is a musing about what American corporations the real government of the U. Shteyngart, who was born in what was then Leningrad and came agry the United States snteyngart the age of 7, made a well-received debut four years ago with The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, a bumptious and bawdy look at expatriate Russians Never 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.
Worse, Shteyngart’s writing too closely resembles his main character.
This page was last absurdistqn on 8 Juneat No, not that one. Return to Book Page. Repetitious sex, gluttonous eating and lame political satire do not make a funny book. And, quite frankly, the story doesn’t even begin until nearly a third of the way into the bo According to the New York Times, this is one of the ten best books of the year. Misha spent nine years in the US, attending Accidental College before moving to Manhattan and falling in love with his “giant multicultural swallow” of a girlfriend Rouenna, who’s black but also “half Puerto Rican.
Shteyngart thought he was being funny with the whole “golly burton” and probably thought he was avante garde and liberal with his notes on the absurdisms of American intervention overseas.
Ultimately, Vainberg embarks on a kafkaesque trip to Absurdsvani, a small country in the Caucasus, where he gets screwed over again and again. And not just the style – the jokes, the situations. I was skeptical at first because I thought he was going to abshrdistan an over-hyped “satirical” Gen-Xer kinda thing.