Book - 2006
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" Absurdistan is not just a hilarious novel, but a record of a particular peak in the history of human folly. No one is more capable of dealing with the transition from the hell of socialism to the hell of capitalism in Eastern Europe than Shteyngart, the great-great grandson of one Nikolai Gogol and the funniest foreigner alive."
-Aleksandar Hemon

From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook comes the uproarious and poignant story of one very fat man and one very small country
Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia, proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA (don't even ask), and patriot of no country save the great City of New York. Poor Misha just wants to live in the South Bronx with his hot Latina girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman in Russia, all hopes of a U.S. visa are lost.
Salvation lies in the tiny, oil-rich nation of Absurdistan, where a crooked consular officer will sell Misha a Belgian passport. But after a civil war breaks out between two competing ethnic groups and a local warlord installs hapless Misha as minister of multicultural affairs, our hero soon finds himself covered in oil, fighting for his life, falling in love, and trying to figure out if a normal life is still possible in the twenty-first century.
With the enormous success of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Gary Shteyngart established himself as a central figure in today's literary world--"one of the most talented and entertaining writers of his generation," according to The New York Observer . In Absurdistan, he delivers an even funnier and wiser literary performance. Misha Vainberg is a hero for the new century, a glimmer of humanity in a world of dashed hopes.
Publisher: New York : Random House, ©2006.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812971675
Characteristics: xi, 333 pages ;,25 cm.


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Apr 01, 2019

I kind of hate when publishers put a glut of pull quotes on a book. "Absurdistan," by Russian-born American writer Gary Shteyngart, is drowning in them, and he's (absurdly) compared to everyone from Swift to Vonnegut to the Marx Brothers. The book is comic, but not as funny as its writer seems to think it is. The premise, about a rich, corpulent Russian with a dead dad navigating New York and post-Soviet Russia, has a lot going for it, but it never really coheres into anything satiric or insightful. The ironic use of hip-hop and black vernacular also doesn't sit well in this day and age. He also wrote "The Russian Debutante's Handbook." I didn't like that one either.

Oct 23, 2013

Hilarious take on post-Soviet era Russia with the lovable philanthropist Mischa Vainberg.

Loved it!

Jul 16, 2012

Of Shteyngart's books, I like this one the best. Misha is outlandish and absurd, and knows it. I'm sure there's a deeper message behind the work, but I was quite content to read of Snack Daddy and his escapades.

Jan 24, 2012


Sep 03, 2011

This is one funny, black humoured, extremely entertaining book!

Aug 09, 2010

One of the most "absurd" books I have ever read. Yet, that might be the point :)

Dec 28, 2006

This book was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the five best Fiction books of 2006.


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Aug 09, 2010


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