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Absurdistan: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
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Absurdistan: A Novel (edition 2006)

by Gary Shteyngart

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1,971733,441 (3.28)78
Member:gracefulspoon
Title:Absurdistan: A Novel
Authors:Gary Shteyngart
Info:Random House (2006), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:fiction, russia

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Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart

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» See also 78 mentions

English (71)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Wow. Funny? In a sad kind of way. Good? Mmmmm, not really. I enjoy existentialism, the asking about the why life turns out the way it does, but this character has no "Why?" in his vocabulary. He never asks "why me?" or "how can I just change the insanity of my life?," he simply goes on, allowing people to take advantage of his good nature, his money, and his beloved khui till perhaps the very end. That was the moment in the last two pages that he maybe, just maybe, gets a handle on holding his life together. Otherwise, it is more about an absurdly fat man who lives an absurdly wasteful life. Worth reading as it's well-written, but not one of my favorites." ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
I know plenty of upright citizens who would say this is the stupidest book they ever tried to read. However, if you have a dark, cynical, political sense of humor (which those same people would call twisted or sick), then you will probably think this book is as hilarious as I did.

Misha Vainburg is just trying to find a way back into America and the arms of his Bronx sweetheart, Rouenna. When the grossly rich, grossly obese (and all around gross) expat Jew travels to Absurdvani to buy a Belgian passport (of dubioius legality), he finds himself caught in a bloody revolution (of dubious political and social significance).
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Funny, but way too much graphic sex...if Shteyngart had kept SOME of the graphic stuff out it would have been a GREAT book. As it is, I can at least say it gave me a lot of LOLs!
~Stephanie ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Shteyngart's bumbling protagonist, Misha AKA Snack Daddy, is half the reason to read this book; corpulent, obscenely rich, and like most 30-somethings struggling to find place an meaning in world gone crazy.
The other half is Shteyngart absolutely wonderful writing--his palette is broad, the language is rich and mellifluous, making it a joy to romp through this biting satire of a globalized world.

ABSURDISTAN skewers the New Russia with it's cartoonish reflections of the worst aspects of "Americanism"; American foreign policy and it's corrupt elements "Golly-burton! Golly-Burton!"; First World Pop culture as interpreted in the 3rd world...

Nobody comes out unscathed--which is often the flaw of writing a satire. ABSURDISTAN's a little too smart for its own good, and the soul required to ground this wonderful book only occasionally pops its head up; it's only near the end, when Misha's escapades stop being a lampoon, that we finally encounter the true character, but by then the story's done and it's time to ponder what the supremely talented Mr. Shteyngart will come up with next. ( )
  VladVerano | Oct 20, 2015 |
This book is a satire about what is going on in the world today. Looking at terrible incidents which bear similarities to the World Trade Centre disaster and, the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of our Russian immigrant story teller, Misha. Fueled by alcohol and activan, Misha tells the story of his life with humourous vulgarity and somehow, deep insight. Misha is not a likeable character, but somehow the reader comes to like him. He is a lecherous drunk with a heart of gold. I listened to this book on audio, read by the super talented Arte Johnson (of Laugh-In fame) and I am sure his talent for accents and timing humour made the story come to life. Had I read the book I am sure I would have gotten through it, but not so sure I would have enjoyed it nearly as much. Well worth the listen!
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Like a victorious wrestler, this novel is so immodestly vigorous, so burstingly sure of its barbaric excellence, that simply by breathing, sweating and standing upright it exalts itself.
 
In the end Misha gives new meaning to that archetype of Russian literature — the "superfluous man" — while Mr. Shteyngart's novel manages to seem equally beside the point.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Shteyngartprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, ArteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812971671, Paperback)

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:22 -0400)

Hoping to get out of Russia and return to his adopted home in the U.S., Misha Vainberg, the obese son of a wealthy Russian, makes his way to Absurdsvani, a small unstable country on the brink of civil war.

(summary from another edition)

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