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Absurdistan

by Gary Shteyngart

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,223784,929 (3.29)83
"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.… (more)
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» See also 83 mentions

English (76)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Farce and satire blended together into a dark mix.
An excellent read for a certain type of reader who
has good mix of cynicism and knowledge of world history.
If you don't, please skip this book and go read about zombies. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
The runner-up of the 2007 Morning News Tournament of Books (https://themorningnews.org/tob/2007/) In my opinion, 'Absurdistan' was ROBBED from winning against the drab McCarthy confusion that is 'The Road'. I would have chosen Absurdistan! Could this match-up have been any different? I'm finding I like books about unlikable underdogs more than other readers seem to. Others just can't hang with Zebra from 'Call Me Zebra'. Misha here isn't quite unlikable but he would sometimes be a bit MUCH for others. Always talking about his squishy hands. Sometimes plotless, but I love a writer who is in love with words this much and will forgive such a plot, but I guess that is the norm for absurdist fiction. The "pizza resistance" mention was the pizza resistance of this entire book!!! I won't say more, as you'll either love this book or you won't.
This reminds me of so many, though none can have that Shteyngart sparkle:
Call Me Zebra - Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Home Land - Sam Lipsyte
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
Wise Blood - Flannery O'Connor ( )
1 vote booklove2 | Sep 3, 2020 |
Meh ( )
  Kelmanel | Apr 17, 2020 |
2.5 stars. Shteygart's strong writing was really the only thing that kept me reading. I enjoyed his other two novels much more than this one. ( )
  AaronJacobs | Oct 23, 2018 |
This author is hilarious, but he's so busy being funny that the narrative of the story suffers. I could only read it in small doses or my mind stayed to drift. His talent is undeniable. I should try his debut. .. The Russian Debutante's Handbook. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (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.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Shteyngartprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnson, ArteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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