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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In spirit and goal, Shteyngart evokes and indeed namechecks Joseph Heller and Evelyn Waugh and shtsyngart than bears the comparison. Views Read Edit View history. 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 thing he really desires – a US visa – since his father killed an American businessman and Misha is banned from US soil.

All that said, there’s a skeleton of good satire and actual humor wrapped in Absurdistan ‘s corpulent prose.

What shteyngarg sad year for literature was ! Hence, he is an oligarch, and at thirty has done little with his life but eat, drink, and occasionally screw.

They wind up there right at the beginning of a shady civil war. But of course, being written inand as the parantheticals may have indicated, it comes with the full on tongue-in-cheek self-awareness of post-post-modern literature god I hate myself just thinking that sentencewith Shteyngart appearing as a villain in the story, that is in fact the book’s greatest weakness.

Want to Read saving…. As a satire though, I thought it fell a bit short. Aug 01, Jeffrey rated it it was amazing. His melancholy ass is kicked around until he detaches from his precious ego, wbsurdistan weight, and finally meets the few good people who save his life.

I think perhaps their reviewers need to read better books. According to the New York Times, this is one of the ten best books of the year. Sadly, the book’s apex is all-too-brief and inconsequential relative to the mountain of rubbish it rests upon.


I also have beef with the author’s self-satire, which shteyngsrt in the form of an often referenced nemesis in America who wrote ” The Russian Debutante’s Handjob. Overall, it simply didn’t sit well with me and stopped being fun to read after the first pages or so.

During the thirties and forties, Stalin had killed half my family. It’s almost like he’s begging the reader to be impressed by his wit. Shteyngart has given him the further affliction of a mutilated penis, the result of a botched circumcision. I instantly became a fan of this author, and would love to try his other book, “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook”.

It’s an autocratic country with an autocratic tradition and an autocratic church.


One of Misha’s misguided projects is “Misha’s Children”, basically throwing money at as many hopeless orphans as he can find, including a group he sees waiting to cross the road in St Petersburg: Dopey liberals like myself and sinister corporate Conservative conglomerates everything else on the planetmulticulturalism, modern art, Jewish religious zealots, vapid urban youth culture, the stereotype of the “poetically suffering Russian”, Soviet-style Communism, American-style Capitalism, vapid urban hip-hop culture, sex, death, love, hope, country, family Sadly, for me, it is very rarely when I am in the mood to read a satire that is as dedicated to its cleverness as Absurdistan.

It seemed like there could have been a whole novel made of what was really only the third act in Absurdistan, and I think I would have liked that novel, but the whole package seemed patched together to a degree. This vacuous ogre of a protagonist, Misha Vainberg, dawdles away life by lavishing ove This disaster of a book is as senselessly profane as it is painful to read.

Misha is a hedonist and a melancholic and he loves women.

Absurdistan (novel) – Wikipedia

In his heart, he is back with his true love. View all 3 shteynggart. Of gold-digging relatives at his father’s funeral, he tells us: The Best Books of Aug 05, Dorothy rated suteyngart it was amazing Recommends it for: At its best “Absurdistan” is clever to the nth degree. Before he can leave to live in the EU, where he can at least be freed from his hated life in St Petersburg, the country breaks out in civil war. Shoes hang from telephone poles. Shteyngart teeters the line between vulgar and funny, often landing on the more-vulgar-than-funny side.


He is doing garyy in an old townhouse in the South Bronx, surrounded by a huge family. My problem is that I’d had enough of Shteyngart, but didn’t realize it.

Now that’s a real fat cat

On sale May 2. He is the narrator of his story here and he reminds us of his fatness abwurdistan almost every page. All of which gay have been unbearable had Shteyngart not given him a voice so rich and vary funny. But because he is wealthy, Misha is never short of young women moistly ready to leap on his ravaged khui and he never misses a chance to describe this either, which after a while does slow down the plot.

Feb 11, Ryan rated it it was ok. Petersburg or Leninsburg, as he and his friends call it to Absurdistan, in hopes of getting a Belgian passport so he can finally get to America to see his beautiful Spanish girlfriend from the Bronx.

Nov 09, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: