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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There is a very entertaining drug scene in which the protagonist, Vainberg, is very high, and consequently acts very silly and has hilarious hallucinations.

Haunted by his bygone days as an American college student, he frequently recalls attending “Accidental College” aka Oberlin where he studied Multiculturalism. The obvious self-mocking insertion of himself into the narrative falls completely flat. The same paper’s Sunday Book Review listed it as one of the 10 best books of No sooner has he spilt vodka on his new passport for luck, however, than a civil war breaks out between the Svani and the Sevo, Absurdsvani’s two ethnic groups, divided forever in a religious schism over whether Christ’s footrest on the cross leant to the right or to the left.

He is doing laundry in an old townhouse in the South Bronx, surrounded by a garh family. The ending gets serious but there are hearty laughs to be had throughout.

It’s not a novel for everyone — except that it has something to offend everyone — but as a display of raw talent and unfettered imagination it’s undeniably fascinating.

Shteyngart teeters the line between vulgar and funny, often landing on the more-vulgar-than-funny side. Aug 30, Ed rated it it absurdixtan ok Recommends it for: I was never particularly eager to get back to reading it. Absurdistan is the story of Misha Vainberg, a morbidly obese, puerile, self-loathing, genital-obsessed, bloated man-child.


A lot of absurdity, unlikable characters saying and doing weird things, a whiny, misanthropic tone–and none of it feels real to me, none o I don’t know why Gary Shteyngart doesn’t interest me.

So yes, there is a satirical aspect to the book – in “Abusrdistan”, all of the ways in which people are horrible to each other come directly from current events. If this all sounds like too much for one little novel to bear, well, it would gsry if Shteyngart didn’t write such hilarious, quick-moving, and charged prose.

In spirit and goal, Shteyngart evokes and indeed namechecks Joseph Heller and Evelyn Waugh and more than bears the comparison. They wind up there right at the beginning of a shady civil war. This is a masterfully plotted and written story. As the story ends on September 10, he is trying to make his way to his new country of Belgium and ultimately back to New York. Misha reflects on all the things that he wants to know about Belgium, and discovers that he doesn’t want to know very much about it.

Along the way Gary Shteyngart uses sex, drugs, and violence to present constant dicotomies of pleasure and pain, and hope and shtdyngart. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. He’s unlikeable, he’s uninteresting and he’s unsympathetic. Scenes become a bit too over-the-top and morality play-ish for me.


Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if many readers find that they have had enough of Absurdistan before it finishes, too. But it is and Misha has been banned from New York, banned from America, because his father, the th etc. I hated this book, and feel absurd for having read the entire thing. He sets you up with this almost-WB-cartoon-style violence absurdustan a moment where two secruity guards at the embassy in St. It could stand in for almost any country in the region, perhaps even Georgia.


The corpulently fat, incredibly wealthy protagonist, Misha Vainberg, who narrates, is a post-Soviet Russian Jew, son of the 1,th richest man in Russia. Arguably the wrong half. Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart Goodreads Author.

Gaey written in first person and never did I think it should be another way. I have a similar experience with Chuck Palahniukand while these two authors are very different, they both have a specific voice and every one of their novels sounds and reads exactly the same.


But even with my largesse, I could see nothing positive befalling them. Somehow this leads Misha to the small, oil-rich, former Soviet Republic of Absurdsvani. Misha sees the world as it is, stripped of marketing gimmicks to the often ugly misogynis “Absurdistan” is a very self-aware book.

How much more difficult for an immigrant who has English as a second language.

After Misha’s father kills a prominent businessman from Oklahomathe INS bars the entire Vainberg family entry to the United States, trapping Misha in his native Saint Petersburgwhich he nostalgically refers to as “St.