Thursday, November 02, 2006

Absurdistan, A Novel by Gary Shteyngart, 2006

A satire of the new Russian oligarchy and the American dream as it flourishes in a post-Soviet, post-communist Russia and the oil-rich fictional ex-Soviet republic of Absurdistan. If you read the "Russian Debutante's Handbook" by the same author , be prepared for more of the same. It is funny but you if take out half of the 350 pages of the book, it would definitely benefit from it. The best about the book is the language of the first person narrative of main character -the son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia, Misha Vainberg. American educated (Accidental College), he has adopted the insider lingo of a multiculturalist politically correct American academia. Using this language to describe a totally absurd Eastern block reality, which combines totalitarian mentality, maphiotic culture and senseless fascination with capitalism, makes the book great fun (up to a point - and that point could be page 185.)


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