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352 pages, 2006



1382 books

New York comedian Gary Shteyngart’s hit novel, Absurdistan, tells the uproarious and poignant story of a 325-pound disaster of a human being and the little country he calls home. 

The 1,238th richest man in Russia is Misha Vainberg, who grew up in the South Bronx and now lives in Chicago with his hot Latina girlfriend, Lola. 

But after Misha’s gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman during a botched business deal in Russia, his options narrow—he must either move back to Russia or live on the lam in America.

Satire as a Tool for Social Commentary

In Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart uses satire to highlight the absurdities of politics and society. He makes you laugh, but also makes you think about the state of the world. It's a great example of how humor can be used to explore serious issues.

The Immigrant Experience

Shteyngart digs into the immigrant experience, showing the struggles and triumphs of his protagonist, Misha. If you've ever felt like an outsider, you'll find parts of this book that resonate with you.

The Power of Identity

Absurdistan explores the theme of identity in a complex world. Misha's journey to find his place in the world, despite his many flaws, is something we can all relate to. It's a reminder that our identities are not fixed, but constantly evolving.

The Impact of Globalization

The book takes a hard look at the effects of globalization, both positive and negative. It's a great read if you're interested in understanding how the world is interconnected in ways you might not have considered before.

The Human Condition

Despite its satirical tone, Absurdistan is ultimately about the human condition. It's about love, loss, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world. If you're looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and think, check out Absurdistan.

Quotes 5

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.

John UpdikeJohn Updike - Pulitzer Prize Novelist

Shteyngart's Absurdistan is a riotous, raucous, rollicking romp through the complexities and contradictions of the post-Soviet world. It's a wild ride, and one well worth taking.

Zadie SmithZadie Smith - British Novelist

Absurdistan is a wickedly funny and politically astute satire about the state of modern Russia. Shteyngart is a master of the global, political novel.

Salman RushdieSalman Rushdie - Controversial Novelist

Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan is a rich and nuanced portrait of a country in transition, with a keen eye for detail and deep understanding of the cultural complexities of Eastern Europe.

Jonathan FranzenJonathan Franzen - American Novelist

Absurdistan is a brilliant, funny, and sharp novel that satirizes the absurdity of the modern world. Shteyngart's wit and insight make this a must-read.

David RemnickDavid Remnick - Journalist, Editor
John UpdikeZadie SmithSalman RushdieJonathan FranzenDavid Remnick


Ev Williams

Ev Williams

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