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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

not-for-profit - a workers'co-op - committed to social justice | 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY - 0151 708 7270

Absurdistan

by Gary Shteyngart - £7.99  Granta Books (2008)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781847080066 | ISBN 10: 1847080065

Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia and proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA. Misha is an American impounded in a Russian's body and the only place he feels at home is New York; he just wants to live in the South Bronx with his 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 (a fictional former Soviet republic), 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.

"Wizard humour, supersize humour, greedy, unsuppressible humour, humour big enough to take on the world and all its problems. With this book, Shteyngart recasts the American comic novel for a globalized age, and restores it to glory."
(Kiran Desai)

(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)

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In booklists: World Fiction - Europe, Writers by Surname - S, World Fiction - Russia, Political Fiction, World Fiction - USA,
In categories: Fiction, World - Europe, Politics & Philosophy, World - North America,

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