Gary Shteyngart

Published: 4 February 2008
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 352 pages
ISBN: 9781847080066


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 US 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.


‘A riotous satirical story’



‘A satire that strikes out in all directions ... astonishingly funny and exquisitely written’ Tibor Fischer

‘Gary Shteyngart's brilliant, scathing new novel ... is a satire, an irrepressible, fiery and hilarious one, but it's also surprisingly sensuous. Most satires exist in the brain and the gall. Absurdistan adds a stomach and a libido. You will feel fondled by the time you finish but you'll also feel well-fed’ Patrick Ness

‘His writing is witty, intelligent and has an audacity of information that often left me helpless with laughter ... Shteyngart's comic gift becomes truly apparent. This is a wonderful book.’ Robert Colville

‘It's the best American comic novel since The Confederacy of DuncesSimon Schama

‘Like a victorious wrestler, this novel is so immodestly vigorous, so burstingly sure of its barbaric excellence, that simply by breathing, sweating and standing upright it exalts itself’

‘The post-Soviet era's own Joseph Heller’

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