Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Russian Debutantes Handbook - Gary Shteyngart
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book - I really didn't even know what it was about before I started it. It was another one of those random buys. I started this book when I was travelling from Ankara to Istanbul on the bus then to Istanbul to Singapore on a plane. I got into the book right away - and there was never a dull moment. This book is about a young Russian-American named Vladimir who is looking for a life of wealth and meaning (and of course a woman). His mother and father are successful but he is not. He works at a non-profit immigration center and that is where he meets an old schizophrenic Russian man who says he will make Vladimir wealthy (actually the old mans son will) in Prava if he helps him get his citizenship. Pretty much everything goes right and goes wrong.
I really enjoyed this book because it was a humorous book about Russia in the nineties. I had never read any contemporary Russian literature before. It was smartly written and really funny! A good read!