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"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, the great-great grandson of one Nikolai Gogol and the funniest foreigner alive." -Aleksandar Hemon. From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook comes the uproarious and poignant story of one very fat man and one very small country. Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia, proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA (don't even ask), and patriot of no country save the great City of New York. Poor Misha just wants to live in the South Bronx with his hot 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, 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. With the enormous success of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Gary Shteyngart established himself as a central figure in today's literary world--"one of the most talented and entertaining writers of his generation," according to The New York Observer. In Absurdistan, he delivers an even funnier and wiser literary performance. Misha Vainberg is a hero for the new century, a glimmer of humanity in a world of dashed hopes.
Heralded as "one of his generation's most original and exhilarating writers" by The New York Times, Gary Shteyngart has fused his literary chops and biting humor into one-of-a-kind fiction that provokes, inspires, and entertains--sometimes all at once. Throughout the two bestselling novels in this eBook bundle, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story, Shteyngart is at the height of his powers: "wildly funny" (San Francisco Chronicle), "freakishly intelligent" (Elle), "ridiculously witty and painfully prescient" (Time). And coming in January--don't miss Gary Shteyngart's highly anticipated memoir, Little Failure, an American immigrant story of a lifelong misfit who finally finds his place in the world, told with the author's sharp powers of observation, self-deprecating humor, surprising revelations, and moving insights into the human heart. ABSURDISTAN "Exuberant, wise, hilarious . . . a long, funny, heartbreaking lament for home, whatever that means, and wherever that might be."--Los Angeles Times Book Review Meet Misha Vainberg, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia and a 325-pound patriot of no country save New York City. Misha just wants to live in the South Bronx with his hot Latina girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman, all hopes of a U.S. visa are lost. Salvation lies in tiny, oil-rich Absurdistan, where a crooked consular officer will sell Misha a Belgian passport. Then civil war breaks out, a local warlord installs Misha as minister of multicultural affairs, and our hero finds himself fighting for his life, falling in love, and trying to figure out if a normal life is still possible in the twenty-first century. SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY "Wonderful . . . [combines] the tenderness of the Chekhovian tradition with the hormonal high jinks of a Judd Apatow movie."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis, and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of a Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of "printed, bound media artifacts" (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart? All Lenny has to do is convince his fickle new love that there is still value in being a real human being. Praise for Gary Shteyngart "Compared with most young novelists his age . . . Shteyngart is a giant mounted on horseback. He ranges more widely, sees more sweepingly and gets where he's going with far more aplomb."--The New York Times Book Review "Obscenely gifted . . . [His] prose never fails to pop, and nothing escapes his satiric eye."--Entertainment Weekly "The Joseph Heller of the information age."--Salon "His imagination is either warped or prophetic; you choose. But his writing is brilliant."--The Seattle Times "Not since mid-seventies Woody Allen has anyone cracked so wise and so well."--Esquire "There is no one better at skewering social systems."--The Wall Street Journal
In its adventurous happenings - its abductions, duels, and sexual intrigues - A Hero of Our Time looks backward to the tales of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, so beloved by Russian society in the 1820s and '30s. In the character of its protagonist, Pechorin - the archetypal Russian antihero - Lermontov's novel looks forward to the subsequent glories of a Russian literature that it helped, in great measure, to make possible. This edition includes a Translator's Foreword by Vladimir Nabokov, who translated the novel in collaboration with his son, Dmitri Nabokov. (From the Hardcover edition.)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALISTNAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MORE THAN 45 PUBLICATIONS, INCLUDING The New York Times Book Review * The Washington Post * NPR * The New Yorker * San Francisco Chronicle * The Economist * The Atlantic * Newsday * Salon * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * The Guardian * Esquire (UK) * GQ (UK)Little Failure is the all too true story of an immigrant family betting its future on America, as told by a lifelong misfit who finally finds a place for himself in the world through books and words. In 1979, a little boy dragging a ginormous fur hat and an overcoat made from the skin of some Soviet woodland creature steps off the plane at New York's JFK International Airport and into his new American life. His troubles are just beginning. For the former Igor Shteyngart, coming to the United States from the Soviet Union is like stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and landing in a pool of Technicolor. Careening between his Soviet home life and his American aspirations, he finds himself living in two contradictory worlds, wishing for a real home in one. He becomes so strange to his parents that his mother stops bickering with his father long enough to coin the phrase failurchka--"little failure"--which she applies to her once-promising son. With affection. Mostly. From the terrors of Hebrew School to a crash course in first love to a return visit to the homeland that is no longer home, Gary Shteyngart has crafted a ruthlessly brave and funny memoir of searching for every kind of love--family, romantic, and of the self.BONUS: This edition includes a reading group guide.Praise for Little Failure"Hilarious and moving . . . The army of readers who love Gary Shteyngart is about to get bigger."--The New York Times Book Review "A memoir for the ages . . . brilliant and unflinching."--Mary Karr "Dazzling . . . a rich, nuanced memoir . . . It's an immigrant story, a coming-of-age story, a becoming-a-writer story, and a becoming-a-mensch story, and in all these ways it is, unambivalently, a success."--Meg Wolitzer, NPR "Literary gold . . . [a] bruisingly funny memoir."--Vogue "A giant success."--Entertainment Weekly "[Little Failure] finds the delicate balance between sidesplitting and heartbreaking."--O: The Oprah Magazine "Should become a classic of the immigrant narrative genre."--The Miami Herald "As vivid, original and funny as any that contemporary U.S. literature has to offer."--Los Angeles Times "The very best memoirs perfectly toe the line between heartbreak and humor, and Shteyngart does just that."--Esquire "Touching, insightful . . . [Shteyngart] nimbly achieves the noble Nabokovian goal of letting sentiment in without ever becoming sentimental."--The Washington Post "[Shteyngart is] a successor to no less than Saul Bellow and Philip Roth."--The Christian Science Monitore Monitor
After three acclaimed novels, Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far. Shteyngart shares his American immigrant experience, moving back and forth through time and memory with self-deprecating humor, moving insights, and literary bravado. The result is a resonant story of family and belonging that feels epic and intimate and distinctly his own. Born Igor Shteyngart in Leningrad during the twilight of the Soviet Union, the curious, diminutive, asthmatic boy grew up with a persistent sense of yearning--for food, for acceptance, for words--desires that would follow him into adulthood. At five, Igor wrote his first novel, Lenin and His Magical Goose, and his grandmother paid him a slice of cheese for every page. <P> In the late 1970s, world events changed Igor's life. Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev made a deal: exchange grain for the safe passage of Soviet Jews to America--a country Igor viewed as the enemy. Along the way, Igor became Gary so that he would suffer one or two fewer beatings from other kids. Coming to the United States from the Soviet Union was equivalent to stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and landing in a pool of pure Technicolor. <P> Shteyngart's loving but mismatched parents dreamed that he would become a lawyer or at least a "conscientious toiler" on Wall Street, something their distracted son was simply not cut out to do. Fusing English and Russian, his mother created the term Failurchka--Little Failure--which she applied to her son. With love. Mostly. <P> As a result, Shteyngart operated on a theory that he would fail at everything he tried. At being a writer, at being a boyfriend, and, most important, at being a worthwhile human being. <P> Swinging between a Soviet home life and American aspirations, Shteyngart found himself living in two contradictory worlds, all the while wishing that he could find a real home in one. And somebody to love him. And somebody to lend him sixty-nine cents for a McDonald's hamburger. <P> Provocative, hilarious, and inventive, Little Failure reveals a deeper vein of emotion in Gary Shteyngart's prose. It is a memoir of an immigrant family coming to America, as told by a lifelong misfit who forged from his imagination an essential literary voice and, against all odds, a place in the world.
The Russian Debutante's Handbook introduces Vladimir Girshkin, one of the most original and unlikely heroes of recent times. The twenty-five-year-old unhappy lover to a fat dungeon mistress, affectionately nicknamed "Little Failure" by his high-achieving mother, Vladimir toils his days away as a lowly clerk at the bureaucratic Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society. When a wealthy but psychotic old Russian war hero appears, Vladimir embarks on an adventure of unrelenting lunacy that takes us from New York's Lower East Side to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava--the Eastern European Paris of the nineties. With the help of a murderous but fun-loving Russian mafioso, Vladimir infiltrates the Prava expat community and launches a scheme as ridiculous as it is brilliant. Bursting with wit, humor, and rare insight, The Russian Debutante's Handbook is both a highly imaginative romp and a serious exploration of what it means to be an immigrant in America. .
The author of two critically acclaimed novels,The Russian Debutante's Handbook and Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now, in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel, he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America's dysfunctional coming years--and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink. In a very near future--oh, let's say next Tuesday--a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don't that tell that to poor Lenny Abramov, the thirty-nine-year-old son of an angry Russian immigrant janitor, proud author of what may well be the world's last diary, and less-proud owner of a bald spot shaped like the great state of Ohio. Despite his job at an outfit called Post-Human Services, which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele, death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn't it? Lenny's from a different century-he totally loves books (or printed, bound media artifacts, as they're now known), even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books, Lenny loves Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel twenty-four-year-old Korean American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. After meeting Lenny on an extended Roman holiday, blistering Eunice puts that Assertiveness minor to work, teaching our 'ancient dork' effective new ways to brush his teeth and making him buy a cottony nonflammable wardrobe. But America proves less flame-resistant than Lenny's new threads. The country is crushed by a credit crisis, riots break out in New York's Central Park, the city's streets are lined with National Guard tanks on every corner, the dollar is so over, and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Undeterred, Lenny vows to love both Eunice and his homeland. He's going to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability, in a world where single people can determine a dating prospect's 'hotness' and 'sustainability' with the click of a button, in a society where the privileged may live forever but the unfortunate will die all too soon, there is still value in being a real human being. Wildly funny, rich, and humane, Super Sad True Love Story is a knockout novel by a young master, a book in which falling in love just may redeem a planet falling apart.
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