recently read: Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart.
This book is absolutely ridiculous, but in the best, weirdest way possible.
Absurdistan is the story of an obese Russian man, Misha Vainberg, who gets wrapped up in a revolution in the Middle Eastern oil-rich country of Absurdistan.
Absurdistan is, I believe, the first true modern satire I’ve read. Misha, and Shteyngart’s entire book, is so over-the-top and ridiculous, but also extremely well-written and enjoyable. There are some descriptions that are so uncomfortably gross that you simply can’t help but legitimately laugh aloud (Misha, for example, is so unhealthy that he has developed a dark, hard “toxic hump” on his back. Shudder.).
Misha’s continual attempt to be “mulitcultural” is what’s most striking: in his attempt, he is isolating and absurd.
I don’t typically read books like this, but I’m very glad I read this one. I’m going to a book group about it with other English majors at my school, so I’m interested to see what they have to say.