Coming out in trade paperback this month, Gary Shteyngart’sAbsurdistan
tells the story of Mischa Vainberg, a grossly overweight, highly wealthy, overly circumcised Russian Jew who finds himself trapped in the fictional, titular Caucasus country as it devolves into civil war.
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Effortless (except for when it’s a tad purple), Vainberg’s prose is slathered with a healthy heaping of political commentary, including quite a few shots at Houston’s own KBR. Here’s a snippet from a scene inside the bathroom of a party (funded by the American taxpayer, of course) atop the Absurdi Hyatt:
“I’m talkin’ L-O-G-C-A-P. What’s that spell?”
The men started to laugh, the fellow next to me tinkling on my sandal. “Cost plus!” someone shouted.
“Cost plus!” the others picked up.
“Walk around and look busy!”
“Here come that four-hour lunch!”
“Here come that four-dollar blow job!”
Absurdistan, Random House, $13.95.