Tall Texas Tale

Coming out in trade paperback this month, Gary Shteyngart’s


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.

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.

“Blank check!”

“Indefinite delivery!”

“Indefinite quantity!”

“Indefinite quality!”

“Walk around and look busy!”

“Here come that four-hour lunch!”

“Here come that four-dollar blow job!”

Click here for a little background info on just what exactly these guys are bragging about. – Keith Plocek

Absurdistan, Random House, $13.95.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >