Eveline Chao's Reviews > The Russian Debutante's Handbook

The Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
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Apr 14, 08

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Read in February, 2008

this was awesome and clever and hilarious. i described it to someone as hipster nabokov, which might sound off-putting, & there are parts that are SO clever and witty and hip that it verges close to making you start to hate it for its cleverness, but in the end it managed to keep me on its side.

it was also witty enough to make me do really dorky things like transcribe a couple lines i liked. here they be:

"Real humor is not supposed to be funny," Baobab said. "It's supposed to be tragic, like the Marx Brothers."

All in all, Vladimir's American dreams formed a curious arc. During adolescence he dreamed of acceptance. In his brief days at college he dreamed of love. After college, he dreamed of a rather improbable dialectic of both love *and* acceptance. And now, with love and acceptance finally in the bag, he dreamed of money. What fresh tortures would await him next?

The Groundhog suddenly looked serious. "Volodya, let me speak from the heart. You and Kostya are the future of this organization. I see that now. Before it was fun, sure, run around, blow up a few diners, cut off some dicks, but we got to get serious. This is the nineties. We're in this . . . 'informational age' . . . we need 'Americanisms' and 'globalisms.' Do you know where I'm coming from?"

What was it with these disconsolate young men? Was being the cornerstone of Prava's elite not enough for them? Did they expect to lead meaningful lives as well?
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message 1: by Maya (new)

Maya Rock You are currently reading a lot!
When are you next coming to US? My google calendar begs to be filled.


Antof9 "hipster nabokov" is a great way to describe this!


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