Juliette's Reviews > The Russian Debutante's Handbook

The Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
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3671647
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May 12, 11

bookshelves: fiction, humor
Read from April 03 to May 10, 2011

Wow.
I have never laughed so hard reading a book before.

This is an absolute beach read. Completely wild and over the top. Action-packed chases. Inexplicable violence. Improbable scenes.

But Shteyngart is one talented writer.
His word choice is brilliant. Whether he uses real words or not ("depotatoed"? not real, but has now entered my vocabulary.)
His imagination is as far-fetched as can be.
And his portrayal of Eastern European culture is PERFECT.

I imagine the poor reviews are from folks who have never been acquainted with anything Eastern Europe.
I, however, have lived the life.
Every little reference had me laughing. I was able to relate to all so well.
I could see relatives of mine in his characters.
I have seen all the people that have starred in this book.
And I can't believe Prava wasn't a real city. I surely have spent a summer there before.

All the babushkas. The Perry Ellis jackets. DJ Paavo. The BMWs at Birkneau. The Kasino girls. The truck full of Swedish furniture. I'm laughing just thinking about it all.

With a lovely bonus of New York culture as well!

Have to give up one star though for that tragic turn in the ending though. Last thing I expected was bleakness. Now I'm not so sure I want to read the sequel...

No. Of course I will!
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