Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart


Audiobook.  Imagine hearing the details of sex involving a hugely overweight narrator who always refers to his hands as “squishy” while you are at the gym at the crack of dawn.  And I pick his word for his hands to avoid more indelicate possibilities.  The narrator, for most of the book, is trying to escape St. Petersburg after the killing of his father, but he can’t get a visa because his father killed someone from Oklahoma.  He is desperate to return to New York where he was known as “snack daddy” for his impressive appetite.  Plot and narrative are not the point, of course.  The best moment for me was hearing the passage where he describes his reaction to an orange comforter, “Lyuba’s comforter was the most orange thing I have seen this side of Accidental College library, which was built in 1974, possibly by the American Citrus Growers’ Association.”   Working in a college library built in 1978, I think he’s on to something with the citrus growers involvement.  Fun book.

1 comment


  • Orange was in, in 1974. You could buy an orange car, you could buy an orange washing machine. I saw more than one laundromat with rows of alternate orange and avocado washers and dryers.


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