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Absurdistan - Gary Shteyngart I must first say that I just hate reviewing books that I have given 1 star ratings. I know some reviewers out there enjoy the scathing review. I, personally, just feel like it is yet another an imposition on my time by a novel that was not worth my time in the first place.

That said, I think my least favorite piece of this novel (and that is saying a lot) is that it ends on 9/11/01. The main character is trying to get out of the Middle East and into NYC despite having been banned by INS and he ends on an upbeat tone and thinks he has finally escaped Absurdia (oh wait, that is Absurdistan) only to bump into 9/11. Yeah...I know Shteyngart thought he was cute with that one, but really just not so much.

So much of this book is taken up with gross descriptions. I am a person who enjoyed American Psycho and can certainly take graphic sex and gore (for example after reading "Zeke Stargazing" by Rachel Kimbrough and proclaiming it my current favorite short story my brother called me a sociopath). However, this novel focused on detailed descriptions of fat person sex and eating. As much as I like eating and fucking as the rest of the world, I really would rather not watch while it is done by the obese.

Shteyngart thought he was being funny with the whole "golly burton" and probably thought he was avante garde and liberal with his notes on the absurdisms of American intervention overseas. Unfortunately, it was overdone and boring and repetitive. I understood that Steyngart was attempting to draft a novel about the Middle East and oil in the same way that Heller wrote about WWII, however it was a) presumptuous and b) just plain wrong to mention Heller in his text.

Finally, I found it annoying that Misha's father was absolutely everywhere and knew absolutely everyone and that Misha only coupled with Gentile girls (despite himself writing a treatise on the need for Jewish pro-creation).

Overall the language is not interesting, the plot is rambling and stupid, and the main character is self absorbed but not in a funny absurdist way, just a in a whining annoying way. Not worth the time.