Book Reviews of The Russian Debutante's Handbook

The Russian Debutante's Handbook
The Russian Debutante's Handbook
Author: Gary Shteyngart
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ISBN-13: 9781573229883
ISBN-10: 1573229881
Publication Date: 4/29/2003
Pages: 480
Rating:
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 55

2.9 stars, based on 55 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

7 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 410 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Vladimir is the hapless "hero" of this wonderful novel, which moves from New York to a fictional Eastern European country. He invites and creates chaos wherever he goes. The tale of this questionable, but likeable, character, and his cast of questionable asssociates, is funny throughout.
reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It took me slightly longer to get captured by this story, but then all of a sudden I was hooked. You just don't know where this story will take you. It's a wild ride along with the main character, a Jewish Russian immigrant who came to the US as a child and who has rather loose moral standards.
reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Totally different, oddball story. I can't even begin to describe it, but it's disturbing and hilarious all at once. If you feel like you've been reading the same book over and over again, try this one.
reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 44 more book reviews
the book was a lot different than what i imagined, but it was good nonetheless.
reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 60 more book reviews
Great book that will keep you captive for hours!
reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 84 more book reviews
This was kind of funny but I hardly think "Breezily hilarious" "Blisteringly funny" "Terrifically charming" as promised by New York Magazine, Salon.com, Vanity Fair. The cover art is fabulous and I think threw me off, cuz the whole time I was reading about Vladimir Girshkin toiling away at his job in lower level bureaucracy or then scamming his way through upper class Manhattan and then Eastern Europe, I kept expecting to be introduced to a debutante (resembling Sheryl Crow) carrying a handbook. And that never happened.

I like lots of elements of the story, all the girlfriends are interestingly written (obese dominatrix Challah of the lower east side; blue-blooded aristocrat Fran; angelic Ohioan Morgan with revolutionary tendencies); but in other parts Shteyngart goes too far for my taste, when Vlad is nearly raped in Miami or nearly beaten to death in Prague, or any of the consequences of his half-baked Ponzi schemes.
reviewed The Russian Debutante's Handbook on + 366 more book reviews
Shteyngart's writing is clever, but I couldn't care about the protagonist in this satire enough to finish the book.