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Book Review of The Russian Debutante's Handbook

The Russian Debutante's Handbook
wantonvolunteer avatar reviewed on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

This was kind of funny but I hardly think "Breezily hilarious" "Blisteringly funny" "Terrifically charming" as promised by New York Magazine,, 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.