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Russian Debutante's Handbook

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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(13)

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(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Spongebob Squarepanovich

As a genre, the immigrant novel has seen many distinguished graduates but it has never run across a citizen like Vladimir Girshkin. This book should be called the misadventures of Spongebob Squarepanovich. It is a laugh-a-riot smash whose plot bounces along with the h...
As a genre, the immigrant novel has seen many distinguished graduates but it has never run across a citizen like Vladimir Girshkin. This book should be called the misadventures of Spongebob Squarepanovich. It is a laugh-a-riot smash whose plot bounces along with the hyperactive energy of a cartoon. Our hero seeks to soak up the approval of skeptical women, attempts to turn a Russian mobster's organization into an American Rotary Club, and in his spare time tries to fleece expatriates with a lame Ponzi scheme. The whole contraption collapses in a spectacular, James bondish flame-out, and our bumbling hero comes back home, like the prodigal son in the archetypal dragonslayer story, to his demanding Jewish moma. Each line of dialogue is an instant gut grab laugher. The characters will stick to your mind like east european Velcro. And the many improbable scenes are lined up like practice targets in a funnybone shooting gallery. The final score is: bull's eye, each and every one! Fresh off the boat, yes. ... but you sure deserve membership in the American comic classic club!

posted by Anonymous on January 26, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but...

It was definitely interesting all the escapades Vladimir gets himself into but it was definitely improbable. And the thing w/ Lenin's foot in the end was not needed in the storyline.

posted by Anonymous on November 15, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2003

    Spongebob Squarepanovich

    As a genre, the immigrant novel has seen many distinguished graduates but it has never run across a citizen like Vladimir Girshkin. This book should be called the misadventures of Spongebob Squarepanovich. It is a laugh-a-riot smash whose plot bounces along with the hyperactive energy of a cartoon. Our hero seeks to soak up the approval of skeptical women, attempts to turn a Russian mobster's organization into an American Rotary Club, and in his spare time tries to fleece expatriates with a lame Ponzi scheme. The whole contraption collapses in a spectacular, James bondish flame-out, and our bumbling hero comes back home, like the prodigal son in the archetypal dragonslayer story, to his demanding Jewish moma. Each line of dialogue is an instant gut grab laugher. The characters will stick to your mind like east european Velcro. And the many improbable scenes are lined up like practice targets in a funnybone shooting gallery. The final score is: bull's eye, each and every one! Fresh off the boat, yes. ... but you sure deserve membership in the American comic classic club!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    Great Book!

    This is by far one of my favorite books! People who don't like this are probably looking for something more 'see spot run'...the story is smart and hilarious. I'd say Vladimir's adventures are more probable than the average American might imagine. Looking forward to more wonderful reads from this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2003

    improbably funny

    This is the funniest first novel I've read in years. Maybe ever. I've been reading paragraphs aloud for days, and nobody's complained yet. It's impredictable and versatile; the humor alternates between really sly asides and broad knee-slappers--and, of course, this is a deeply felt novel too. There's a certain sort of sympathetic soul to the whole piece as well, that makes almost every joke feel as if it's been earned. Don't miss this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    A great read

    This is a great, funny read, especially for fellow Russian Jews.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2002

    You must read this wonderful novel.

    I really enjoyed reading this novel. It is dark, yet at the same time funny and exciting. I really loved the parts in which Shteyngart makes references to life in the former Soviet Union (ex. 'babushkas' and 'Road 66'). I especially enjoyed reading about Vladimir's entire journey from New York City to Prava. Though the novel is in the first person p.o.v., Shteyngart develops his characters very well. This book is definitely a page-turner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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