The Russian Debutante's Handbook: A Novel Reissue Edition, Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews
Audible Narration
Playing...
Loading...
Paused
ISBN-13: 978-1573229883
ISBN-10: 1573229881
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Kindle App Ad
Buy
$11.99
Price set by seller.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$11.99
Preloaded Digital Audio Player
"Please retry"

1984
Rare Books by Legendary Authors
Discover collectible books by legendary authors on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Vladimir Girshkin, a likeable Russian immigrant, searches for love, a decent job, and a credible self-identity in Gary Shteyngart's debut novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook. With a doctor-father of questionable ethics and a manic, banker mother, Vladimir avoids his suburban parents and their desire that he pursue the almighty dollar as proof of success. Vladimir gets by as an immigration clerk, eking out a living in a cruddy New York City apartment while accumulating an array of quirky acquaintances, from a wealthy but disheveled old man (who claims his electric fan speaks to him) desperate for citizenship to Challa, a portly S/M queen. As a love interest, Challa is replaced by Francesca, a graduate student whose friends welcome Vladimir for the status he brings their bohemian clique, and whose parents encourage them to shack up (she lives at home) as visible proof she can maintain a steady relationship.

The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a quirky amalgam of dead-on American absurdities, albeit with somewhat stereotypical characters. While Vladimir flounders with how to improve his state, he becomes an expatriate in a trendy European city, becomes somewhat of a mobster himself, and generally has a good time. While many of the central characters remain elusively thin, Vladimir is a delight, and Shteyngart's wit is merciless: Russian women wear "wedding cakes of blond hair" and graduate students lounge in a bar "as if waiting for funding to appear." Reminiscent of Gogol and other Russian satirists, The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a genuine, sublime social commentary. --Michael Ferch

From Publishers Weekly

Orwell once remarked that the narrator of Tropic of Cancer was so far from endeavoring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him. Shteyngart, whose sensibility is allied with Miller's, takes a passive character, Vladimir Girshkin, and makes him briefly proactivewith disastrous resultsin his smart debut novel. Vladimir is the son of immigrants who came to the U.S. via a Carter administration swap (American wheat for Russian Jews); his father, a doctor prone to dreams of suicide and complicated medical schemes, and his mother, an entrepreneur who makes fun of her son's gait, give him the inestimable gift of alienation. In true slacker fashion, Vladimir, at 25, is wasting his expensive education clerking at the Emma Lazarus Immigration Absorption Society. A client, Rybakov, bribes Vladimir to get him American citizenship, confiding that his son, the Groundhog, is a leading businessman (in prostitutes and drugs) in Pravathe Paris of the nineties in the fictional Republika Stolovaya. Vladimir fakes a citizenship ceremony for Rybakov in order to curry favor with the Groundhog. Then, because he has unwisely repelled the sexual advances of crime boss Jordi while trying to make some illicit bucks to keep his girlfriend, Francesca, in squid and sake dinners in Manhattan, Vladimir leaves abruptly for Prava. Once there, and backed by the Groundhog, Vladimir embarks on a scheme to fleece the American students who have flocked to Prava's legendary scene. Although the satire on the expatriate American community is a little too easy, Shteyngart's Vladimir remains an impressive piece of work, an amoral buffoon who energizes this remarkably mature work.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 1033 KB
  • Print Length: 468 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0747568197
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reissue edition (April 29, 2003)
  • Publication Date: April 29, 2003
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OCXH2W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,092 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?


Customer reviews

Rated by customers interested in
History
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars

Top customer reviews

on September 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 14, 2011
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon December 29, 2007
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2014
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon May 24, 2003
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon April 15, 2013
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Russian Debutante's Handbook: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Russian Debutante's Handbook: A Novel