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Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
The narrator in Absurdistan is Misha Vainberg, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia. He's an obese man who's led a spoiled, privileged life, and his father sent him to America where he got a degree in multicultural studies at Accidental College and fell in love with a girl. While he's back in Russia, his father has a Oklahoma businessman killed, making it impossible for Misha to get a visa to get back to his girlfriend. The lovelorn Misha travels to the tiny country of Absurdistan where he hopes to get a Belgian passport. A civil war rages there, though, and Misha chooses a side in hopes that it will improve his situation. Somehow he becomes minister of multicultural affairs, and Misha finds he's in over his head. During wartime, it's hard to know whom to trust, and in a phony war run by gangsters to gather American aid, it's even harder to know. Gary Shteyngart's comic novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Cleveland Plain Dealer saying, "Like its narrator, Absurdistan is weighty. But when Shteyngart is at his best, his book is a riotous, often sad, but redemptive ride that is never weighed down by its big topics."