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The Russian Debutante's Handbook

by Gary Shteyngart

Think of the Great Russian Novel. This is nothing like it. Join Vladimir Gershkin on a romp through New York and the imaginary Stolovan republic in Eastern Europe in the company of spaced out poets, the Russian mafia, mad friends, unrepentent Stalinists and his Jewish momma - a woman who would make Portnoy quail.

Extract

The restaurant was situated opposite the castle, with full view of the river growing full under the autumn rain, tourists galloping across the Emanuel Bridge, their umbrellas torn apart by a wind strong enough to have breathed life into a hundred Golems. It was a restaurant popular with rich Germans and American mommies and daddies visting their drifting progeny, and, yes, a certain Russian 'entrepreneur'.

Parallels

A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away by Christopher Brookmyre
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
 

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