“Spectacular.”—NPR • “Uproariously funny.”—The Boston Globe • “An artistic triumph.”—San Francisco Chronicle • “A novel in which comedy and pathos are exquisitely balanced.”—The Washington Post • “Shteyngart’s best book.”—The Seattle Times
The bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story returns with a biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times.
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE AND MAUREEN CORRIGAN, NPR’S FRESH AIR AND NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • NPR • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Mother Jones • Glamour • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews • Newsday • Pamela Paul, KQED • Financial Times • The Globe and Mail
Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son’s diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife, Seema—a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth—has her own demons to face. How these two flawed characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is at the heart of this piercing exploration, a poignant tale of familial longing and an unsentimental ode to America.
LONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION
“The fuel and oxygen of immigrant literature—movement, exile, nostalgia, cultural disorientation—are what fire the pistons of this trenchant and panoramic novel. . . . [It is] a novel so pungent, so frisky and so intent on probing the dissonances and delusions—both individual and collective—that grip this strange land getting stranger.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Shteyngart, perhaps more than any American writer of his generation, is a natural. He is light, stinging, insolent and melancholy. . . . The wit and the immigrant’s sense of heartbreak—he was born in Russia—just seem to pour from him. The idea of riding along behind Shteyngart as he glides across America in the early age of Trump is a propitious one. He doesn’t disappoint.”—The New York Times
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Set during the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this novel paints a picture of a diminished America and those who ostensibly rule it—none of whom are actually happy or at peace. With his life crumbling, self-absorbed hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen flees NYC for flyover country, but the Jack Kerouac–worthy quest Barry has in mind forces him and his wife, Seema, to come to grips with their skewed priorities. Working at the peak of his powers, Gary Shteyngart leads readers on an astonishing journey born of affluence and middle-aged ennui.
A wealthy, self-deluded New York hedge funder sees America by the grim light of a Greyhound bus in Shteyngart's funny yet resoundingly mournful latest (after the memoir Little Failure). When a very drunk Barry Cohen stumbles into New York's Port Authority bus station, he convinces himself he's embarking on a Kerouac-esque journey to find himself. In reality, he's fleeing a failing marriage, the responsibilities of being the father to a severely autistic three-year-old son, and a potential SEC investigation. As Barry rattles around the country he buys crack in Baltimore, shacks up with an ex-girlfriend in El Paso, Tex., hits rock bottom in Phoenix his wife, Seema, the overachieving daughter of Indian immigrants, moves on romantically and does her best to ensure her son, Shiva, gets proper care while trying to keep his diagnosis a secret from friends and family. Barry is pathologically eager to please, full of good intentions that he rarely manages to follow through on, and the pity he elicits in the reader is genuine. Seema, though, is a bit of a puzzler, and readers will have trouble reconciling her driven, bristly personality with some of the decisions she makes. Shteyngart does slapstick as well as ever, but he stakes out new terrain in the expert way he develops his characters' pathos particularly in depictions of Barry's and Seema's relationships with Shiva. There are some rough edges secondary characters tend to feel like types or props, and many of the couple's problems are the kind that money (which they have plenty of) can either fix or greatly reduce but this is nevertheless a stylish, big-hearted novel. Shteyngart made his name as a sharp satirist, and he'll undoubtedly widen his appeal with this effort.
Gary has done it again!
Fantastic read. Gary does a great job of capturing vain hedgies and their hot dog dreams.
No words for how bad
Great start, complete crash and burn the rest
Obviously not for all but, I loved it
I’m compelled to write a review because the only other two when I bought this book so were unflattering while the star rating is quite high. This is a coming of age story about a middle aged, conflicted hedge funder, with a failing marriage and an autistic child, who goes on an “On The Road” / Siddartha like journey to find himself. If you are sensitive to PC or unPC writing (because it has both), or have a general dislike for middle aged white hedge fund guys, you may not like this book but, I found it to be a great read and an original take on an old theme. I’m a female bleeding heart liberal and really loved the theme, tone, and cadence of this novel.