Vladimir is a young Russian-American immigrant whose capitalist dreams and desire for a girlfriend lead him off the straight and narrow into uncharted territory.
From the dreary confines of New York City's Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava - the Eastern European Paris of the nineties, whose grand and glorious beauty is marred only by the shadow of the looming statue of Stalin's foot - The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a hilarious, extravagant, yet uncannily true to life adventure.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 464 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 17/05/2004
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780747568193
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by rayski
A young New York raised Russian runs to Russia to hide from his mistakes in NY. In Russia he learns to con rich American students out of their parent’s money. His ego makes him believe he’s invisible but learns the hard way that he’s not.
Review by Alexhijmans
The only reason I am inclined to give this book two stars instead of one is that it actually made me laugh out loud when I read the sentence: "As for the love of his life, Lenochka, well, an entire novel could be written about her, so there is only time to discuss her hair." Funny as it is, though, this sentence is typical of the style the book is written in, from an unfashionable omniscient author's point of view, with the implied author constantly butting in providing the reader with comments and asides.While the subject matter - the immigrant's experience - is interesting enough, the plot is as convoluted as it is flimsy. Someone wanting to get a sense of the Eastern European post-Cold War experience would be better off buying a copy of Marina Lewycka's "A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian", which is also a hell of a lot funnier.One last remark: never judge a book by its cover, they say, and this is especially true in the case of "The Russian Debutante's Handbook". The cover of my copy sports a drawing of a strapping lady with red hair, implying the book has a female heroine, which it doesn't. Not that this makes any difference, but throughout the two months it took me to trawl through this work it annoyed me that the cover had no bearing whatsoever on the story told inside.