Our Country Friends: Book summary and reviews of Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

Our Country Friends

A Novel

by Gary Shteyngart

Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart X
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2021
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Eight friends, one country house, four romances, and six months in isolation - a novel about love, friendship, family, and betrayal, a book that reads like a great Russian novel, or Chekhov on the Hudson, by a novelist the New York Times calls "one of his generation's most original writers."

It's March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most. The unlikely cast of characters includes a Russian-born novelist; his Russian-born psychiatrist wife; their precocious child obsessed with K-pop; a struggling Indian American writer; a wildly successful Korean American app developer; a global dandy with three passports; a Southern flamethrower of an essayist; and a movie star, the Actor, whose arrival upsets the equilibrium of this chosen family. Both elegiac and very, very funny, Our Country Friends is the most ambitious book yet by the author of the beloved bestseller Super Sad True Love Story.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The Great American Pandemic Novel only Shteyngart could write, full of hyphenated identities, killer prose, and wild vitality." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Shteyngart's big-hearted drama is timely yet timeless with its penetrating and nuanced social commentary exploring identity, racism, celebrity culture, social media, and humanity. Above all, Shteyngart artfully exemplifies love in its many registers—parental, brotherly, romantic—in what is ultimately a 'super sad true love' story." - Booklist (starred review)

"COVID-19's most essential role here is as symbol: of division, of isolation, of fear, of living in modern America, but also of overcoming, persisting, surviving. Both the definitive COVID-19 novel and not, this work captures an uncertain modernity and speaks to the existential peril of contemporary life." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Shteyngart returns with the droll and heartfelt story of a Russian American couple who invite a group of friends to ride out the lockdown with them on their Hudson Valley 'estate' in March 2020...Shteyngart's taken the formula for a smart, irresistible comedy of manners and expertly brought it up to the moment." - Publishers Weekly

"Gary Shteyngart is a national treasure. He has always written with great humor and heart, but never more so than here. Be careful reading this book in public; it is as likely to make you laugh out loud as cry." - Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Here I Am

"I cannot say enough how much I loved Our Country Friends. It's a tragicomic tour de force about so many things—sex, infatuation, the pandemic, kimchi, racism, immigration, adoption, stalking, Russian writers, K-pop, Japanese reality TV, writing—but most of all, it's about how we create, sever, and mend lifelong bonds of friendship, how we wound and heal those we love most. It's the rare book that, when you turn to the last page, leaves you grateful to the author for creating this world and allowing you in for a time, but also a little sad, filled with regret at having to leave it." - Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek

"Shteyngart's most moving novel, Chekhov and Boccaccio reimagined in America in the year of the pandemic, is a powerful fable of our broken time." - Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize–winning author of Midnight's Children

This information about Our Country Friends shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Gary Shteyngart Author Biography

Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Little Failure (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and the novels Super Sad True Love Story (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante's Handbook (winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction). His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries.

Link to Gary Shteyngart's Website

Name Pronunciation
Gary Shteyngart: SHTAYN-gahrt (first syllable rhymes with mine, second with heart)

Other books by Gary Shteyngart at BookBrowse
  • The Russian Debutante's Handbook jacket
  • Super Sad True Love Story jacket
  • Little Failure jacket

6 more...

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