Our Country Friends

Keith Miller at Literary Review:

Gary Shteyngart has quietly become one of the most talented comic writers working in English today. More or less uniquely, apart maybe from bits of Zadie Smith, he’s even funny on the subject of identity. He’s also good on both Tom Wolfe’s ‘right – BAM! – now’ and J G Ballard’s ‘next five minutes’, having trained his lens on the brutal carnival of post-Soviet Russia in Absurdistan, the impact of tech on the mating habits of youngish Americans in Super Sad True Love Story and the fallout of the financial crisis of 2008 in Lake Success. If all that were not enough, he’s an unusually acute observer of a certain strain of male sexual anguish that some of his predecessors might have treated with an indulgence bordering on mysticism, but which most of his contemporaries now seem to view as little more than an abstract social problem or a handy plot device.

more here.