Gary Shteyngart, The Russian Debutante's Handbook
Now it's not often I stray from my beloved non-fiction pop-science geek books, but tore through this thanks to what I must say was a great tip. Since I wasn't a Lit major nor an avid fictioneer, I don't really know how to discuss such books. (Really, anyone who reads this knows I don't actually know how talk about much of anything, but damn if I don't try). That means I haven't the foggiest about the plot arc or allusions to other works or any of that crap. What I do know, however, is that this book kept my attention and had a lot of funny jokes in it. I've also been to Prague, the basis of his fictional city of Prava, which added a level of familiarity to the proceedings.
On a more serious note, I'll say that this book was a fantastic antidote to all the bullshit ravings about "quarterlife" that have been floating around the media lately. I'm 26, have been fairly directionless for the past few years and, um, whatever else "qualifies" someone for a "quarterlife crisis." Oh, having a decent level of neuroticism helps, too. Anyway, before youtube and facebook and all the rubbish self-promotion/self-pity party started folks just went about their business figuring out what to do with their lives without fucking crying about it to whatever gullible anonymous strangers would pay attention. Shteyngart's story here is a product (and a marvelous one at that) of that post-college wonder/wander-ment and there isn't any unwarranted crying over spilled milk.
Now that I've completely butchered another review of something I really enjoyed, I'll recommend this book and look forward to reading his follow-up, Absurdistan.