• Our Country Friends

  • A Novel
  • By: Gary Shteyngart
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (471 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

Good Morning America Buzz Pick

One of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times Book Review, Financial Times, The Washington Post, Time, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Town & Country, Good Housekeeping, Kirkus Reviews

“A perfect novel for these times and all times, the single textual artifact from the pandemic era I would place in a time capsule as a representation of all that is good and true and beautiful about literature.” (Molly Young, The New York Times)

Eight friends, one country house, and six months in isolation - a novel about love, friendship, family, and betrayal hailed as a “virtuoso performance” (USA Today) and “an homage to Chekhov with four romances and a finale that will break your heart” (The Washington Post).

In the rolling hills of upstate New York, 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 best seller Super Sad True Love Story.

©2021 Gary Shteyngart (P)2021 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Our Country Friends

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written, painful, but very, very moving

Gary Shteyngart’s comic self loathing can be an acquired taste for some, but I think his keen observance of human nature, in all its glory and gory warts, is magnificent. Our Country Friends is *the* novel of the pandemic, when it comes to the second generation immigrant, creative, work-from-home class. Buried beneath the comedy of human failings is ultimately a deeply moving portrait of what is feels like to be human during this time, how we yearn for connection and family, and what it means to be American when America feels of the brink of dissolving. I sobbed at the end and was completely surprised to find myself doing. My favorite novel of 2021, hands down.

As an aside, the narration was fabulous, absolutely spot on, and elevated the story for this listener. The story constantly shifts narrative perspective among the characters and the narrator did a phenomenal job of shifting personas!

11 people found this helpful

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Insufferable and Self-Indulgent

When you find yourself caring less and less about the characters as the book progresses, the author has gone horribly astray. Insufferable characters wax endlessly about the problems of the rich and overeducated resulting in an overly long elitist stew that had me rolling my eyes out of my head and wishing for it to be over. There were admittedly some brilliant lines here and there but nothing could compensate for the sheer awfulness of the book.

4 people found this helpful

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Agree with all the 1,2 & 3 star reviews on Amazon

"not particularly engaging; boring; overwritten and overdone; hated the characters; snoozer." I agree with all of these.
😕

4 people found this helpful

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Had potential, but tanks

The idea for this book is good and the concept interesting, given the times we live in. The problem is that the author gets in his own way of the story sometimes, rambling on in a somewhat pretentious fashion. Chapter 9 was excruciating and ruined the book. I could barely get through it but was so far into the book that I was determined to finish it.

l

3 people found this helpful

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America in the time of covid

Immigrants, pandemic, celebrity, forever love, earth-shattering disappointment. This extraordinary novel is destined to be a snapshot in time ala Love in the Time of Cholera

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Boring narration

The story and the reader are all wrong. Little inflection in his voice got redundant. It felt like the author trying tritely to make the story relevant to Covid with comments about social distancing. I returned it!

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect Pandemic Novel

Witty, timely, heartbreaking. Captured the feeling of the country respite in the middle of the terrifying spring and summer of 2020. Wonderful characters. Finished it just in time to return to the city.

1 person found this helpful

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Tooooo loooooong

The first three acts were brilliant story telling. The act was long, tedious, and self-indulgent.

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Painfully boring

This book does not take the kind of deep dive into Covid life that you hope it will. The characters are boring and completely selfish, they are not compelling, you are not rooting for anyone or even hoping anyone to not succeed.

Save yourself the credit, don't buy this book.

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the worst

I tried hard to like it. I could not . The first audio book I quit on.