Our Country Friends
By Gary Shteyngart
Random House, 9781984855121, November 2021, 336pp.
The Short of It:
This was the perfect read for me after my surgery. It gave me “Big Chill” vibes in a totally good way.
The Rest of It:
I do not know why pandemic reading appeals to me so much during a pandemic, but it does and Our Country Friends is no exception. Yes, it takes place at the beginning of the pandemic when things began to shutdown and folks were asked to quarantine but there’s very little doom and gloom when you decide to invite your friends to an old country house to quarantine together.
There, in the country, these friends come together with their various “talents” and co-exist as the world shuts down around them. There are good meals to be had, good drink, and an energetic child to keep them all on their toes. All these friends seem very high brow and academic. Writers, and the like. An actor. An app developer. Crooked routes to romance and romantic trysts. All set within an old, country house that begins to wither before their eyes.
The story unfolds like a play on a stage. I found it to be very enjoyable with just enough of the pandemic touches to remind us that a threat does exist. I highly recommend this one. There’s humor, plenty of awkward interactions, and promise (the kind that only lifelong friendships can provide).
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
10 thoughts on “Review: Our Country Friends”
I have this one as well but, it hasn’t called my name yet LOL – We both know how that works sometimes.
Big Chill vibes sounds promising to me. I’ll see if I can give it a try.
It’s good to know that you enjoyed this, but I’m not sure I want to read a pandemic book right now, maybe later.
I don’t mind reading books with the pandemic as a backdrop either. This one sounds really good, especially with a Big Chill vibe. Great review, Ti!
Now you’ve got scenes from Big Chill running through my mind. And the music!
And with William Hurt’s recent passing you have to see The Big Chill again.
I’ve been wondering about this one. Glad you enjoyed it!
I haven’t been reading pandemic-set novels or the like, but this one sounds like it could be lighter than some of the others I’ve seen around.
Although set during the shutdown, much of the book is very light and humorous but there is one section that reminds you of what we are all dealing with.
I’m glad you liked this one. I’ll put it back on my list. I’m interested in pandemic novels … this one sounds a bit wild with various characters staying at this big compound … hmm