Зависть - Yury Olesha,  Юрий Олеша If it were not for the first 50% of this more or less being a normal book (and an interesting one, too!), I would have given this 1 star. The first 50% - 4 stars, the last - 0 to 1. Perhaps I just don't get Russian literature. What's wrong with having an actual narrative? What's with this need to make everything absurd to get whatever obscure point you're interested in across? (I didn't get the point, AT ALL.) There's an obnoxious drunk (again Russia, what's with the unlikeable main characters?), a fat and loved man of activity, an idealized New Man, an uninteresting girl that gets as much substance as the New Man (she's just something all the men seem to want to possess because she's young and pretty, almost a child in her pink dress, blablabla), an old widow who actually gets some (plus the obligatory beating), etc, and the machine and the stolovaja or whatever it is. Chaos.

In order to have any clue what this was all about (except for the envy, that's pretty self-explanatory), I'd probably need a week of daily classes picking the story apart. Not so sure I'd be interested though.