The Ugly is a serious piece of satire. It begins in a Siberian/Slovak village where men gain power in boulder throwing contests. Muzhduk the Ugly the Fourth walks from Siberia to Boston to study law so he can learn to throw words instead of boulders. The story proceeds through Harvard Law School and Africa, alternating in time and place.
Warning: some parts are heavy reading, particularly some “scholarly” arguments at Harvard. Be prepared to use a Dictionary in a few places. I understand why some readers DNFed part way, but persevere and you will appreciate the end.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the book, and I am in awe of the author’s power with words.