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Super Sad True Love Story [Kindle Edition]

Gary Shteyngart
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (357 customer reviews)

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Book Description

New York, Summer, Very near future, Economic collapse, tanks in the streets, riots in Central Park, defeat in Venezuela, books are quaint artefacts, what's left of the indebted United States is about to be parcelled out to the rising nations of Finance-London and China-Worldwide, and what's left of interpersonal relations can be summarized by a couple of flashing statistics on attractiveness and wealth. But Lenny Abramov is too in love to notice any of it. The son of working-class Russian immigrants, a bumbling minor functionary in a company that just may hold the secret to eternal life, and the reluctant star of a show called "101 People We Need To Feel Sorry For", he has fallen way too hard for the imperious Eunice Park, a blistering, beautiful Korean-American, a seductive shopper and brilliant money-spender who still knows how to speak in sentences, and a true child of her times. As the country around them explodes into a million glittering pieces, the two will discover whether love is still possible in a world where words have lost their meaning, and where every touch, embrace and kiss could be mistaken for a commodity.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2010: Welcome to the day after tomorrow. In Gary Shteyngart's near-future New York, the dollar has been pegged to the yuan, the American Restoration Authority is on high security alert, and Lenny Abramov, the middle-aged possessor of a decent credit score but an absurdly low--and embarrassingly public--Male Hotness rating, is in love with the young Eunice Park. Like many of the clients of his employer, the Post-Human Services division of the Staatling-Wapachung Corporation, he'd also like to live forever, but all he really wants is to love Eunice. And for a time, despite the traditional challenges of their gaps in age and ethnicity and the more modern hurdle of an oppressively networked culture that makes your most private identity as transparent as the Onionskin jeans that are all the rage, he does. Super Sad True Love Story is as corrosively hilarious as you'd expect from the satirist of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook, but what may surprise you are the moments when the satire hits bedrock and the story becomes--no air quotes required--sad, true, and very much a love story. --Tom Nissley

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Shteyngart (Absurdistan) presents another profane and dizzying satire, a dystopic vision of the future as convincing—and, in its way, as frightening—as Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's also a pointedly old-fashioned May-December love story, complete with references to Chekhov and Tolstoy. Mired in protracted adolescence, middle-aged Lenny Abramov is obsessed with living forever (he works for an Indefinite Life Extension company), his books (an anachronism of this indeterminate future), and Eunice Park, a 20-something Korean-American. Eunice, though reluctant and often cruel, finds in Lenny a loving but needy fellow soul and a refuge from her overbearing immigrant parents. Narrating in alternate chapters—Lenny through old-fashioned diary entries, Eunice through her online correspondence—the pair reveal a funhouse-mirror version of contemporary America: terminally indebted to China, controlled by the singular Bipartisan Party (Big Brother as played by a cartoon otter in a cowboy hat), and consumed by the superficial. Shteyngart's earnestly struggling characters—along with a flurry of running gags—keep the nightmare tour of tomorrow grounded. A rich commentary on the obsessions and catastrophes of the information age and a heartbreaker worthy of its title, this is Shteyngart's best yet. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 594 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400066409
  • Publisher: Granta Books (August 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0040QE8S0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,155,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
292 of 320 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Funny Dystopian Love Satire: A Review July 6, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Almost unclassifiable, "Super Sad True Love Story" is an unorthodox tale that defied every expectation I had going into it. So I may not know how to describe the novel concisely to convey its successes, but I can say that I'm in love with this "Love Story."

In a beguiling mix of humor, pathos, and intrigue--Gary Shteyngart has written a topical, disturbing, and believably prescient satire of the near future. Taking cues from his previous works "Absurdistan" and "The Russian Debutante's Handbook," protagonist Lenny Abramov is of Russian descent. From a Jewish immigrant family settled in New York, Lenny has achieved some success selling immortality to the upper echelon of the income bracket. In a technological world, success is not only measured--it is broadcast. Receivers transmit instant credit ratings, personal communication devices evaluate attractiveness quotients, and books have become a digitized (not to be read, but to be scanned for information). It is, to be sure, a world of instant gratification where to be without media is to be devoid of life itself.

When sad sack Lenny meets the beautiful, yet immeasurably damaged, Eunice Park--he falls instantly in love. Reluctantly, Eunice does begin to date Lenny. Despite their incalculable differences, the two form a relationship as much about necessity and usefulness as it is about genuine emotion. Oblivious to the political climate, where New York is systematically being co-opted into a police state, the two form an almost perfect co-dependent bond. But as the world around them starts to splinter, so too must Lenny and Eunice come to terms with whether or not their relationship can survive.

Picking up "Super Sad True Love Story," I wasn't sure what I was getting into.
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263 of 292 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best American Novel In Decades March 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover
I suppose the mixed reader reviews are unsurprising. And if they are nevertheless disheartening, I think this novel, ahead of any written by an American in a generation or more, will find greater and greater admiration the longer it endures-and it will endure. A Modest Proposal was not well-received in London, afterall, and the perfect pitch with which Shteyngart captures this cultural moment is no likelier to warm the hearts of those living it.

What is surprising, however, and more difficult to rationalize is the tediousness of most of the criticisms in these pages. To answer a few:

1. "It's boring." Tough. This is a purely stylistic judgment. I can't argue with it, but I do take issue with the equation of "I was bored" with "this is a bad book nobody should read." "Boring" is only aesthetically relevant when it is intelligently justified, which, sadly, it hasn't been here.

2. "There's sex in it." First of all, so? It may be churlish, but my instinctive assumption is that the folks complaining of graphic sex as "juvenile" and "there to shock" have not read a lot of contemporary literary fiction. The sex is far more graphic in, and sexuality is much more the subject of, to name a few, John Updike, Philip Roth, Jonathan Franzen, Don Dellillo, Tom Wolfe, Martin Amis, Saul Bellow, Jose Saramago, Norman Mailer, Milan Kundera, Mario Vargas Lhosa, and John Coetzee. Sex permeates, and as both itself and metaphor is essential to, several of the best novels of the twentieth century (see, e.g., The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Ulysses, Blindness, Lolita, Brave New World).
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77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greater Than You Think September 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This novel is not quite what is advertised, or what it appears to be, and that's all for the good. Yes, it is funny, yes, it is satirical, yes, there is a love story. There is so much more to it than that.

Shteyngart has produced one of the most important novels of this generation. In the guise of the funny, satirical, sad love story, he's written a subtle, sublime, compacted human and social tragedy. The satire is in how he has extrapolated present features of society and pushed them a little farther down the road, a little close together. He takes Social Networking to the point where people are defined by the public data and quantified in the most material and shallow ways. All this is then put on display, in real time, as a means of interacting in public. He's taken the move to on-line readership to make reading books into a kind of social deviancy (it takes time away from the all-important Social Networking after all, the only way for anyone to know their place in society). He's taken the fetish amongst the political media for bipartisanship into the realm of the Bipartisan party which governs a bankrupt and collapsed America, where the current militarization and worship of the uniform in society has become the ultimate neo-conservative authoritarian occupation of the country, under the aegis of the American Restoration Authority; Baghdad simply transplanted to New York City, with an arrogant, bumbling and very Rumsfeldian cabinet secretary the real power running the government and sending National Guardsmen off to a military adventure in Venezuela, paid for by the Chinese, natch.

Lenny and Eunice's relationship is not like that of Winston and Julia in 1984. Lenny and Eunice are real people, and beautifully drawn by Shteyngart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
Not impressed by this book. Read it for a book club and all the women in the group agreed. Not a favorite at all.
Published 2 hours ago by C. F. Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars I found the first chapters worked best in small doses of reading in...
This book certainly succeeds at creating dystopia-- so much so that it is hard to keep plodding through it. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Katherine L. Bartel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A Super Sad True Love Story is a tremendously entertaining satire of society's trajectory.
Published 11 days ago by Theodore Hawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a chance and it's worth your time.
Tried to read it last year and got bogged down in the "strangeness". But I really wanted to try again. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Amanda
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay love story
Maybe I had too high expectations for this book. My friend recommended it as a book that could not be missed. Read more
Published 17 days ago by eugeneandmelvin
1.0 out of 5 stars What a complete waste of my time total crap NYT best seller Really
What a complete waste of my time
total crap
NYT best seller
Really?????
Published 17 days ago by James B. Damon
3.0 out of 5 stars A Dystopian Novel That Won't Stand the Test of Time
I was really into this book for the first half, but it didn't hold its steam. The futuristic look of America and the world are more amusing than horrifying, and the plot slips out... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Tower
4.0 out of 5 stars ... a chilling portrayal of near-future America and a tender love...
Both a chilling portrayal of near-future America and a tender love ballad to human existence, Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story is a fast and engrossing read that will... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Greg
4.0 out of 5 stars Tongue-in-cheek speculative fiction
Super Sad True Love Story is a complicated text to say the least. Astute political commentary meets poignant musings on the form love takes and is taking in our society. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Suyo
5.0 out of 5 stars Had to read it for a college course but glad I did!
So sad, but looks like when society is headed. Good read.
Published 1 month ago by NH Native
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More About the Author

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as a best book of the year by Time, The Washington Post Book World, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. He has been selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, and Travel + Leisure and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in New York City.

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