Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Top customer reviews
As I read the book, it clicked along at the 3-star level, then 4, and finally, when the author links everything, it's a five.
Funny, depressing, strange and familiar, it's the junction where Orwell channels Woody Allen. Or vice versa.
Well, I guess the novel has slightly more to it than that. The story takes place in a dystopic near-future New York City, and America is on the brink of collapse due to its massive debt to China. Books are known as "bound, nonstreaming media artifacts," American is losing a war with Venezuela, and people use Blackberry-like devices called äppäräti (the umlauts are Shteyngart's) to stream data and learn basically anything about anybody (like Credit Rating, for one). Shteyngart's is a pretty easily recognizable dystopia -- a totalitarian version of America in which citizens are carefully watched. But it's this component of satire that really is the strength of the novel, and the most fun part about it.
Lenny, who is your prototypical lovable loser, tells us the story via his diary entries, and his girl, 25-year-old Korean-American Eunice Park, supplements his version of events with emails and IM conversations with her mother, sister and best friend. When we meet Lenny, he has just decided that he's going to live forever -- he figures he might as well, since that's the business he's in. Lenny works for Post-Human Services, a division of a huge corporate conglomerate. His job is to find High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) who are interested in staying "forever young." (The crappy 80s song by Alphaville makes a few appearances in the novel too, just to make sure you are really getting Shteyngart's theme.) Lenny's boss is already well on his way in this process -- he's a spry 70-year-old who looks like he's in his mid-20s. Lenny first meets Eunice in Rome while he's prospecting for clients, and through a series of too-convenient maneuverings and odd justifications, she comes to live with him in New York.
So, a novel about the youth-aging dichotomy moves on to a novel about a sad middle-aged man clinging to scant hope that his lady will be able to talk herself into loving him -- instead of staying with him because he treats her well and takes care of her. It really is sad, in the sense that you want to feel badly for Lenny, but does anyone ever really feel bad for "that" guy? And it's also sad in the sense that we've seen this trope way too frequently. It's not original, and neither is the poor middle-aged guy scared of his own mortality. We get it, Shhhhhhteyngart. Aging sucks! And poor, mid-life crises-based decisions (like supporting a young vixen who doesn't love you) aren't the answer! And, again, the "love" story here is pretty predictable. Lenny loves Eunice unconditionally, but Eunice doesn't love him. But he's so nice and good to her, she wants to make herself love him. Will she succeed?
So as the novel rushes to its conclusion, and things change rapidly and dramatically, we're sitting here thinking "I already kind of know what's going to happen, and I've already solved all the 'mysteries.' This is probably going to end in a pretty anti-climactic conclusion." And it does. The cool, creative dystopian future isn't enough to carry the too-common, dull themes and its boring (though somewhat droll) caricatures of real people. Shteyngart is a clever, funny writer (almost too much so from time to time), but his jokes, winks and pop culture references don't altogether save this sucker. Three stars for the not-so-super, actually pretty sad, with elements of truth, love story.
Not much more to say than that this was a really interesting story and I will undoubtedly read it again...though it won't be as much fun as I will know where it is going. Still, plenty of really good bits to make it worthwhile.
The form the novel takes only adds to the message it conveys. Yet despite all the social and political commentary it is pleasurable to read for no other reason than reading it.
I am recommending this novel to anyone who will stand still long enough.