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
+ $3.99 shipping
Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First the good stuff. The guy can write! That's what drew me into the book in the first place. I think the book was making a point. He's painted a picture of a possible and quite dystopian future of America and I subscribe to that point of view and fear that it could become a reality. I think the writer went extreme with it because we seem to be increasingly a society of extremity.
I read the free sample portion and I was really impressed with it. Shortly beyond that point it turned into something else. I'm not offended by crudeness, but I felt it was beneath the writer's talents. Again, I think he was making a point, which I can respect, but ultimately I think he could have done a better job without it.
-------------------------Warning! Mild Spoilers ahead.-------------------------
I felt the characters were weak. The main character let his love interest lead him around. In fact all of the male characters seemed to fall all over themselves for this woman with frankly no redeeming characteristics except her beauty. Again, I see the authors point here, but I spent most of the time thinking, "when are you going to ditch this girl?"
--------------------------End mild spoilers.------------------------------------
The other thing I didn't like about the story was how depressing it was. In general I don't have a problem with that either, but I guess it got to me in the end.
This book would have been a 2 for me, if it weren't so well written. So I'm actually going to check on his other works and see if he's plied his trade in a manner more fitting for me.
I read this in an ebook format and did not receive any compensation for this review nor do I have any connection to the author.
Lenny and Eunice inhabit a dyspeptic and hyper-sexualized near future in which a Sino-centric global economy and terrorist-induced security concerns have, in the United States, brought about the Rupture (cf. Rapture), a period of violence in that spells the country's final dissolution. Pretty heady stuff for an ostensible love story. But though this romance is given almost Catullian treatment, it is but a lattice on which Shteyngart hangs his reflections on where all of this--our world--is going. Filled with allusions to literature and pop culture (I'll wager you won't see another citation in literary fiction, anyway, of Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All"), SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY reflects on what the protagonist sees as the triumph of electronic media and the death of reading, the ultimate emptiness of the Judeo-Christian religions (the "Big Lie" that was born of the Jewish shame "of being overpowered by stronger nations"), the increasing societal acceptance of open eroticism (Eunice carries a purse carrying a sexually explicit brand name), the same almost imperceptible sliding towards a security state (tanks being a common sight on the streets of New York), the meaninglessness of immortality through one's progeny, and the inescapable, nihilistic summation of life ("It will all end. The totality of it. The self-love. Not wanting to die. Wanting to live, but not sure why").
Don't let the heaviness of the themes dissuade you from reading this truly delightful novel. It's kind of like a Korean dish Lenny and Eunice eat at a family gathering, "a large pot of octopus ... hot and sweet," complex and unusual in taste and texture. I might not have agreed with many of the sentiments (indeed, I read this book on a Kindle!), but I found every turn of the page a revelation. I was enthralled by Shteyngart's use of words; his insights challenged my ideas and cherished beliefs. This was one of the finest books I read in 2010, and, even though I'm not usually drawn to the journal format of storytelling, the best novel. It is a terrific story--"terrific" as both terrifying and frighteningly good.
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.