Super Sad True Love Story

A Novel

Shteyngart, Gary

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Super Sad True Love Story
The author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Russian Debutante's Handbook and Absurdistan , Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now, in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel, he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America's dysfunctional coming years--and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink. In a very near future--oh, let's say next Tuesday--a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don't that tell that to poor Lenny Abramov, the thirty-nine-year-old son of an angry Russian immigrant janitor, proud author of what may well be the world's last diary, and less-proud owner of a bald spot shaped like the great state of Ohio. Despite his job at an outfit called Post-Human Services, which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele, death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn't it? Lenny's from a different century--he totally loves books (or "printed, bound media artifacts," as they're now known), even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books, Lenny loves Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel twenty-four-year-old Korean American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. After meeting Lenny on an extended Roman holiday, blistering Eunice puts that Assertiveness minor to work, teaching our "ancient dork" effective new ways to brush his teeth and making him buy a cottony nonflammable wardrobe. But America proves less flame-resistant than Lenny's new threads. The country is crushed by a credit crisis, riots break out in New York's Central Park, the city's streets are lined with National Guard tanks on every corner, the dollar is so over, and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Undeterred, Lenny vows to love both Eunice and his homeland. He's going to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability, in a world where single people can determine a dating prospect's "hotness" and "sustainability" with the click of a button, in a society where the privileged may live forever but the unfortunate will die all too soon, there is still value in being a real human being. Wildly funny, rich, and humane, Super Sad True Love Story is a knockout novel by a young master, a book in which falling in love just may redeem a planet falling apart. nbsp;

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400066407
Branch Call Number: FICTION SHTEYNGAR 2010
Characteristics: 334 p. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

A future world where image and technology are everything, where the dystopia is on the human level of a unattractive schlub who just wants to fit in.

In a novel set in the near future, when a beautiful, yet cruel, woman that Lenny Abramov met in Italy says she his coming to stay with him in New York, even the tanks and soldiers stationed in the city and the ongoing war with Venezuela can't get him down. Also available on e-book.

This is dark, witty satire, about a doomed romance in a world just a little bit in the future, but startling like our own.

The author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Russian Debutante's Handbook and Absurdistan and a wonderful new memoir, Little Failure, Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now, in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel, he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America's d... Read More »

In near-future NYC, a man fights the absurdity of life by indulging in a passion for books and unrequited romance with a beautiful and cruel young woman.

From the critics

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Jul 31, 2014

Didn't like

Dec 15, 2013
  • ehm_chen rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Some interesting ideas about how things could become in the future, though overall contrived and nothing mind-blowing. Some terrific descriptions and turns of phrase. I think the best thing about the book is the insightful and interesting take on what is it to be the child of an immigrant. But overall, a bit tiresome and significantly longer than it needed to be. I feel like he read Infinite Jest and was inspired, but this pales in comparison. Also, I found the ending really weak, like he didn't know how to conclude things and just tacked on an update. I'll probably forget all about this book within weeks; other than its title, just for its inaneness.

Oct 26, 2013
  • waltzingechidna rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Unreadable. I kept hearing how clever this book was, and indeed, the first few pages had me laughing aloud several times. But the unremitting whininess of the protagonist, and the thoroughly unlikability of his love interest, turned me so completely off that I put the book down for good in the middle of the second chapter. File under "life is too short."

Oct 23, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Not only is it not super sad, it's not even mildly sad. Or true. Maybe "Super Sucky Untrue Love Story" wasn't catchy enough. Set in a not too distant future (or is it really now?!), Shteyngart's obnoxious, self-conscious novel is part sci-fi, part satire, part twee romance. The love story part smacks a tiny bit of male fantasy, as the guy is older, neurotic and balding, while the woman is younger, cooler, hotter and more Asian. As a satire, it's neither funny nor astute, offering little more commentary than, hey, we love our technology. I will say the last few pages are pretty good, but, otherwise, this is pretty sucky.

Jul 04, 2013
  • Piemanthe3rd rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I found it hard to enjoy this novel as the main character was entirely unlikeable and the so called satire of future culture struck me as someone with little knowledge of current day unintellectual culture trying really really hard to make a joke. I just did not enjoy it.

Aug 23, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is a social satire by the great, great grandson of Gogol! It is set in the near future in a non-literary, ahistorical, ultra-capitalist society where people are obsessed by material things and death, or avoiding it. Shteyngart celebrates the value in still being a human being.

Dec 21, 2011
  • lilwordworm rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Simply excellent! The satiric description of” future” culture is so on point that it reads like a creepily accurate prophecy. Personal devices that rates your popularity? You mean Facebook on your iPhone? Check. People camping out and protesting while the governments try to shut it down? You mean Occupy? Check. Economic crisis in the US of A and bad credit rating? Wait … that’s just news! Super Delightful Almost Real Life Story.

Dec 20, 2011
  • Harmanc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I liked this novel, but not nearly as much as I liked Absurdistan. The premise is just far enough out there to be satirical, and yet written well enough that I can believe this future isn't that far off. Most of the characters are hard to like at some point or another in the novel, and the way that Eunice uses Lenny is kind of sickening, but overall it is an entertaining read.

Oct 27, 2011
  • ColemanRidge rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

<p>It's odd how many people call this novel satirical or futuristic. It is set in a NYC in which everyone has their nose buried continually in a smartphone, in which the economy is in free fall, and in which protestors are camped in the parks. Hello? This is journalism. Shteyngart caricatures just enough to startle one awake.</p>

<p>This is not to say that he doesn't have a sharp eye. The story suggests that internet pornography and online shopping are what educate young people, and that old books' musty smell offends people who read only off screens.</p>

<p>If the book has a fault, it is that Shteyngart writes the love story of a Russian Jew and a Korean as if there were a Russian and a Korean national character. I don't know if that can possibly make sense. Still, if an error, it is an affectionate error. He appears to like both peoples for their toughness, stubbornness, and family loyalty.</p>

<p>All the above is the sideshow, though a very flashy, upbeat, entertaining sideshow. The main event, what the book is about, is that everything dies: parents, countries, our own dirty, dear New York City. You. Me. Love. It's about how to take that.</p>

Oct 09, 2011
  • PrimaGigi rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I really don't want to read about some white, males mid-life crisis. Not to mention that I felt the text and description of Eunice Park was extremely racist.

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Jan 24, 2011
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Vegetables are a sign of respect.


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