Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

9/01/2014

Summary
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.
Thoughts

The book stayed true to its title all throughout. It's a terrible love story! But one love story, I think we can all relate to. The he said-she said is so in your face. The differences of point of views are so true and so relatable that it’s a dead giveaway of their inevitable break-up.

Love at first sight or lust at first sight? Honestly, I was impressed by Lenny's conviction that Eunny was the one for him. His character’s devotion for her was cute in a creepy way, and I just think Eunny is a shallow b*itch.

So let's talk about the very interesting part - the futuristic format setting of the book. I can totally see our world coming to a great decline in values, and the type of technology showcased in this book, it's practically where we're headed. But what really gave me chills was the depiction of actual books being reduced to door stops! Door stops! Can you believe that? Having a stack of books in bookshelves was just weird in this setting.

One of Lenny’s dreams in life was for him and his Eunny read to each other or read together a book, which for me is the MOST romantic thing (yes I’m a dork)–future or present setting!!!
I definitely look forward to reading more works from this guy which I can’t pronounce the last name, much less spell it. Gary, right, Gary. 

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