Thursday, February 24, 2011

Super Sad True Love Story

Super Sad True Love StorySuper Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm really not sure whether this should be three or four stars. I think the author does what he sets out to do quite effectively. What I would say, though, is that this is one of the most unpleasant books to read that I've read lately, so I wouldn't recommend the experience to anyone else.

The main character is an aging (39) son of Russian immigrants who works for a business, possibly a scam, selling life extension to HNWI's (High Net Worth Individuals). He becomes obsessed with an utterly uninteresting and much younger woman who is the daughter of Korean immigrants and devotes his life to making her fall in love with him. He only partly succeeds, although he does succeed in enveloping her in his life.

The issues, though, are that American government and commerce have become entirely dominated by our creditors, primarily China, and the dystopia Shteyngart portrays, leading to almost total collapse (The Rupture), throws the lives of these two characters, their families and friends, and the rudimentary social structures that remain into chaos.

Super Sad Love Story presents us with some of the observational wit we are used to from Gary Shteyngart, but it is far from funny. If anything, it is closer to the grim, depressing atmosphere presented in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Consequently, here Shteyngart has failed at one of the essential projects of satire: humor.

As I say, well done, but not recommended.

View all my reviews



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