"Super Sad True Love Story came out three years ago; I'm a bit late to the game because if you're going to jump on every new 'triumphant'/ 'genius'/ 'great American novelist under 40' you'd have to quit your job and take your lawn chair to the desert. Take a mini-retirement with Story: if you've ever felt weird about the ubiquity of social media, growing class disparity or corporate takeover, you'll forget about your instagram and your weekend plans the minute you open the book.
Our protagonist in a dystopic New York, Lenny, is a loveable loser who sells immortality to High Net Worth Individuals and vies for the affection of a troubled younger woman who refers to him as Tuna Brain. The satire is pointed and brilliant; books are 'nonstreaming Media artifacts', dollars are pegged to the yuan, women wear transparent jeans and people speak in elaborate acronyms (Shteyngart joked in interviews that the book is set 'next Tuesday'). About twelve pages in, Shteyngart's uncanny ability to assume the voices of twenty-four year old women, aging immigrants and other lost citizens of his dystopic New York convinced me that he is a shape-shifting sorcerer. All too aware of the declining cultural value of literature, Shteyngart has created a nonstreaming Media artifact that's both brutally funny and sad, and that I devoured in a weekend while dreading the last page the entire time. If you don't laugh and at least almost cry, come visit me in the desert and we can talk about it."
In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of an Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart?
"It's a high-wire act, pulling off a novel that's simultaneously so biting and so compassionate, and in his earlier books Shteyngart, while unfailingly shrewd and funny, wasn't always this tender. Super Sad True Love Story is indeed a sadder, and also a better, book." —Salon.com