Super Sad True Love StoryBook | Gary Shteyngart By Tracy O’Neill
A super funny, not-quite sad love story for the Facebook generation.
For the avid Gary Shteyngart reader, Super Sad True Love Story rehashes a motif familiar from his earlier work—think lovelorn Russian-American dud. What's different here is Shteyngart's satire of technology. Staged in the near future, the novel places its middle-aged protagonist Lenny Abramov in a technocracy where credit scores are public knowledge, young people stream nearly every moment of their personal lives through the thinly-veiled Facebook stand-in GlobalTeens, and looking decades younger has been made possible by the Post-Human Services branch of Abramov's employer, the Staatling-Wapachung Corporation. From this sea of semi-illiterates more interested in checking their Fuckability ratings than experiencing their lives, Lenny's love interest Eunice Park emerges. And here's the problem: the twenty-something Eunice is absolutely a product of her generation, which cripples her ability to connect in any meaningful way; she spends most of her time shopping or messaging via her "apparat," a contraption that has left the iPhone in its dust. Alternating between Lenny's diary entries and Eunice's GlobalTeens messages, Super Sad True Love Story offers a hilarious juxtaposition of Romanticism and tech-aestheticized postmodernity. Yet, problematically, Shteyngart's reductive and often condescending portrait of Eunice makes her just another vapid girl with daddy issues, and in this failure of empathetic characterization, Shteyngart inadvertently typifies exactly what he aimed to critique: a failure to truly understand one another that is just plain Post-Human.
|Super Sad True Love Story Trailer|