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Super Sad True Love Story

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Super Sad True Love Story Cover

 

Awards

Staff Pick

This dark, smart satire appears at a perfect, uncertain moment for our culture. Will books still exist as we know them? And how will love fare in an electronic world? Shteyngart enables us to laugh our fears away — at least, for the duration of this wonderful novel.
Recommended by Hank, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"An early entry in the diary of inept life-extension salesman Lenny Abramov notes that he has always regarded his parents' native tongue, Russian, 'as the language of cunning acquiescence.' Gary Shteyngart's hilarious dystopian novel, Super Sad True Love Story, is also sly and compliant, but like all great comedies, it is erected inside a scaffolding of sorrow, as the title promises." John Strawn, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)

"Make no mistake. Super Sad True Love Story boasts two tormented but appealing protagonists locked in a deliciously tortuous love affair. It is indeed super sad, though thankfully untrue and difficult to imagine as prescient, while proving by turns incisive and hilariously exaggerated in its skewering of American society's excesses." Rayyan Al-Shawaf, The Millions (Read the entire Millions review)

"Super Sad True Love Story isn't an entirely disingenuous title. By the time the ending rolls around, the two main characters have experienced the epic highs and ghastly lows expected in any realistic relationship. But Gary Shteyngart is at heart a humorist, and his adept, ironic tone lends the reader a certain comic distance from the emotional outpourings of Lenny Abramov and Eunice Park." Nathan Weatherford, Powells.com (Read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"This is one of the funniest and most frightening books I've ever read. It pictures a New York dystopia that is scary because it's already happening. I never really believed in the horrors of 1984, but the details of Super Sad True Love Story are all too convincing. Gary Shteyngart is our greatest satirist, but he also knows how to write about love and vulnerability in a way to make the angels (and ordinary mortals) weep." Edmund White

Review:

"The sweet but hapless Lenny Abramov and the beautiful Eunice Park are the Romeo and Juliet of our wobbly age. Super Sad True Love Story is a terrifying and heartbreaking, yet exhilarating and hilarious vision of where our post-literate, post-solvent civilization is headed." Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss

Review:

"If there is any serious reader out there who has not yet made the acquaintance of the seriously absurd universe of Gary Shteyngart then she would be well advised to get on it. With roots deep in the heart of Russian literature, Shteyngart has become an indispensable and important American writer. Super Sad True Love Story shows him at his soulful, smart and hilarious best." Jay McInerney

Review:

"Super Sad True Love Story is an intoxicating brew of keen-edged satire, social prophecy, linguistic exuberance, and emotional wallop. The American novel is safe in Gary Shteyngart's gifted hands." David Mitchell

Review:

"Gary Shteyngart has written an ingenious satire with enough reality to be truly frightening, super funny and super sad." Mary Gaitskill

Synopsis:

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?

Synopsis:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

 

SELECTED ONE OF 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • The Seattle Times • O: The Oprah Magazine • Maureen Corrigan, NPR • Salon • Slate • Minneapolis Star Tribune • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Kansas City Star • Charlotte Observer • The Globe and Mail • Vancouver Sun • Montreal Gazette • Kirkus Reviews

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?

Video

About the Author

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as a best book of the year by Time, The Washington Post Book World, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. He has been selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, and Travel + Leisure and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 15 comments:

lukas, October 23, 2013 (view all comments by lukas)
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.
PS-This has the most off-putting title since "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Malinda, August 7, 2012 (view all comments by Malinda)
This book is very compelling, but very depressing at the same time! While I was engrossed with the characters and story, I was also very sad about the future of the U.S. because I believe we're headed in this kind of a direction! Shteyngart's book is an important read and a funny read, but it's not a feel-good book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Lea Anna, February 1, 2012 (view all comments by Lea Anna)
An interesting read. Shteyngart's take on the future seems almost too close to home.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 15 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812977868
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Shteyngart, Gary
Publisher:
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110503
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.7 in 0.5938 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Super Sad True Love Story Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Random House Trade Paperbacks - English 9780812977868 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This dark, smart satire appears at a perfect, uncertain moment for our culture. Will books still exist as we know them? And how will love fare in an electronic world? Shteyngart enables us to laugh our fears away — at least, for the duration of this wonderful novel.

"Review A Day" by , "An early entry in the diary of inept life-extension salesman Lenny Abramov notes that he has always regarded his parents' native tongue, Russian, 'as the language of cunning acquiescence.' Gary Shteyngart's hilarious dystopian novel, Super Sad True Love Story, is also sly and compliant, but like all great comedies, it is erected inside a scaffolding of sorrow, as the title promises." (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"Review A Day" by , "Make no mistake. Super Sad True Love Story boasts two tormented but appealing protagonists locked in a deliciously tortuous love affair. It is indeed super sad, though thankfully untrue and difficult to imagine as prescient, while proving by turns incisive and hilariously exaggerated in its skewering of American society's excesses." (Read the entire Millions review)
"Review A Day" by , "Super Sad True Love Story isn't an entirely disingenuous title. By the time the ending rolls around, the two main characters have experienced the epic highs and ghastly lows expected in any realistic relationship. But Gary Shteyngart is at heart a humorist, and his adept, ironic tone lends the reader a certain comic distance from the emotional outpourings of Lenny Abramov and Eunice Park." (Read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "This is one of the funniest and most frightening books I've ever read. It pictures a New York dystopia that is scary because it's already happening. I never really believed in the horrors of 1984, but the details of Super Sad True Love Story are all too convincing. Gary Shteyngart is our greatest satirist, but he also knows how to write about love and vulnerability in a way to make the angels (and ordinary mortals) weep."
"Review" by , "The sweet but hapless Lenny Abramov and the beautiful Eunice Park are the Romeo and Juliet of our wobbly age. Super Sad True Love Story is a terrifying and heartbreaking, yet exhilarating and hilarious vision of where our post-literate, post-solvent civilization is headed."
"Review" by , "If there is any serious reader out there who has not yet made the acquaintance of the seriously absurd universe of Gary Shteyngart then she would be well advised to get on it. With roots deep in the heart of Russian literature, Shteyngart has become an indispensable and important American writer. Super Sad True Love Story shows him at his soulful, smart and hilarious best."
"Review" by , "Super Sad True Love Story is an intoxicating brew of keen-edged satire, social prophecy, linguistic exuberance, and emotional wallop. The American novel is safe in Gary Shteyngart's gifted hands."
"Review" by , "Gary Shteyngart has written an ingenious satire with enough reality to be truly frightening, super funny and super sad."
"Synopsis" by , 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?
"Synopsis" by , A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

 

SELECTED ONE OF 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • The Seattle Times • O: The Oprah Magazine • Maureen Corrigan, NPR • Salon • Slate • Minneapolis Star Tribune • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Kansas City Star • Charlotte Observer • The Globe and Mail • Vancouver Sun • Montreal Gazette • Kirkus Reviews

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?

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