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Super Sad True Love Story par [Shteyngart, Gary]
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Super Sad True Love Story Format Kindle

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Longueur : 353 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Description du produit



june 1 
Rome–New York 

Dearest Diary,

 Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Others will die around me. They will be nullified. Nothing of their personality will remain. The light switch will be turned off. Their lives, their entirety, will be marked by glossy marble headstones bearing false summations (“her star shone brightly,” “never to be forgotten,” “he liked jazz”), and then these too will be lost in a coastal flood or get hacked to pieces by some genetically modified future- turkey. 

Don’t let them tell you life’s a journey. A journey is when you end up somewhere. When I take the number 6 train to see my social worker, that’s a journey. When I beg the pilot of this rickety United- ContinentalDeltamerican plane currently trembling its way across the Atlantic to turn around and head straight back to Rome and into Eunice Park’s fickle arms, that’s a journey. 

But wait. There’s more, isn’t there? There’s our legacy. We don’t die because our progeny lives on! The ritual passing of the DNA, Mama’s corkscrew curls, his granddaddy’s lower lip, ah buh- lieve thuh chil’ren ah our future. I’m quoting here from “The Greatest Love of All,” by 1980s pop diva Whitney Houston, track nine of her eponymous first LP. 

Utter nonsense. The children are our future only in the most narrow, transitive sense. They are our future until they too perish. The song’s next line, “Teach them well and let them lead the way,” encourages an adult’s relinquishing of selfhood in favor of future generations. The phrase “I live for my kids,” for example, is tantamount to admitting that one will be dead shortly and that one’s life, for all practical purposes, is already over. “I’m gradually dying for my kids” would be more accurate. 

But what ah our chil’ren? Lovely and fresh in their youth; blind to mortality; rolling around, Eunice Park–like, in the tall grass with their alabaster legs; fawns, sweet fawns, all of them, gleaming in their dreamy plasticity, at one with the outwardly simple nature of their world. 

And then, a brief almost- century later: drooling on some poor Mexican nursemaid in an Arizona hospice. 

Nullified. Did you know that each peaceful, natural death at age eighty- one is a tragedy without compare? Every day people, individuals— Americans, if that makes it more urgent for you—fall facedown on the battlefield, never to get up again. Never to exist again. 

These are complex personalities, their cerebral cortexes shimmering with floating worlds, universes that would have floored our sheepherding, fig- eating, analog ancestors. These folks are minor deities, vessels of love, life- givers, unsung geniuses, gods of the forge getting up at six- fifteen in the morning to fire up the coffeemaker, mouthing silent prayers that they will live to see the next day and the one after that and then Sarah’s graduation and then . . . 


But not me, dear diary. Lucky diary. Undeserving diary. From this day forward you will travel on the greatest adventure yet undertaken by a nervous, average man sixty- nine inches in height, 160 pounds in heft, with a slightly dangerous body mass index of 23.9. Why “from this day forward”? Because yesterday I met Eunice Park, and she will sustain me through forever. Take a long look at me, diary. What do you see? A slight man with a gray, sunken battleship of a face, curious wet eyes, a giant gleaming forehead on which a dozen cavemen could have painted something nice, a sickle of a nose perched atop a tiny puckered mouth, and from the back, a growing bald spot whose shape perfectly replicates the great state of Ohio, with its capital city, Columbus, marked by a deep- brown mole. Slight. Slightness is my curse in every sense. A so- so body in a world where only an incredible one will do. A body at the chronological age of thirty- nine already racked with too much LDL cholesterol, too much ACTH hormone, too much of everything that dooms the heart, sunders the liver, explodes all hope. A week ago, before Eunice gave me reason to live, you wouldn’t have noticed me, diary. A week ago, I did not exist. A week ago, at a restaurant in Turin, I approached a potential client, a classically attractive High Net Worth Individual. He looked up from his wintry bollito misto, looked right past me, looked back down at the boiled lovemaking of his seven meats and seven vegetable sauces, looked back up, looked right past me again—it is clear that for a member of upper society to even remotely notice me I must first fire a flaming arrow into a dancing moose or be kicked in the testicles by a head of state. 

And yet Lenny Abramov, your humble diarist, your small nonentity, will live forever. The technology is almost here. As the Life Lovers Outreach Coordinator (Grade G) of the Post- Human Services division of the Staatling- Wapachung Corporation, I will be the first to partake of it. I just have to be good and I have to believe in myself. I just have to stay off the trans fats and the hooch. I just have to drink plenty of green tea and alkalinized water and submit my genome to the right people. I will need to re- grow my melting liver, replace the entire circulatory system with “smart blood,” and find someplace safe and warm (but not too warm) to while away the angry seasons and the holocausts. And when the earth expires, as it surely must, I will leave it for a new earth, greener still but with fewer allergens; and in the flowering of my own intelligence some 1032 years hence, when our universe decides to fold in on itself, my personality will jump through a black hole and surf into a dimension of unthinkable wonders, where the things that sustained me on Earth 1.0—tortelli lucchese, pistachio ice cream, the early works of the Velvet Underground, smooth, tanned skin pulled over the soft Baroque architecture of twentysomething buttocks—will seem as laughable and infantile as building blocks, baby formula, a game of 

“Simon says do this.” 

That’s right: I am never going to die, caro diario. Never, never, never, never. And you can go to hell for doubting me. 

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

“Gary Shteyngart’s wonderful new novel, Super Sad True Love Story, is a supersad, superfunny, superaffecting performance — a book that not only showcases the ebullient satiric gifts…but that also uncovers his abilities to write deeply and movingly about love and loss and mortality. It’s a novel that gives us a cutting comic portrait of a futuristic America, nearly ungovernable and perched on the abyss of fiscal collapse, and at the same time it is a novel that chronicles a sweetly real love affair as it blossoms from its awkward, improbable beginnings. Mr. Shteyngart spent his earliest childhood in Leningrad, then moved with his family to the United States, and “Super Sad” reflects his dual heritage, combining the dark soulfulness of Russian literature with the antic inventiveness of postmodern American writing; the tenderness of the Chekhovian tradition with the hormonal high jinks of a Judd Apatow movie…It demonstrates a new emotional bandwidth and ratifies his emergence as one of his generation’s most original and exhilarating writers…In recounting the story of Lenny and Eunice in his antic, supercaffeinated prose, Mr. Shteyngart gives us his most powerful and heartfelt novel yet — a novel that performs the delightful feat of mashing up an apocalyptic satire with a genuine supersad true love story.”
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Gary Shteyngart’s third novel, Super Sad True Love Story, had to be a total blast to write.
It’s an homage to science fiction, George Orwell’s 1984 in particular, with a satirical postmodern overlay of authorial wish fulfillment….The text consists of Lenny’s diary entries and Eunice’s e-mails to various friends and family. They both write with endearing, sometimes clumsy earnestness, and their intertwining narratives, for all the book’s cheeky darkness, pose a superserious question: Can love and language save the world?”
“Shteyngart makes trenchant, often hilarious, observations about a fading empire.”
O Magazine
“With Shteyngart’s nutty knack for tangy language, it’s as if Vladimir Nabokov rewrote 1984.”
“It’s not easy to summarize Shteyngart; there’s so much satirical gunpowder packed into every sentence that the effect gets lost in the short version. But basically, this is a love story [that is] ridiculously witty and painfully prescient, but more than either of those, it’s romantic.”
Time (summer preview)
“Finally, a funny book about the financial crisis.”
—Wall Street Journal
“[A] smart send-up of our info-overload age…
Love Story is funny, on-target, and ultimately sad as it captures the absurdity and anxiety of navigating an increasingly out-of-control world.”
—Entertainment Weekly
“Exuberant and devastating… such an acidly funny, prescient book… It’s a wildly funny book that hums with the sheer vibrancy of Shteyngart’s prose, and that holds up a riotous, terrifying mirror to a corrupted American empire in decline.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“The satirist author of Absurdistan rewrites 1984 as a black comedy set in a near future where everything scary about multinational banks, media super-saturation, and American cultural devolution is amped up to 11 (and really funny).”
“It’s a love story, and as super-sad as the title promises…Shteyngart is the Joseph Heller of the information age…That’s the difference between Shteyngart and the average literary satirist (or even an above-average one, like Martin Amis): his warmth…A novel that’s simultaneously so biting and so compassionate.”
“As illuminating, as gut-busting, and as purely entertaining as any piece of literature will be this year.”
“So I don’t risk burying my recommendation where an inattentive reader might miss it, let me say right upfront: Read this book – it’s great…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…Shteyngart is a droll Kafka -- not so enigmatic, perhaps, but just as inimitable, and much, much funnier. He has a genius for composing the perfect, concise, illuminating phrase…Shteyngart, without resorting to pyrotechnics or hyperbole, insinuates his readers into an original, engaging and frightening world, at once foreign and familiar. I loved this novel.”
—Portland Oregonian
“Gary Shteyngart’s dystopian novel deserves a place on the shelf beside 1984  and Brave New World….The surprising and brilliant third novel from Russian-American satirist Shteyngart is actually two love stories… Shteyngart writes with an obvious affection for America — at its most chilling, Super Sad True Love Story comes across as a cri de coeur from an author scared for his country. The biggest risk for any dystopian novel with a political edge is that it can easily become humorless or didactic; Shteyngart deftly avoids this trap by employing his disarming and absurd sense of humor (much of which is unprintable here). Combined with the near-future setting, the effect is a novel more immediate — and thus more frightening, at least for contemporary readers — than similarly themed books by Orwell, Huxley and Atwood.”
—NPR, Books We Like
“This summer’s literary crown prince.”
—New York Observer
“Hilarious and unsettling… the man can write a stellar sentence.”
—Dallas Morning News
“Gary Shteyngart has a wicked penchant for steering his hapless characters into absurd situations, then letting real-life global forces roll over them. But his wild, exuberant wit and deadly accurate satire have made the Russian émigré one of the most acclaimed, enjoyable — and unsettling — novelists working today…His imagination is either warped or prophetic; you choose. But his writing is brilliant. Somehow, amid all this, he creates vulnerable, sympathetic characters whose foibles and blunderings toward one another we recognize as universal: super sad and true.”
—Seattle Times
“Threads of narrative and brilliant motifs accumulate with apparent effortlessness and the narrative tone remains matter-of-fact and understated. He has gained a lot of praise for his first two novels, and yes, he does remind me of Nikolai Gogol and Evelyn Waugh both at the same time…Super Sad True Love Story is about as amusing and harrowing a reflection upon the world we live in now and the direction we could be heading as you can hope to find.”
Jane Smiley, Philadelphia Inquirer
“Dystopic, mournfully funny…The classics of fiction-as-social-forecast – and the fact that Shteyngart’s is one doesn’t make it any less funny – share a crucial characteristic: depressing familiarity.”
“A slit-your-wrist satire illuminated by the author’s absurd wit…Shteyngart’s most trenchant satire depicts the inane, hyper-sexualized culture that connects everybody even while destroying any actual community or intimacy. This may be the only time I’ve wanted to stand up on the subway and read passages of a book out loud.”
—Washington Post
“A bipartisan satirist who makes us simultaneously laugh and wince at our monstrous vanities…Zaniness and tragedy are conjoined in his ambitious, uninhibited imagination. No subject is too serious to crack a joke about. But he is not being perverse or disrespectful; like all great satirists, he builds fun house mirrors that expose the distortions of contemporary reality…Shteyngart is one of the most powerful voices of his generation.”
—Miami Herald
—Santa Cruz Sentinel
“A spectacularly clever near-future dystopian satire… What gives this novel its unusual richness is that undercurrent of sorrow.”
“This moving tale in futuristic New York is a fabulously sad romance… It’s hilarious, and it’s sad - a poignant moment that gets at the heart of both the girl and the society.”
—St. Louis Post Dispatch
“These inventions are indicative of the book’s pleasure, which is simply its effluence from a mind as smart, loony and darkly prophetic as Mr Shteyngart’s. “I don’t know how to read anymore,” he said in his interview with Deborah Solomon. Thankfully his fans still do.”
—The Economist, More Intelligent Life
“His satire is appallingly funny but never less than personal, a tour de force of ridiculous appropriation and conflation.”
—Boston Globe
“An ingenious satire of America in decline: a nation obsessed with life extension and homeland security, betrayed by technology and utterly trivialized.”
—L.A. Times summer preview
“Here’s a big tip of the hat to Gary Shteyngart for having the nerve to write a novel-length staire…he’s shrewd, observant, snarkily funny.”
“You think the country’s a mess now? Just wait until you read about the unnerving near-future envisioned by the hilarious Gary Shteyngart in his satiric new novel Super Sad True Love Story, a 1984 for the cybertastic millennium….Super Sad True Love Story shows why Shteyngart was named one of New Yorker's trendy “20 Under 40” writers; he’s a genius with parody.”
—Miami Herald
“Not since mid-’70s Woody Allen has anyone cracked so wise and so well. Who but Shteyngart recognizes the twin importance of skillful oral sex and a currency pegged to the Chinese yuan? Nobody.”
“Shteyngart evokes America in a digitized post-literate age in Super Sad True Love Story, an Orwell-on-acid vision of a very near future in which life is streamed rather than lived, but romance,in all its perilous, old-fashioned wonderment, endures.”
“Pity Lenny Abramov, the sad and hilarious human being at the center of Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart's hilarious and sad new novel…[an] all-too-plausible dystopia, where privacy of any sort is a thing of the past…both frightening and devastatingly funny.”
—L.A. Times
“The sheer exhilaration of the writing in this book ... is itself a sort of answer to the flattened-out horrors of the world it depicts.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story tries to be many things—tragicomic 1984 update, poignant May-December romance per the title, heartfelt tribute to the nostalgic joys of plain ol' books—and succeeds at most of them. But primarily, it’s the finest piece of anti-iPhone propaganda ever written, a cautionary tale full of distracted drones unwilling to tear themselves away from their little glowing screens long enough to make eye contact, let alone an actual lasting connection, with another human being. It’s super sad ‘cause it’s true, but that also makes it hilarious.”
—Village Voice
“Hilarious and unsettling.”
—Fort Worth Star Telegram
“I can’t remember the last time a book so often made me laugh out loud and scared the hell out of me - sometimes on the same page. But Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, the aptly titled Super Sad True Love Story, accomplishes an even rarer feat: It’s a slashing satire with a warm heart…Shteyngart makes it all disturbingly convincing. Both satire and speculative fiction tend to be chilly forms; he displays a mastery of them in Super Sad Love Story yet never lets the tragic, wholly human bond between its lovers seem less than real.”
—St Petersburg Times
“Shteyngart’s world, evoked in painstaking and ingenious detail, feels close enough to touch - a nightmare we've already started to live and from which we can’t seem to wake up…Shteyngart has always been able to see the humor in a half-cocked world as it slides toward madness. But true to his Russian origins and this novel's title, there is something unbearably sad about even his broadest and most savage satire.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“No surprise that it’s hilarious, but it’s also as finger-waggingly disapproving a vision of the technologically addicted, oversexed, dumbed-down world we inhabit as I’ve ever read.”
—The Forward
“The surprising and brilliant third novel from Russian-American satirist Shteyngart is actually two love stories — and while they're both, as promised, super sad, they're also incredibly (but very darkly) funny.”
—NPR “Books We Like”
“if Gary Shteyngart is any indication, fiction will continue to be the place where authors ponder the survival of most everything else that matters…These inventions are indicative of the book's pleasure, which is simply its effluence from a mind as smart, loony and darkly prophetic as Mr Shteyngart’s.
“[A] profane and dizzying satire, a dystopic vision of the future as convincing-and, in its way, as frightening as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. It’s also a pointedly old-fashioned May-December love story. . . .  a heartbreaker worthy of its title, this is Shteyngart’s best yet.” 
Publishers Weekly, starred review «
“Full-tilt and fulminating satirist Shteyngart (Absurdistan, 2006) is mordant, gleeful, and embracive as he funnels today’s follies and atrocities into a devilishly hilarious, soul-shriveling, and all-too plausible vision of a ruthless and crass digital dystopia in which techno-addled humans are still humbled by love and death.”
Booklist, starred review «
“This cyber-apocalyptic vision of an American future seems eerily like the present, in a bleak comedy that is even more frightening than funny. Though Shteyngart received rave reviews for his first two novels (The Russian Debutante’s Daughter, 2001; Absurdistan, 2006), those appear in retrospect to be trial runs for his third and darkest to date.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 910 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 353 pages
  • Editeur : Granta Books (2 septembre 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B006ZMLG4Q
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client
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Par NAE le 12 septembre 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Pour ceux qui lisent dans le texte, je conseille vivement ce roman. Mordant, grinçant, on ne le pratiquement pas, d'un bout à l'autre.
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Satire prophétique de notre société: une jeunesse illettrée et sans passé, obsédée par la mode, le sexe- ou plutôt la pornographie- passant son temps devant son "apparaat"; Des adultes voulant échapper par tous moyens à la vieillesse et la mort; une géopolitique où les Etats Unis sont en faillite, sous tutelle du FMI, de la Chine, de l'Arabie Saoudite et de la Norvège; Un gouvernement dominé par des conglomérats et intérêts financiers; l'avenir des jeunes se limitant à Retail, Crédit ou Média. la surveillance continuelle via les réseaux d'internet; et finalement, l'élimination d'une partie de la population qui n'est pas intégrée.
Au milieu de tout cela, Lenny Abramov, fils d'émigrés juifs russes, et Eunice Park, fille d'émigrés coréens, qui ont gardés leurs valeurs ancestrales
Très bien vu. De très bonnes idées.Assez bien écrit (mais le style doit s'adapter au récit, puisque l'histoire nous est contée à travers le journal intime de Lenny et les messages sur "Globalteen" (un réseau social) d'Eunice Park
Des relents de 1984, Winston Smith et Julia réincarnés. Une fin moins triste, mais tout aussi pessimiste.
Excellent, donc
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Par aimée m le 14 octobre 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The book that I ordered has arrived in time, in fact early, in perfect condition, I would order from this vendor again.
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Par le 3 janvier 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Magnifique.. et quelle vision / anticipation d'une Amérique Titanic...
Absurdistan du meme auteur vaut le détour aussi :)
Magnifique.. et quelle vision / anticipation d'une Amérique Titanic...
Absurdistan du meme auteur vaut le détour aussi :)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 3.6 étoiles sur 5 417 commentaires
29 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Wanted It to Be Better 17 décembre 2010
Par Bartolo - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Few of the reviews here refer to Shteyngart's other novels, and perhaps that's telling. The resemblances between "Absurdistan" and this satire--the unattractive protragonist and his love interest in the foreground, dystopic corporate empire in the background--are too obvious to miss, and therein perhaps the shortcomings here. When a novel is less than wonderful, even an amateur wants to play doctor, and perhaps the problem I can identify is that Shteyngart's favored scenario became a little too formulaic on the second go-round. Or perhaps I was charmed the first time, a little less disarmed the second, or had unconsciously raised my expectations. Or perhaps it's the times? 2010 seems decades beyond 2006; we are in the midst of a world-wide recession and beset with a bought-and-paid-for government that obsesses on serving the rich. It's hard to laugh, or to be induced to laugh, at anything that isn't totally off the wall.

The dystopia of "Super Sad" is hardly much of a leap from where we are now. I scoured reviews of the book, looking for someone who could nail the problem for me, and came upon this paragraph from Ron Charles of the Washington Post:

"Perhaps the saddest aspect of this "Super Sad True Love Story" is that you can smell Shteyngart sweating to stay one step ahead of the decaying world he's trying to satirize. It's an almost impossible race now that the exhibitionism of ordinary people has lost its ability to shock us. Just try coming up with something creepier than middle school girls wearing shorts with the word "Juicy" across their bottoms, or imagine a fashion line cruder than FCUK (Shteyngart comes close). His description of friends getting together after work to text other friends is taking place today in every D.C. restaurant. And how can you parody the TV news coverage when George Stephanopoulos has already presented a straight-faced report on Lindsay Lohan's obscene fingernail stencil?"

Another personal diagnosis is that the novel suffers from overambition. Shteyngart's satiric world clatters and clanks with inventions that constantly make us exporers of a world we should inhabit along with his characters, but he never quite succeeds in creating an environment for them--we remain tourists while he necessarily feels obliged to describe the sights. To get us to inhabit the landscape, to make it real to us, perhaps the novel should have been twice as long; but if that is what was necessary, so be it. A mere sketch of an alien landscape, even one not much more than an exaggeration of our own, is frustrating: I wanted to feel the ambience, be haunted. But it wasn't real, even granting the fact that I live in New York and am familiar with the book's described geography.

Moreover, the mix of humor and disaster didn't work for me. Lenny's friends are murdered, the disenfranchised get machine-gunned or clubbed on the head, and yet we are supposed to laugh in the next scene. A tall order, one I don't think Shteyngart pulls off. With a consistency of satiric tone--if the deaths themselves had been outlandish?-- it might have worked, but I didn't find that consistency.

It could be that Steyngart's clown face is forced and stems from undermediated psychic needs. Lenny's "diary" entries in the novel have a literary power that the rest of the novel lacks, perhaps because Lenny, the source of the humor, is himself quite serious. Maybe this is a Shteyngart voice that will find a satisfying outlet later.

On balance this was an interesting book, and worth the time; but I finished it thinking it might have been (choose one) more powerful, more devastating an indictment, or more moving, or certainly funnier. But as a tossed salad, at least this time, the flavors competed rather than complemented.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Depressing. 15 février 2014
Par ozone - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I didn't really care for it.

First the good stuff. The guy can write! That's what drew me into the book in the first place. I think the book was making a point. He's painted a picture of a possible and quite dystopian future of America and I subscribe to that point of view and fear that it could become a reality. I think the writer went extreme with it because we seem to be increasingly a society of extremity.

The bad:

I read the free sample portion and I was really impressed with it. Shortly beyond that point it turned into something else. I'm not offended by crudeness, but I felt it was beneath the writer's talents. Again, I think he was making a point, which I can respect, but ultimately I think he could have done a better job without it.

-------------------------Warning! Mild Spoilers ahead.-------------------------
I felt the characters were weak. The main character let his love interest lead him around. In fact all of the male characters seemed to fall all over themselves for this woman with frankly no redeeming characteristics except her beauty. Again, I see the authors point here, but I spent most of the time thinking, "when are you going to ditch this girl?"
--------------------------End mild spoilers.------------------------------------

The other thing I didn't like about the story was how depressing it was. In general I don't have a problem with that either, but I guess it got to me in the end.

This book would have been a 2 for me, if it weren't so well written. So I'm actually going to check on his other works and see if he's plied his trade in a manner more fitting for me.

I read this in an ebook format and did not receive any compensation for this review nor do I have any connection to the author.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice Guy Syndrome meets Stockholm Syndrome 29 mai 2016
Par ALD - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The plot of this book really started around 3/4 in. I feel like the author needs to take a high school creative writing class...

First, the main character, Lenny, is the WORST. A friend recommended this to me and said she loved the book and when I told her I disliked Lenny, her reply was "I feel like he's the most real." Ok, sure, but he is literally really annoying and to have a book told from his perspective is painful. He's whiny, neurotic, super needy with a terrific case of "nice guy syndrome" who declares at the onset of the novel he is "in love" with Eunice, who is an attractive 19-yo to his ugly 39. The book is supposed to be satirizing the culture of being glued to your phone, which actually TOTALLY makes sense for Eunice, but only accentuates (a) how desperate and youth centric Lenny's friends/colleagues are and (b) how lame Lenny is. No, he isn't a weird foil to society b/c he owns books. His friends at least embrace youth culture while Lenny tries to fit in like an awkward middle schooler, and creeps on Eunice.

Lenny is disgusting. He basically uses his money in a time when there is no food/supplies to go around to pressure this girl he met once to come stay with him at a time she doesn't want to move home to her abusive father, Eunice, then whines his way into some borderline rapey sex with her and she develops what seems to be Stockholm Syndrome to stick it out, all the while crying in the bathtub b/c Lenny never once sees her as more than a projection of his fantasy. (Until he does, and considers kicking her out into the terrible world).

What is this satirizing? Possible dystopian society? Ugh fine the societal commentary is whatever, but it's set in NYC and other big cities like that are flooded with 40-yo's who think they're 25. None of the non-New Yorkers act like that, so youth culture as an urban thing is pretty accurate and not weird. I don't really think it's satirizing pathetic men. I think that is the author is legitimately unaware how creepy and misogynistic Lenny is, but who knows.

Idk. Gross. Lenny is gross.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 You can almost see there from here... 5 septembre 2012
Par M. Dale - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
SSTLS is written as diary entries, text messages, and emails amongst the main characters. The setting of the novel is an America that is falling apart due to a lack of a sustainable economic system. The love story moves along through the violent collapse.

The author does a very good job of establishing believable characters, each of which is different from each other and none of which are perfect or archetypes. These are real people with realistic problems and flaws, and you care about them all. The slightly-in-the-future America the author paints seems over the top, but when considered, is simply a potential progression from where we are now. For example: today, young girls wear clothes that are more revealing that in the past: sheer cocktail dresses and backless shirts. In the book, young girls wear pants that are actually transparent. It strikes us as ridiculous, but if we follow the trajectory of more and more revealing clothing, we end up with see through clothing. This is just one of many projections the author makes that seem shocking but could potentially be realistic.

Overall the author shows great insight into where America might be headed, and what kinds of responses we might see from different segments of the population. He cleverly enfolds these predictions in a first person love story. This blurs the line between a politico-fiction, which might be dry, and a romance, which adds interest and flavour.

I enjoyed the dashes of 1984ishness and the wry commentary on contemporary culture. The story was plodding at times; the pacing is what brought it down from a 5 to a 4. Definitely worth reading though.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Large Pot of Baby Octopus, Hot and Sweet 2 janvier 2011
Par M. L. Asselin - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
"The love I felt for her...had a capital and provinces, parishes and a Vatican, an orange planet and many sullen moons--it was systemic and it was complete." The story of Lenny Abramov's love for Eunice Parks in Gary Shteyngart's SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY is a lyrical if disturbing symphony of personal and socio-political futures. Alternating between Lenny's diary entries and Eunice's text messages, the novel breathes the miasmic theme of death, death of the individual and death of a nation. Lenny is an ordinary looking, thirty-nine-year old son of working-class Russian émigrés who loves books (the kind made of paper, musty-smelling and repellant to most of his younger cohorts) and works for a company that promises indefinite life extension to the well-heeled ("High Net Worth Individuals"); Eunice is a beautiful if twiggy young twenty-something middle-class Korean-American who is listless and frequently glued to the Net. Their love is born mostly of desperation--and is doomed from the start.

Lenny and Eunice inhabit a dyspeptic and hyper-sexualized near future in which a Sino-centric global economy and terrorist-induced security concerns have, in the United States, brought about the Rupture (cf. Rapture), a period of violence in that spells the country's final dissolution. Pretty heady stuff for an ostensible love story. But though this romance is given almost Catullian treatment, it is but a lattice on which Shteyngart hangs his reflections on where all of this--our world--is going. Filled with allusions to literature and pop culture (I'll wager you won't see another citation in literary fiction, anyway, of Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All"), SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY reflects on what the protagonist sees as the triumph of electronic media and the death of reading, the ultimate emptiness of the Judeo-Christian religions (the "Big Lie" that was born of the Jewish shame "of being overpowered by stronger nations"), the increasing societal acceptance of open eroticism (Eunice carries a purse carrying a sexually explicit brand name), the same almost imperceptible sliding towards a security state (tanks being a common sight on the streets of New York), the meaninglessness of immortality through one's progeny, and the inescapable, nihilistic summation of life ("It will all end. The totality of it. The self-love. Not wanting to die. Wanting to live, but not sure why").

Don't let the heaviness of the themes dissuade you from reading this truly delightful novel. It's kind of like a Korean dish Lenny and Eunice eat at a family gathering, "a large pot of octopus ... hot and sweet," complex and unusual in taste and texture. I might not have agreed with many of the sentiments (indeed, I read this book on a Kindle!), but I found every turn of the page a revelation. I was enthralled by Shteyngart's use of words; his insights challenged my ideas and cherished beliefs. This was one of the finest books I read in 2010, and, even though I'm not usually drawn to the journal format of storytelling, the best novel. It is a terrific story--"terrific" as both terrifying and frighteningly good.
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