♥Xeni♥'s Reviews > Super Sad True Love Story

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
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's review
Aug 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, science-fiction, humor, romance, ebook
Read from August 13 to 18, 2011 , read count: 1

When going into a dystopian-themed novel, you're always aware of what's going down: there's a government in control, almost in too much control, of its people. There is too much regulation, for "your own safety". Rules put in place meant to "protect you from [evil bad people]". And then there is always a crisis: someone tries to take down the corrupt system, or the system falls apart naturally... either way, there is always someone out to fight Big Brother (to borrow from 1984).

Super Sad True Love Story isn't all that different. We have Leonard and Eunice as our two main characters who tell us their stories via the former's diary and the latter's GlobalTeens messages. In this day and age everyone has an äppärät on which to not only communicate on, but which essentially is their whole life. You think that today's people are too into their iPhones? Well, when all systems crash, and people can't connect on their äppärät's anymore, some of the people commit suicide. It's not just about being connected and getting the latest information, buying the latest merchandise or staying in contact with friends. To the people of this world it's mostly about getting ranked (essentially anyone with an äppärät has an account at GlobalTeens, where they get Fuckability rankings (the higher, the cooler you are) and other such "coolness" ratings).

One thing that Shteyngart really showed me was how freaking iPhone obsessed I may have become in these last years. It's not quite an äppärät, but it's not far from it either.

Anyway, the story: we don't actually get told a story, instead we get insights into Leonard's and Eunice's lives. His Jewish/Russian heritage mixed with his New York job at a company that promises eternal life. Her Korean history mixed up with physical abuse from her father and her inability to do anything to make herself happy.

I hated them both as characters at first. I didn't understand what was so cool, so good, about them. And there really is nothing all that special about them, other than the fact that they had a relationship, talked about it, and lived through one of the most pivotal times of their history. But then, slowly, their characters and personalities grew on me. I still don't like them as people... I'd never hang out with them, that's for sure, but somehow, something about them endeared them to me. Perhaps I just started caring, is all.

Another thing about dystopian books is how they like to teach us a lesson. I suppose you could say that George Orwell started it all with 1984, back when he was trying to tell people in 1948 what will happen in only a few short decades if they continue to proceed the way they do. There were a lot of lessons to be learned in this novel... but I feel like the real lesson was that everything changes, nature will always reclaim it's own and that although love can hurt, it still is beneficial to experience it!
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Reading Progress

4.0% "Pretty darn boring so far. *keeps readin*"
12.0% "What I am mostly feeling is how pathetic the characters are. Like, really really REALLY pathetic. I can't identify with any of them... just heap scorn on them."
39.0% "Alright, so I'm accepting the story a bit more now. But I start feeling more and more grossed out by Eunice and Leonard. While being amazed by the state of affairs in the world. "Nice touch!" I'm thinking all the time, most recently when it said that every american house flies an American flag and that of the State of Israel. Sure that'll be the happening one day for certain!"
45.0% "This can only end in disaster..."
67.0% "I am not hating this book so much anymore. It's grown on me a bit..."
82.0% "Things are falling apart... but will they everywhere? Or is this true love story going to have a happy ending?"

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Jennifer This book was chosen for my real life bookclub, and at first I hated it but after reading it, I keep going back to it when talking with people. It's one of those books that overall will effect you. Maybe. LOL

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