Matt's Reviews > Super Sad True Love Story

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
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's review
Aug 08, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: fictions-of-the-big-it, america-f-k-yeah, satire
Read from August 08 to 29, 2011

The targets were too big for his satire to sting. Facebook sucks, people are superficial, the rich diss and exploit the poor, nobody reads anymore, people want to live forever but need to accept their own mortality, the culture's too saturated with slick sex, our economy's in shambles...all the pomo satire on late capitalism stuff which we've all come to know and love. Not to play 'gotcha' but M.T. Anderson's Feed is much better at all of this material, I say.

I'm not saying this to hate on Shteyngart at all, it's actually because I think he's one of our best writers that I was so let down by this book.

It's funny- I did chuckle every couple of pages- and it's super sad (enough), especially at the end...

But there wasn't the kind of satire I think really works- the kind that bites, that sticks in your throat, that deflates the biggest sacred cow balloons and rains cathartic laughter down like confetti.

The story was solid but the characters I've seen before- loveable, loving schlub, distracted, emotionally tenuous uniquely cognitive girl, sleazy bombastic rich dude, superficial media whore friends who don't even notice their own immaturity.

It's not a bad book, not at all, but it's a B-/ C+ effort which started to sort of wear on me until I pretty much threw caution to the wind and blew through the last 50 pages or so. I haven't read The Russian Debutante's Handbook yet, and I'm eager to do so.

He's got a lot more great stuff in him, of this I am sure. But I think this just wasn't it.
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08/19/2011 page 230

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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David A B-/C+ effort gets one star from you? (Tough grader.) I actually pretty much hated this book, but I gave it two stars. I really liked Absurdistan, and I kind of liked Russian Debutante's Handbook, so this was a big disappointment.

Rayroy it's nice to see someone else as disappointed with this book as me, the parts when Lenny thinks about the lives of his parents where good, but I didn't like anyone in the novel not even an inch the book seemed to try too hard to impress New York Times reading yuppies living in Park Slope!

message 3: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt I definitely felt that way. The Park Slope/upwardly mobile/educated class loves to read this kind of thing. So much of the satire is too easy, kind of boring, and it was a total letdown after the brilliance that was "Absurdistan"

Rayroy I'll have to give "Absurdistan" a chance! I could go on a rant about the educated class and if college does anything more then give a you a piece of paper and divide people by class status. There's a myth that only those in academia or students read books that are not paper back top sellers, good works of literature in other words like Herzog or Gravity's Rainbow, it's not true and further this idea stops many readers that never been to college to read great books.

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