If I’d read Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart a few years ago, I would’ve found the depiction of the United States fascinating, thought-provoking, and disturbing. I wouldn’t have thought it felt familiar.
Thanks to the Trump administration, Rubenstein’s America doesn’t feel as alien as it should. Shteyngart creates an isolationist America that breeds fear through censorship and maligning individuals associated with particular countries and nationalities. The distinction between the government factions and corporate giants in power blur until there’s hardly any distinction at all.
Like its finest dystopian predecessors, Super Sad True Love Story makes chillingly accurate predictions about the future not only concerning politics, but with the direction of technology and human psychology. The äppäräts, everyone’s dependency on them and the rankings/data they provide act as a mirror to our Smartphone and social media-addicted culture. So much energy and time are dedicated to creating a self-image that leave us feeling unfulfilled and insubstantial. The live streaming is a spot-on manifestation of what Facebook Live and other real-world live streaming videos are designed to be.
Among the heavy and foreboding themes, the main characters Lenny and Eunice intricately develop within their touching, humorous, highly problematic relationship. They ground the story and make it personal amidst the political upheaval. While Lenny’s diary entries contain more of a literary feel and thus seem like they carry more merit, DO NOT rush through Eunice’s GlobalTeens messages. In many ways they are more insightful and genuine than Lenny’s diary entries. It’s refreshing to experience Eunice without the romanticized smog smearing Lenny’s chapters. In a clever way the story emphasizes this sentiment, however both perspectives are critical to the brilliance of this book.
Overall, Super Sad True Love Story excels as a profoundly hysterical, disturbing and above all self-aware story.
Do you think this book mirrors modern day America? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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