Super Sad True Love Story book review

Super Sad True Love Story book review

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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Han Solo anthology film initial thoughts

Many already want to bash the Han Solo anthology film. Nobody should play Han Solo except Harrison Ford! We don’t need an origin story for Han Solo! Alden Ehrenreich doesn’t even look like Harrison Ford!

I hear the criticism and I get it. All three of these thoughts have crossed my mind. Here’s where I stand: I don’t think this is the Star Wars story we “need” but I think it could end up being really good.

Why we don’t “need” this Star Wars story: Han Solo is not a character I feel like I don’t know well or as though there are key pieces missing from his story. His character development and story arc from A New Hope to The Force Awakens feels pretty damn complete and satisfying to me.

These Star Wars anthology films should not revolve so much around characters we know well. Like Rogue One they should primarily revolve around new characters like Jyn, Cassian, Chirrut, K-2SO, Director Krennic, etc. while incorporating characters we know well (like Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin) in supporting rather than leading roles. Star Wars features an incredible galaxy teeming with countless planets and characters. Let’s hear more of their stories instead of revealing every little tidbit there is to know about characters we already know so well.

Why it could end up being really good: And yet, I salivate at the prospect of learning about the beginning of the friendship between Han and Lando, and what the Han-Chewbacca dynamic was like in the days before their fateful meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley cantina. I can’t help wondering about the “weird, strange stuff” Han mentions to Luke he’s seen when traveling from one end of the galaxy to another. Might we witness the legendary Kessel Run or the infamous sabacc game where Han won the Millenium Falcon from Lando?

Furthermore, Lucasfilm has been rocking it the last couple years. Rogue One was a masterpiece (see my review here: https://matthewrudoyblogfun.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-review/) and The Force Awakens revitalized the Skywalker Saga. Other recent materials in the canon like the TV show Star Wars Rebels, the novel Star Wars: Bloodline, and the comic book Star Wars Volume 1: Skywalker Strikes are original while also being significantly consequential and connected to essential Star Wars canon. The point is that if Lucasfilm has been rocking it so far, why are they suddenly going to drop the ball here? Also, Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote the script for the Han Solo movie. He worked on a few other little-known scripts such as The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens. I have faith he will deliver another fantastic script.

I also can’t help but get excited about actresses from two of my favorite TV shows being in this movie (Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones and Thandie Newton who plays Maeve in Westworld).

What do you think? Is the Han Solo anthology film a good or bad idea? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

And if you enjoy these blog posts check out my novels as well:

Corruption:

Destruction:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avengers: Infinity War first look

Avengers: Infinity War first look

The Avengers will meet the Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Infinity War! Check out the cool video below to learn more:

This news is not surprising as

A) Thanos–the big bad the MCU has been building to–has already played significant roles (albeit largely behind the scenes) in the Avengers movies and in Guardians of the Galaxy.

B) While bizarre, delightful and highly successful, Guardians of the Galaxy seems like the most tangential of all the MCU story-lines. Avengers: Infinity War enables the eclectic group to connect to the core of the MCU. Lack of surprise aside, this is nonetheless a satisfying announcement. All the connectivity within the MCU is intentional and building to this epic culmination.

Now James Gunn has confirmed that overall Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will not serve as setup for Avengers: Infinity War. http://movieweb.com/guardians-galaxy-2-avengers-infinity-war-no-crossover/ Thus, which other MCU movies prior to the release of Avengers: Infinity War will serve as further setup? Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther will likely act as more personal stories. Thor: Ragnarok is the remaining movie I expect to do the most setup, taking major steps to tie in the Infinity Stones.

With many characters from nearly a decade of films coming together, Avengers: Infinity War is shaping up to have an even more extensive cast than Captain America: Civil War. Hopefully like Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War is still able to tell a meaningful, character-driven story.