Although the book is set in a dystopian near future, most of what it describes is just a satire of what we're currently living and experiencing as a society. That's what makes it super sad but true.
It's nicely read, and since the prose is very colloquial and always in first person, you can listen to it pretty easily without too much concentration.
highly recommend it.
While not the best novel I've ever come across, it, having been well written and decidedly entertaining...I did want to know what happened next... also left me with things to ponder. I doubt that this novel is "art" in the common parlance. Probably not a "classic" either. But it has strong elements of both, in my opinion, I think some people might refer to this kind of novel as dystopic futurism or pessimistic science fiction. Use either category and I'd put it in the 90th percentile along with the "The 4 Fingers of Death". But it also has much in common with a book like "I Am Charlotte Simmons" by Tom Wolfe which is neither futuristic nor science fiction.
The readers were both first rate. They filled out the parts of the main characters superbly
and with feeling. I could feel the angst.
I agree with some readers who've said that they had difficulty in "liking" the main characters, especially Lenny. But Lenny truly fits the profile of the classic protagonist...hubris and all.
He wants to be the contemporary knight on a white horse, the rescuer of beautiful (his definition) damsels in distress But when he sweeps up the lovely but abused and misunderstood fair lady, and gives all he has to give, like most of his kind, he ends up being humiliated and betrayed by the damsel and defecated upon by the horse. Nor was Eunice particularly endearing ... but she was true to herself, making hard choices based solely on her perception of her own self interest.
The author's canvas, the background for this love story, was very recognizable, unfortunately, as one likely path this country's citizens might very well choose.. And he did a very, very good job of "painting" it. I couldn't look away from it very easily.
Not suited for everyone's taste, especially those offended by foul language and frequent casual, concrete references to the amazing growth and evolution of the "pornography" business. Nevertheless, I thought it was a fine listen and would highly recommend it to fans of this kind of literature.
I came back to this and gave it an extra star because I thought about it so much after listening. As I was listening, I was bothered by a lot of little things that I thought took away from the believable-ness of future created. In retrospect, that shouldn't matter. It is a good story with a lot of keen insight.
Yes, but with caveats. I love; satire, sciency fiction, distopian visions of the future, and apocalyptic scenarios. I'm also not afraid of wading through some pretty depressing and unrelenting stories. If that is you than this story might be right up your ally. P.S. His characters were a little two dimensional but I wouldn't get hung up on that, the story is really good.
My favorite aspect of the story was the ideas about life extension, death, and wealth. He did an excellent job of delving into the realities a society might face when approaching the real possibility of technology that can increase lifespan. (I mean technically we're already there with respect to increasing lifespans across the world.)
First time listener to these readers. The experience was without any flaws that I can recall.
This story occasionally made me feel hopeless and angry. It is certainly not uplifting, but few stories with an ounce of truth are.
I liked the overall concept of the story. I least liked the minutia, which I understand was meant to color the story, but I felt I had to just bear it until the story progressed again.
I would recommend it to some friends; to the ravenous readers that enjoy consuming all novels.
I thought the narration was well done.
This was a pleasant way to spend some summer hours.
This book is a well-written and preformed warning, one that we need to take seriously. Set in an undefined near-future, Shteyngart paints a portrait of a dystopia we are already teetering on. In the book, the US is dominated by a totalitarian bureaucracy that is desperately trying to keep it's economy afloat with complex financing schemes that remain incomprehensible to most Americans (sound familiar?). The day to day world is dominated by a computer that everyone carries with them, clogged with useless facts and celebrity gossip. "News" is opinion, and the principle opinion that matters is your ranking that is constantly being updated by a mysterious algorithm. Our hapless hero, Lennie, falls for the "ideal" girl—a young, slim Asian woman, obsessed by fashion and her ranking. The affair is doomed (I'm not giving anything away, it's in the title), yet Shteyngart manages to keep us involved and invested in the story.
Ali Ahn does a great job preforming the role of the self-absorbed Eunice Park. Adam Grupper as Lennie has a much more difficult task (Lennie is a bit of a schlimazel), yet rises to it quite well. Eunice grows a little bit during the course of the book - she is very young, after all. But Lennie, nearing 40, still hasn't learned to question his surroundings or his choices — he stands as a warning to us all.
I was surprised to read the reviews of others who seemed to think nothing happens in the second half of the book. This is the part where everything comes to a head; the affair of the main title reaches it's inevitable end, a major character comes to a Brazil-like end, the dystopian society crumbles in spectacular fashion. This book is haunting and memorable—one of the best listens of the year for me.
I really liked the way this novel started. It was interesting and original. When the "love story" started, I found myself losing interest. The main character becomes unlikable as he gets involved with an extremely unpleasant girl. I was not worried particularly about any of their fates and kind of wanted to get it over with. I was also annoyed by the way the author rhapsodizes about Eunice's thinness for pages and pages, but then makes fun of the way women are obsessed with weight. There were a lot of genuinely funny parts, though, and I thought the performers were really exceptional, as well.
His sad love story has far less to do with the woman than it does with this great but struggling country. Sadly, in ways he too accurately describes, we are approaching many of these dead ends. Best listen this year.
Super Sad True Love Story is a fabulously interesting and fun look at a world run amok by technological enhancements. The characters are endearing and have you cheering for their success amid the chaos in which they live. Shteyngart's witty writing makes this a delicious adventure.
I loved this book...I think I loved it more because I listened to it, which isn't always the case. The narrators are absolutely perfect and the story is just as promised - super sad, but also hilarious.