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Publisher's Summary

Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, creates a compelling reality in this tale about an illiterate America in the not-too-distant future. Lenny Abramov may just be penning the world’s last diary. Which is good, because while falling in love with a rather unpleasant woman and witnessing the fall of a great empire, Lenny has a lot to write about.

©2010 Gary Shteyngart (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Shteyngart's earnestly struggling characters—along with a flurry of running gags—keep the nightmare tour of tomorrow grounded. A rich commentary on the obsessions and catastrophes of the information age and a heartbreaker worthy of its title, this is Shteyngart's best yet." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Full-tilt and fulminating satirist Shteyngart is mordant, gleeful, and embracive as he funnels today's follies and atrocities into a devilishly hilarious, soul-shriveling, and all-too plausible vision of a ruthless and crass digital dystopia in which techno-addled humans are still humbled by love and death." ( Booklist)
“It’s not easy to summarize Shteyngart; there’s so much satirical gunpowder packed into every sentence that the effect gets lost in the short version. But basically, this is a love story [that is] ridiculously witty and painfully prescient, but more than either of those, it’s romantic." ( Time)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 09-19-10

Dystopia Now

Brilliant. I very much enjoyed Steyngart's Absurdistan, which satirized the former Soviet Union, but his writing reaches a whole new level here. This is a book about the near future America seems to be headed for, a country that's become a bankrupt, corporate-controlled police state on the verge of collapse, while mainstream Americans lead lives of vapid indifference, aggressively obsessed with youth, beauty, media profiles, and their rankings on a facebook-like service that publicly rates citizens on everything from their credit score to their "f***ability" (this is not a book for the prudish). It's very pointed satire, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but often depressing because it's just close enough to reality.

Steyngart does a marvelous job with his two main characters: there's Lennie, a shlumpy, trod-upon 39 year old who works as a salesman at a life extension company, has a set of hilariously-rendered Russian immigrant parents who spend their day watching "Fox Liberty Ultra", hangs out with self-righteous hipster friends, and clings to his antiquated hobby of collecting old books in a post-literate era. He falls obsessively in love with Eunice Park, a young Korean-American woman who personifies much about Generation iPhone, with her short attention span, text message vocabulary, constant online shopping (for brands with names like "Juicy P***y"), and lifelong immersion in a culture of looks and casual sex, and who struggles with her own old-country parents (including a mom whose advice-filled, English-challenged emails are quite funny). Their relationship captures, in a rich way, so much about the America we're living in. Steyngart doesn't take the easy path of simply mocking his self-absorbed characters (flawed though they are), but gives them them earnest voices, making them people we empathize with as the artificial bubbles of their worlds burst. Perhaps, in part, because it could soon happen to us.

Funny, depressing, sweet, and frightening all at once.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Our 1984

Wonderful, entertaining, smart, provocative book that is very well directed and perfectly read by two characters. This book lends itself very well to audio because it's essentially two narrators describing the world. I have recommended this book to everyone I know but be forewarned, the "near-future" described is slightly raunchy and not for the grandmothers of the world.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 09-07-10

sci-fi wifi

Loved this book. Great stuff, highly entertaining and very original. Superb narration by two readers, nuanced and both enhance the story. A future not so distant. You'll need to be an iphone user with plenty of apps to really understand and benefit from what is going on. Comedy, tragedy, pathos; all there. Takes some focus to listen to. The sex writing is in your face, so faint of heart beware...would definitely be an awkward moment in car with spouse; but the cartoonish sexuality of it is important and imparts an edge - and is nowhere near the pornography of the ever so real and pending Entertainment Tonight/Haliburton life this novel captures. Recommend for those looking for something fresh.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron
  • Honolulu, HI, United States
  • 09-09-12

Witty, Frustrating, Heartbreaking.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.)

Have you listened to any of Ali Ahn and Adam Grupper ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First time listener to these readers. The experience was without any flaws that I can recall.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This story occasionally made me feel hopeless and angry. It is certainly not uplifting, but few stories with an ounce of truth are.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ramblin'...and Ramblin' on...

I have no unusual insights to add, but Shteyngart falls short on two counts: the title of this book is inane, and the ending makes it a "Super Trite" True Love Story - I won't spoil it but Lenny's end is really overdone, overrated, and typical of most examples of narcissistic entitlement.

My usual critiques apply here: too much about characters and situations that are not interesting, and not enough about the people who really do have something interesting to offer. I don't think "Eunice" - or "Yew-niss" as the narrator says it, or "UNIS" like some weird acronym - is very appealing at all. What does she offer?? Just pretty-ness? Whatever it is she's got, this book ignores it. I loved that the Italian actresses mocked her.

Still Gary Shteyngart managed to keep me entertained and laughing, and also depressed at times. I look forward to "verbal"-ing about this with friends and family, and streaming on our "operati".

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • 07-29-12

Such a delight!

Would you consider the audio edition of Super Sad True Love Story to be better than the print version?

I've been meaning to read this author for a while, and am so glad to have finally gotten around to it via audiobook. The narrator enhanced what is already a brilliant book with endearing characters by 50% or so.

Which character – as performed by Ali Ahn and Adam Grupper – was your favorite?

Eunice Park.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peregrine
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 12-03-11

Scathing glimpse of where we might be headed

Despite its dumb title, this is a very intelligent and scary glimpse of life in America in about 2020. The hero is a schlubby Jewish NYU grad, similar to a Woody Allen hero or the protagonist of Sam Lipske's The Ask, who can't really manage life in a hyper-capitalist-materialist America where the US dollar has lost most of its value, your sex appeal and credit rating are instantly displayed on iPhone-type apps as soon as you walk into a bar, and women walk around in see-through clothing.

Curiously, there is a prescient Occupy Wall Street-type movement that goes on throught the story. The novel's fears???that the generation growing up now will be utterly vacuous and materialistic and allow the US to crumble??? seem a little dated only 3 years after it was written. At least I hope they do.

Readers are OK. Ali Ahn is trying to sound like a vapid young woman, and that's more annoying than amusing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 11-20-11

Not as good or as funny as Absurdistan

I bought this book because I enjoyed Gary Shteyngart's previous book Absurdistan so much. Unfortunately I didn't like Super Sad True Love Story nearly as much. I felt that it lacked much of the biting satirical humor of Absurdistan and was mostly just depressing. I found the characters unlikable, and the mood of the book was sort of a cross between "1984" and the most annoying/depressing aspects of a Woody Allen movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What are you people thinking?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Great Book

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful