Today’s the publication day for Gary Shteyngart’s “wonderful new novel” (Michiko Kakutani, NYT), Super Sad True Love Story, a book that has enjoyed an unusual amount of prepub coverage.

Critics’ anticipation, however, is not matched by library users’; holds in most libraries are fewer than 5:1 on modest ordering. That may change; the book is moving up Amazon’s sales rankings (now at #56), making it likely to appear on newspaper best seller lists.

Shteyngart’s tale, set in 2018, is a satire of contemporary society (or, as Jess Walter further defines it in the San Francisco Chronicle, “literature’s first dystopian epistolary romantic satire”), filled with details that will appeal to anyone who has a beef with contemporary life; for journalists, it’s the fact that, eight years from now, the only surviving newspaper is New York Lifestyle Times; for book lovers, it’s that the main character embarrasses his girlfriend by reading “non-streaming Media artifacts” for a full half-hour at a time. The book’s send-up of the current economic crises has even brought attention from the financial press.

It’s being reviewed widely, getting the ultimate send-off, a rave from Michiko Kakutani in the NYT on the day of publication. Kakutani’s fellow reviewers’ strong enthusiasm for the book is tempered with some issues, generally about the book’s structure (it relies too heavily on diary entries and  text messages), but Kakutani has no quibbles, saying that Shteyngart “…demonstrates a new emotional bandwidth and ratifies his emergence as one of his generation’s most original and exhilarating writers.”

Reviews, below:

Love Found Amid Ruins of Empire, New York Times, 7/27 – Michiko Kakutani

San Francisco Chronicle,, 7/25 – Jess Walter

Los Angeles Times, 7/25 — Troy Jollimore

Barnes and Noble Review, 7/26

Newsweek, When 1984 Met 2010

Entertainment Weekly,  B+

Salon, Gary Shteyngart’s biting satire of a tech-mad America in decline has a surprisingly tender heart, Laura Miller

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel
Gary Shteyngart
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-07-27)
ISBN / EAN: 1400066409 / 9781400066407

Audio: Recorded Books

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