SUPER SAD TRUE Weekend Reviews

Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story is now offcially a reviewers’ darling, with six reviews in local papers over the weekend, following last week’s blitz. All are positive, some over the top. Even those that express reservations insist that you must read the book. The common descriptors are “dark,”  “dystopian” and “Orwellian.”

The word “äppäräti” may soon become part of our vocabulary. In Super Sad, everyone has these devices for shopping and texting (which is the predominant form of communication; when people actually talk, it’s called “verballing”). These devices also broadcast personal information like credit and sexual desirability ratings, but not what the owner recently checked out of the library, since reading is considered repulsive (books “smell bad”).

The author gets more attention tonight, appearing on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Super Sad is now at #20 on Amazon sales rankings; expect to see it on next week’s print best seller lists.

Portland Oregonian, 7/31 — “Read this book — it’s great.”

Boston Globe, 8/1 –“In the novel’s greatest moments, [Shteyngart’s] habit for impersonation and knowing reduction culminate in transcendent writing.” but, “There’s a point at which [his] shtick is merely that, a hyperbolic demonstration of his own abilities as a critical impersonator of ethnicities, races, personalities, and their banalities.”

Dallas Morning News, 8/1 — “Although the future described in Super Sad True Love Story is a bleak and superficial one, the book is grounded by its sensitive and funny portrayals of [the main characters] Lenny and Eunice’s immigrant parents. This insight into immigrants is the element that Shteyngart, who came to the United States with his parents from Leningrad when he was a boy, has brought to all three of his novels.”

Miami Hearld, 8/1 — “no one should doubt that Shteyngart is one of the most powerful voices of his generation.”

Phildelphia Inquirer, 8/31 — reviewed by Jane Smiley — “the great dark pleasure of Shteyngart’s novel is the world that his characters live in, inferred from the most dynamic and threatening parts of ours…As with all satirists, the mix of humorous and horrifying is idiosyncratic, and the reader may not respond as readily with laughter as with tears, or vice versa. My own reservation has to do not with the super sad part, but with the love story part.”

Seattle Times, 8/31 — “his wild, exuberant wit and deadly accurate satire have made the Russian émigré one of the most acclaimed, enjoyable — and unsettling — novelists working today.”

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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