Super Sad True Love Story
I’m halfway through this book.
It appears to be a semi-autobiographical novel about a nerdy and ugly 38-year-old Jewish guy, Lenny Abramov, who’s into tiny Asian girls. Lenny’s parents are Russian immigrants who live in Long Island while Lenny lives in one of those coops on the east end of Grand Street where the last remnants of old Jewish people from the Lower East Side still live.
The book is written in the first person. It’s a combination of Lenny’s diary, and his Korean girlfriend’s much less mature and intelligent emails where she writes to her friends about how ugly and nerdy Lenny is. The author, Gary Shteyngart (a Stuyvesand grad), must have very low self-esteem (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
And the book takes place in a dystopian future in which China has become the world’s superpower and America has become impoverished and is run by a fascist government. The author of the book doesn’t understand fascism very well so that part of the book doesn’t make any sense, but as far as I can tell it’s just there for background. On the other hand, he does a great job of writing in the voice of a shallow and not too bright Asian girl (or at least how a nerdy Jewish guy with low self-esteem imagines they would write).
Books like this will never be read as classics even in two decades because it will become painfully obvious how completely wrong he was about the future. Although perhaps the prediction that in the future, social media will be ten times as important as it is today, might actually be true.
Hard to believe they’re going to be making this book into a TV series.