I Super Hated Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story

At a certain point, I was inclined to write a thoughtful review of Gary Shteyngart’s much-lauded, truly awful novel Super Sad True Love Story, the kind of review that might try to weigh Shteyngart’s choked May-December romance against its dystopian background. That was a few chapters in, a point at which I’d gotten past the realization that Shteyngart was going to do nothing new with the dystopian genre I so love, yet still early enough for me to think that he might have something to say about American culture and politics in the early 21st century. There’s nothing there, though — Super Sad True Love Story subscribes to the normal dystopian program of synthesizing 1984 and Brave New World through a contemporary lens, yet what we’re left with is Shteyngart’s observation that people might not like to read as much as they used to.

Obligatory plot summary: it’s America a few decades down the line–not enough to account for the change that Shteyngart proposes–an America under Bipartisan rule, a country without an elected President, at war with Venezuela, heavily indebted to China, and essentially ruled by a corporatocracy. People no longer read, they only scan data from their ever-present “äppäräti,” screen media devices they are addicted to through which they shamelessly broadcast every last piece of personal data. Sound familiar? Sure. (Those damn kids with their Facebooks!)

Shteyngart’s hero is Lenny Abramov, son of immigrant Russian Jews. Lenny works for Post-Human Services, a company that aims to extend human life indefinitely– as long as you’re very, very rich. This is Lenny’s obsession. For some reason, never fully explained (although painfully and boringly explored) Lenny wants to live forever. I suppose Shteyngart is trying to parody America’s obsession with youthfulness, only the parody is not funny and never insightful. Lenny meets a Korean-American girl named Eunice Park while spending some Bohemian time in Italy. Eunice is twenty years his junior, yet Lenny falls madly for her right away, for no good reason, at least not for any reason that we, the readers, are given to understand. It’s real old-white-boy-meets-young-Asian-girl-territory, which Shteyngart seems to understand yet seems too embarrassed (rightfully) to properly remark upon.

The backdrop of this romance is an American dystopia that Shteyngart wishes was as affecting as Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men. Hey, you know what? Watch Children of Men again instead of reading Shteyngart’s super boring book. And I think I won’t waste anymore time detailing Shteyngart’s super boring plot, a plot that seems to have no idea where its going, yet is, at all turns, overwhelmingly self-satisfied (and derivative). Shteyngart wants to write an end-of-America epic, yet nothing he says is worth re-remarking upon — yes, it seems like people are increasingly facile; yes, young people seem increasingly willing to forsake traditional ideas of privacy; yes, we owe the Chinese government some money. Sam Lipsyte does it all way better in The Ask, a book that doesn’t have to borrow its plot from every dystopian that came before it.

That Shteyngart has written a poor dystopian novel offends me at a literary-type level, but I’m also offended by his myopic regionalism, which, as I just mentioned, he tries to pass off as Americanism. For Shteyngart, New York City is America, and the (relatively) newly immigrated populations he places in his fictionalized NYC are far-more American than anyone else, particularly the dumb-ass-hick-redneck-Southerners he throws into the city as transplanted bad guys. Shteyngart’s Southern grotesques are mere props, barely thought out stereotypes that offend me as both a reader and a Southerner — and yet, they are just as facile as his leads.

Speaking of offensive and facile, there’s a moment at the end of the book when a critic takes the time to reflect on the publication of Lenny’s diaries and Eunice’s emails (not called “emails,” but Jesus Christ I’m not going to waste more time explaining the book’s silly recoding of contemporary culture) — it’s surreal in its tackiness, an overt act of literary criticism upon the rest of the book, one which attempts to focus a specific viewpoint upon the narrative proper. Like the rest of the book it fails miserably, and yet is indicative of Shteyngart’s needy, whiny program.

But why end negatively? There are plenty of great dystopian novels out there — Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, almost anything by William Burroughs, Disch’s Camp Concentration, Aldous Huxley’s sorely under-read Ape and Essence, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, which understands that it’s always the end of the world, more or less all of Philip K. Dick, Riddley Walker, Cloud Atlas, shit, even Roberto Bolaño. Just don’t waste your time with Shteyngart’s super sorry book.

40 thoughts on “I Super Hated Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story”

  1. Great review – thanks! But why do you think the book is getting so much praise? Isn’t it part of the 2011 TMN Tournament of Books? Somebody must like it? I haven’t read the book myself (although it’s sitting right next to me, untouched) but I guess I’m having a hard time understanding the level of frustration (or anger) in your review when it’s been well-liked by others? I generally agree with your reviews, but I dunno… I guess I’ll just have to read it myself.

    Is the writing any good? Any excellent sentences or is it all just garbage?


    1. Brooks, the writing itself is incredibly formulaic, only it subscribes to the formula of “literary fiction” — it’s Lethemesque, I suppose, and I don’t say that kindly. My main response to a lot of the prose/descriptions/images was “yuck” or “gross” — that’s not necessarily a bad reaction, but on the whole, the book is just unpleasant. He more or less steals the entire conceit of the novel’s narrative construction from Atwood’s recent FLOOD novels — diaries, email transmissions, etc.

      Shteyngart wants to posit “love” as a defense against this terrible dystopian cruel future (I think of Winston Smith’s image in 1984 of a boot stomping a human face over and over), yet the book seems to have no language for a real love, a true love, a giving love, a genuine love for the other. There’s no heroism in SSTLS. It’s solipsism that whines.

      Also, the book is not funny. Not at all.

      I suppose my anger stems from Shteyngart’s hatred of us all — he’s written a book about the American Now gussied up as a dystopian satire; he can’t seem to find any aspect of America worth saving, other than perhaps his own immigrant parents. It’s a Hate Story.

      As to why it’s been so well received … well, if you look at reader sites like Goodreads or even Amazon, it’s gotten its share of haters.

      But on the whole, I suspect that there might be some truth to what Picoult and Weiner were whining about last summer: that authors like Shteyngart (who I can’t remember if they name) are part of a sort of NY white male authors club propped up by organs like the NY Times. When I look at books like Lethem’s Chronic City and this Shteyngart novel, I just can’t believe that the Times critics are so adoring of them; I mean, I really find it incredulous.

      I do not think this book is worth reading for yourself. Freedom, Chronic City, The Instructions — all books I dissed on here relatively recently: sure, make up your own mind, they all have some redeeming characteristics; my subjective viewpoint might not mesh with yours. But SSTLS is super garbage; I almost always try to find something positive to say about the book I am reviewing, but I couldn’t do that here.


  2. Does any of yr hatred come from the title itself? I don’t know why things like this bother me, but sometimes I really hate it when works of fiction have descriptive titles but then end up not being the thing they describe, so in this case it isn’t a true story at all, so why call it that? My friend recently read Markson’s “This Is Not A Novel” and I was pleased when his first statement after finishing it was “well it wasn’t really a novel”.


    1. Hi Ben. The title actually comes from a supposed Chinese movie-of-the-week version of Lenny’s journal/Eunice’s emails — it’s supposed to sound kitschy I guess. The “True” part actually is meant to modify the “Love” part, I think — that is, this is a story about “True Love” — although I guess the ambiguity is there too. In any case, the book is hardly about True Love.


  3. you’re really keen for people to not read this book. I think it’s really good and that your review(?) is really bad. thanks.


    1. Hey, thanks for the insightful comment there. Eloquent defense of the book; your commentary on my critical methods has led me to reevaluate my opinion on Shteyngart.


      1. sweet – always happy to provide such an opportunity.

        no, there isn’t much to say, really – I think its themes and symbols are well done, its epistolary format is effective, it has plenty of depth and ambiguity and emotion, it has distinctive ideas and style while fitting consciously within the tradition of dystopian near-futures and that it was funny. I think you disagree.


  4. Yes, yes, yes!! Everything you said echoes what has been going through my mind. My book club chose this book for the month of May. On top of it being extraordinarily boring and annoying, it seems to never end. I bought it for my e-reader and one chapter comes in at 87 pages!! That is not a chapter, that is a book itself!

    I honestly didn’t finish the book. I couldn’t do it. I was so annoyed by the droning on and on, and I couldn’t see anything in the book that was redeeming. I hated Lenny from the start – he was whiny and his infatuation for Eunice never did make any sense, other than the creepy factor (old guy, young asian girl). I didn’t feel that the author explained or developed the characters well.

    It is rare that I don’t finish a book, but this one was so bad that I couldn’t commit any more of my valuable time to finishing it. I feel like I should ask for my money back from the author – I don’t understand how this book could make any best seller list :S


  5. I honestly loved everything about this book. I started reading it in the book store, immediately bought it, and literally didn’t put it down until I had read every page. Since then, I’ve re-read it a dozen more times. I thought the writing was witty and believable. Maybe it comes from my years working with teenagers, but Eunice’s emails were so realistic to the way a younger generation communicates. I believe his idea that books are becoming near obsolete, and little more than “retro” decoration. Shteyngart wrote a book that was neither completely believable, nor completely unbelievable. Realistic enough to relate, but not so true-to-life that it’s not taken as a work of fiction.


  6. I think the aspects with which you seem to take the most offense to in the book (“myopic regionalism”, the age difference between the two main characters) combined do not make this novel a bad one. You don’t offer any actual examples of poor writing, and I contend that, even if you don’t like the book, Shteyngart’s writing talent is undeniably there. Not agreeing with someone’s extrapolative dystopia or portrayal of Southeners doesn’t make them a hack–necessarily.

    You seem to be posit that Shteyngart was unclear about the character’s motivations and point to that as a reason why the novel is poorly written. In my mind, however, it’s obvious through characterization as to why Lenny wants to live forever and why he loves Eunice instantly: more than anything, Lenny fears failure and has built a life of stability to try and curb his rampant anxieties. The age difference, however “creepy”, is an indicator of the sickness of his society; he feels successful because Eunice makes him feel (and seem to others) to be younger, and youth is the ultimate marker of wealth and success in his world.

    There’s a reason they don’t end up together, and I think it’s clear that Shteyngart recognizes that the age difference, much like the youth obsession of the culture he describes, is not sustainable, and not conducive to a genuine happiness.


    1. No, the aspect of the book that I had the biggest problem with was how hollow and cheap and facile it is. And it’s not that I “didn’t agree” w/ Shteyngart’s dystopia or portrayal of Southerners—it was that his dystopia (and characterizations in general) seem incredibly inauthentic to me. My own moral vision of what should happen in books is usually limited to aesthetics: write a good book, and I don’t care how awful the people involved are. You’re right that I don’t offer any examples of poor writing — a weakness of my review, for sure, but I would glibly offer anyone interested in finding an example of terrible prose to simply open up the book at random. It’s awful, just awful stuff. That doesn’t mean that the people who think it’s great are stupid or naive or foolish (I think Lipyste, one of my favorite contemporary writers, blurbed the book). I don’t see any talent in the book at all though. No vision, no answer, not even bold nihilism or wild howling — just a bunch of whining.


  7. Your review is not very well thought out. The plot isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is, and the final chapter isn’t told from the viewpoint of “some critic” but that of Lenny near the end of his life. I don’t think you paid close enough attention to catch all of the nuances within the text, considering what you deem Lenny’s obsession is, in fact, explained, among other things you may feel have not been answered.


  8. The novel has all the nuance of a Pokemon cartoon. I don’t remember the end of the novel now, because it was a trifle, a blip, something for the garbage heap of history, but I do seem to recall that Lenny was talking with two friends or a friend or something, and they brought up a review of a tv movie made from Eunice’s diary—I recall the bit just being a chance for Shteyngart to step out of the narrative and apply a critical lens for his readers to see the way he wanted them to see. If my review is not well thought out, it’s because the book barely deserves a thought.


  9. I see your hatred for the book, but I feel you want it to be more than it is. I don’t think the novel was meant to be a political commentary, it’s a love story like the title suggests.


    1. That might be a fair assessment of my review—and I don’t think it’s right for critics to hold a work accountable for “what it’s not” or for “what the critic wants it to be.” I suppose I do lambaste it for not being a decent dystopian novel—but don’t you think it was trying to go beyond just being a “love” story, trying to be a commentary on the problems of “true love” in a dystopian world? That was the impression I got.


  10. I have a good amount of respect for this review! It challenged and validated several perceptions I’ve had about this book. I cannot say whether I thought this was a well written read or not (I’m not a credible literary source for either outlook, anyway), but I did feel torn over some of the same elements of its construction and delivery. I felt as if Shteyngart wrote expressly of things with which he had no honest experience, (possibly) aside from Eunice’s obnoxious 20-something correspondences with her family and friend. I understand that the point can be made that because his story is set in the future, Mr. Shteyngart could ONLY write about things he hasn’t truly known, but come on! His representation of different cultural backgrounds only went as deep as the food each group eats or the ways in which the parents of a distinct culture make their children feel guilty…which could have been easily drawn from stereotype or a brisk walk through Koreatown. I could go on and on about the many ways in which I feel Shteyngart missed the mark on expressing anything truly vulnerable or messy. My heart broke for no one. I was never super sad, or super anything! I could plainly understand the events, the catastrophe implied, and even the “chaos” between Eunice and Lenny (which annoyed me, but was like that quiet nagging kind of annoyance that you don’t even notice until you’re relieved it’s not there any longer), but it never stirred me. Isn’t that what true love and dystopia do to people? Stir and break them? I’m not cold hearted, I cry when I see a damn newborn pony walk for the first time, but there was no depth to the concept of love or tragedy. Was that his point? That society is swiftly moving toward an era where we’re all so removed from one another in any real sense that love has become superfluous and shallow to even those individuals who would by today’s standards actually value it? I could maintain no concrete position on what the point really was. The author sets the reader up to believe something extraordinary will happen for endless pages, but for all the hype throughout said pages, the book is concluded with a diluted and dull overview of what may be the most important part of the whole story, the resolution! To me, this was worst part of it all. It was a kick in the teeth, like waiting all day for a ten course meal of turkey and stuffing but sitting down, instead, to ramen for your Thanksgiving dinner. Gross. In that regard, I think it’s a great book for people who prefer to have others think FOR them and there’s probably nothing wrong with that! It’s entertaining, and edgy enough for the general public to see it as “brilliant” and “shocking” because it takes comfortable risks, but for everyone else, SSTLS is kind of a pain in the ass.


  11. Excellent review.

    This book was depressing and predictable; it was really apt how you call it a “hate story.” Shteyngart’s slippery slope extensions of that newfangled internet and the slow erosion of puritanical anti-sex sentiment in the U.S. are unrealistic and insulting, not “clever satire.” Books will be a thing of the past in just a few decades? Please. Hand-wringing lovers of the imaginary “good ol’ days” have been saying that since TV became popular well over half a century ago. And the rise of internet porn is being ever more curbed and controlled to be restricted to the post-puberty audience it’s intended for, not heading in the direction of being regular programming for kindergartners like Shteyngart predicts in a fashion he must think is super-witty.

    I’d be more willing to forgive this book’s totally unbelievable “near future” if it was actually funny or if it added something new or valuable to the same old “Big Brother”/Corporate power plot, but the book is just nauseating and completely uninspiring.


  12. Oh, forgot to also add, thank you for recommending some better books in the same vein. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read Atwood but I know I love her stuff, though it can be depressing as well, because it’s accurate and insightful and not insulting. I’ll probably read Oryx and Crake next!


  13. I love Atwood and I really enjoyed Super Sad True Love Story. Very funny and sad. There wasn’t one thing in Shteyngart’s book that I couldn’t see happening right now. As someone said (not me!), the world is always ending and rebirthing.


  14. Oh man, I totally agree with you!!! I super hate this book, I want to rip it back (echo Lenny) and burn it!!! It’s super sad that i spent time reading it!!! Worst book ever!!! Degrades human being, technology, love, race and future!!! Plot is terrible, if there’s one!!! I want to un-read it and get it outta my brain!!!!


  15. I found this site because I just slammed this book shut at page 87 and, after sitting in a huff for a few minutes, Googled, “Super Sad True Love Story is terrible.” Your review is spot-on. Not only are the characters flimsy and unlikable, but the tone was so self-important, like the author is constantly congratulating himself on how clever he is (“Oh, I know, I’ll make the hip new place Staten Island instead of Brooklyn! CLEVER!” “Kids these days don’t care about privacy, so they wear transparent jeans!!! Sooooo clever!”) I kept waiting for a valuable or interesting insight about humanity’s relationship with technology, or the true meaning of love, or a motive–any motive!–for the protagonists to care about each other. But I got to the part where he is reuniting with his friends and telling them about how lovely Rome’s sunlight is, and they quickly grow bored and change the subject to tawdry sex. Read: people in the future are so self-absorbed, so into cheap thrills, that they have forgotten what true beauty is!! WE GET IT, SHTEYNGART This is not actually clever, this is heavy handed and amateur. So I quit. This book is super terrible.


  16. I have to disagree with the author of this review- the novel is a scathing indictment of our current cultural moment, and holds up a mirror so we can see what most of us have become. While it may be true that the “world is always ending”, it’s never really been quite this true (see: irreversible climate change, death of privacy, wholesale triumph of consumerism over critical thinking, etc, etc.). We are screwed, and Shteyngart nails it.


    1. JML, I think “Shteyngart nails it” is an apt metaphor—his writing is all hammer, no finesse, striking clumsily and bluntly at big, easy targets. Shteyngart’s book offers the narcissistic appeal that our own particular apocalyptic climate is somehow more intensely felt—and therefore more *real*—in its specifics (the very specifics you name) than any other era’s apocalypse. Worst of all, it’s extremely poorly written hack work.


  17. What a horrible review! Probably why you are writing for some unimportant blog called “biblioklept” rather than a publication of any work, such as The New York Times or any number of other periodicals and papers that lauded “Super Sad True Love Story” as a remarkable work. The epitome of “American” people are actually whatever latest wave of immigrants have graced our shores. Too bad that you, as a southerner, are too removed from any real intellectual culture to realize this. Soldier on though! Your reviews are quite important and I am sure you will find any number of ignorant internet trolls to agree with your adolescent, high-school caliber review.


    1. Okay, I’ll bite, anonymous guy on the internet who posted under a fake email address and linked to a blog that seems to post rap and dance videos to the exculsion of anything else. Normally I just delete comments that rely entirely on ad hominem attacks, but what the hell:
      1. My review is awesome, not horrible.
      2. My blog is extremely important.
      3. The fact that the NYT [a publication of “any work” LOL!] “or any number of other periodicals and [!] papers lauded” Gary’s book is utterly meaningless as a defense of the book’s prose or vision.
      4. The singular noun “epitome” agrees with the singular verb “is,” not “are.”
      5. Your idea that there is no southern intellectual culture is either misinformed or uninformed.
      6. You are correct, my reviews are important.
      7. At no time in your comment did you:
      a) provide a meaningful defense of Gary’s book or
      b) demonstrate that my review was “adolescent” or “high-school” caliber.
      8. What I want to finally offer is some earnest advice to you. I think you are probably a kid in college, right? I think you probably think that you’ve read a lot of books, but in reality you haven’t.
      What I would suggest is that if you feel the need to troll a website and make a negative comment, then you should actually take the time to compose something meaningful or insightful—construct an actual argument and use real evidence to support that argument.
      See, the content of your comment doesn’t actually say anything about my review or about the topic of the review (Gary’s book)—what it really says is that you don’t know much about literature or culture or criticism, and because of this general ignorance (which I’m guessing you cannot see in yourself), you rely on extrinsic sources to determine whether or not you think something is “important” or not (leaving aside the obvious relativism of such a term for a moment).
      Your mean-spirited comment would be more effective if it actually contained substance. Try harder next time, fella! You’ll get there!
      Peace in the New Year,
      E. Turner


  18. Hey E. Turner!
    Well, I had hoped that I would be able to merely insult you without backing up my opinions, but unfortunately you ignored any irony in my post and called my bluff!
    Ok, here is a response to your “very important” blog post, though that expression seems to me oxymoronic in the extreme.

    1) You claim that, “There’s nothing there, though — Super Sad True Love Story subscribes to the normal dystopian program of synthesizing 1984 and Brave New World through a contemporary lens, yet what we’re left with is Shteyngart’s observation that people might not like to read as much as they used to.”
    Wow! You truly have missed the point. To claim that Shteyngart’s critique is fundamentally about people not liking to read any more is quite simplistic. You ignore several key points Shteyngart is making about the spread of neoliberal governmental policy, perhaps captured best in the long names of the multinational corporations that loom large in Shteyngart’s hyper-privatized, depersonalized vision of American consumer culture. Rather than merely reiterating the complaints of 1984, Shteyngart’s dystopian America is a society created by a technocratic class and a data obsessed culture that in the real world, today, has shaped economic and social policy all around the globe, a phenomena that did not in fact exist when 1984 was written! One of the most interesting arguments Shteyngart makes is about the proliferation of personal, technological devices and how by using them as an extension of themselves, the individual has lost agency in the formation of personal identity. Rather than constructing self through presentations of meaningful facets of one’s own personality and interests, the ‘self’ is created through superficial judgements from other people that focus primarily on the virtual profiles put online by Shteyngart’s characters.

    I realize though, that I do not have much to say to you. Despite critiquing me for being a “college student” (what a horrible thing that is) and saying that I do not provide any evidence or literary analysis, I realized that you yourself do not quote a single passage from the book and provide, as evidence for your inane ramblings, a cursory plot summary. Clearly you have not been successful professionally and are clinging to some obscure or imaginary identity as a “southern intellectual”, but next time I need some line editing on the sloppy internet comments I post I will send them to you!

    The threat that Facebook and technology pose to our society is very real and not addressed nearly enough, though of course you on your blog would not be the first place to find such criticism!


    You don’t think Shteyngart is in any way deconstructing the traditional western-male and eastern-female binary? Also I find it interesting that you mention Children of Men in it’s film format, though of course it was originally a book!


    I am an undergraduate, ah to live in the bliss of youth and in the security of academia!


  19. “You don’t think Shteyngart is in any way deconstructing the traditional western-male and eastern-female binary?”
    If by “deconstructing” it you mean “simply repeating it,” okay sure.

    “Also I find it interesting that you mention Children of Men in it’s film format, though of course it was originally a book!” — Why is this “interesting”? I’ve read James’s novel and prefer the film.

    “Clearly you have not been successful professionally and are clinging to some obscure or imaginary identity as a “southern intellectual”, but next time I need some line editing on the sloppy internet comments I post I will send them to you!” — How do you get any of that from this blog post? I mean, really, you don’t know anything about me. You’re making a huge intuitive leap based on nothing.

    Seriously, why the mean-spiritedness? Why insult me? What does it profit you? Can you not disagree with someone without insulting them?

    I didn’t “critique” you (?) for being a college student—I just intuited through your writing that you probably are one—which evinces again in your own critique of Gary’s book—e.g.–

    “One of the most interesting arguments Shteyngart makes is about the proliferation of personal, technological devices and how by using them as an extension of themselves, the individual has lost agency in the formation of personal identity. Rather than constructing self through presentations of meaningful facets of one’s own personality and interests, the ‘self’ is created through superficial judgements from other people that focus primarily on the virtual profiles put online by Shteyngart’s characters.”

    Why, exactly, is this an “interesting argument” on Shteyngart’s part? What is persuasive about it? Is Shteyngart assuming that there was some “pure” time where persons could assert agency or form “personal identity” that has somehow been lost? That people were just walking around asserting their own agency or identity through their personalities or interests (free from ideology, class, history, etc.)? Or are these your own assumptions? (These are rhetorical questions—we don’t need to butt heads over this anymore—I don’t really care about the book enough to talk about it, honestly).

    It’s cool though, you made your point—you’re a human being with thoughts and feelings and you care about the book and can make a defense of it—well done. I think though that you’d be far more persuasive if you didn’t resort to blindly insulting strangers on the internet. Best of luck in your spring semester.


  20. worst book I have ever read hands down it took me 3 months to read it compared to 1-3 days if I like a book. I took a flight to japan 3 times with this book in my bag and couldn’t read it I hated it so much. I had to finish it to see if it went anywhere and of course it didn’t. Don’t read it its terrible awful garbage. Gary seems like a bitter nerd who got picked on in high school and still can’t get laid.


  21. Someone sounds like they have a chip on their shoulder and easily “offended”. This was actually a pretty imaginative book with subtle character development in terms if the two main characters. That being said, a reader AND a southerner? Congrats.


  22. I bought this bok because I had a gift card and read good things about him. Three pages in I knew it sucked, although I think he is gifted in some of his descriptive ability and metaphors. I soldiered on but the jargon he invents is so stupid and annoying, the characters so insipid, and th end result so unsatisfying that I want my money back. I never buy books as I just go to the library, and I’m wishing I bought reading glasses and went t the library.


  23. I think this is only the third time I’ve ever posted a comment anywhere on the internet, but I was so bewildered at the love fest for this book as well how many found it “hilarious” that I felt compelled to shake off my apathy and second your opinions wholeheartedly. Looks like I’m more than three years late to this party, but this book was so tiresome and superficial that I regret not finding this review until after I had already finished reading yesterday.


  24. […] And then: 28 more novels. Fucking 28 more novels. Almost a third of the list is comprised of books that have been published in the last decade. Some look promising (Kang Young-Sook’s Rina), but a lot of them are just books that have been turned into bad movies (or will be turned into movies or teevee shows). The worst by far though is Gary Shteyngart’s awful dystopian sex and death and aging novel Super Sad True Love Story which I super super super hated. […]


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