Forget suspense thrillers and horror novels. Forget zombies and vampires and things that go bump in the night. If you are passionate about books and reading, if you value real work, if you love America, Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story
just might be the scariest book you read this year. What's most frightening - and, yes, saddest - about Shteyngart's satirical third novel is just how plausible the whole thing is.
Many dystopian novels result from creative writers taking a "worst-case scenario" point of view, extending current patterns and trends into the future to see just how bad things can get. Here Shteyngart doesn't have to push very far for things to get very bad indeed. In this near-future world, people bank with LandO'LakesGMFordCredit and fly on UnitedContinentalDeltamerican Airlines. Using their omnipresent "äppäräti," they chat...
Beyond the Book
It's perhaps not surprising that with his third novel, Gary Shteyngart should shift his focus from Russia (the setting of his first two novels) to the United States. The novelist was born in Leningrad in 1972 and immigrated to the United States as a young boy. He attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he received a degree in politics, and Hunter College in New York City, where he received his MFA in creative writing.
Shteyngart's Russian Jewish roots and his American upbringing both inform his fiction, providing him with both an insider's knowingness and an outsider's perspective. In his debut novel The Russian Debutante's Handbook, a failed...