Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gary Shteyngart’s “Super Sad True Love Story”

My daughter A introduced me to Gary Shteyngart’s “Super sad true love story”.  I did not like the story itself.  I could not really identify with any of the main characters.  The only one I have some sympathy for is Lenny Abramov, because he reads.  The book is set in a near-future America, where nobody reads anymore.  Eunice Park, Abramov’s girl friend: “I have never really learned how to read texts, ...  Just to scan them for info.” 

Imagine the worse excesses of America today, and make that twice as worse - and you get Sad Story’s America.  And it doesn’t even sound that far-fetched. 

Abramov works for Post-Human Services, a company that specializes in prolonging rich people’s lives.  By rejuvenating the bodies - of HNWIs, High Networth Individuals. 

People use iPhone-like apparats to broadcast and scan each other’s identity, financial status, credit rating, desirability, ...   Abramov’s girl friend “Major in images, minor in Assertiveness.”   

Countries have names such as HolyPetrolRussia, China Worldwide (with a Chinese People’s Capitalist Party), Tuscan Free State, Stability-Canada, SecurityState Israel, ...   American invaded Venezuela unsuccessfully.  Later Venezuela warships sailed up to New York City. 

American was ruled by a dictatorship.  The LNWI - Low NetWorth Individuals - occupied the Central Park in New York City, and eventually erupted in the “Rupture”.  The LNWIs were suppressed.   But, afterwards, American was essentially bought out by three of the richest countries: Norway, Saudi Arabia, and China.

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