Have you read M. T. Anderson’s Feed? Well, Gary Shteyngart’s novel Super Sad True Love Story is like the adult version. It’s pretty sad and depressing in spots, and it’s set in a world that’s decaying at a crazy pace. Leonard (Lenny) Abramov is the son of a Russian immigrant, middle aged, and with a unpopular passion for physical books. He falls head over heels in love with Eunice Park, a young Korean-American who’s struggling beneath the pressure of an abusive father and a needy mother, and the all consuming materialism of her society.
The story switches between Lenny’s self-centred and somewhat pathetic diary entries and Eunice’s scathing e-mails, and chronicles their relationship while the U.S economically and politically collapses around them.
Just like Anderson’s Feed, the characters are flawed and not particularly likeable. It’s won a bucket load of awards, and it is an interesting read, especially in how it handles issues of consumerism. Not a cosy read, but definitely one that’ll get you thinking!