NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deliciously dark tale of America’s dysfunctional coming years—and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
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In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of an Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart?
Shteyngart (Absurdistan) presents another profane and dizzying satire, a dystopic vision of the future as convincing and, in its way, as frightening as Cormac McCarthy s The Road. It s also a pointedly old-fashioned May-December love story, complete with references to Chekhov and Tolstoy. Mired in protracted adolescence, middle-aged Lenny Abramov is obsessed with living forever (he works for an Indefinite Life Extension company), his books (an anachronism of this indeterminate future), and Eunice Park, a 20-something Korean-American. Eunice, though reluctant and often cruel, finds in Lenny a loving but needy fellow soul and a refuge from her overbearing immigrant parents. Narrating in alternate chapters Lenny through old-fashioned diary entries, Eunice through her online correspondence the pair reveal a funhouse-mirror version of contemporary America: terminally indebted to China, controlled by the singular Bipartisan Party (Big Brother as played by a cartoon otter in a cowboy hat), and consumed by the superficial. Shteyngart s earnestly struggling characters along with a flurry of running gags keep the nightmare tour of tomorrow grounded. A rich commentary on the obsessions and catastrophes of the information age and a heartbreaker worthy of its title, this is Shteyngart s best yet.
I finished this book about 3 months ago and I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe it has something to do with current events, but it seems like the world this book takes place in is not so far off from where we're headed. On the other hand, this book is like nothing else I've ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something fresh and thought provoking in their fiction. It's a completely original work that sticks with you.
Incredible satire, of self, of nature, and of contemporary society
Gary's third novel is a significant read in contemporary fiction that causes tears and laughs, sometimes simultaneously.