Shteyngart’s latest novel is set in the near future when rampant consumerism is devouring America and the Western world’s population has become lost in an endless stream of data. Countries are owned by the banks (Aberdeen is in the north of HSBC-London); youth is valued above all else; books are archaic and smelly; and a person’s net worth (including credit rating and hotness) is on display for everyone to see.
Old at 39, the main character Lenny is a salesman for Post-Human Services, a company which extreme engineers evolution, promising immortality for those who can afford it. Lenny, already struggling to justify his existence, falls in love with the impossible Eunice, a young and vibrant Korean girl with a troubled history and little grasp of reality. Together they try to remember what it means to be human.
Super Sad True Love Story is full of brilliantly inventive language and Shteyngart’s trademark humour, which belies a poignancy and a serious message for society at a time when our debt is going global.