Friday, 25 February 2011

Super Sad True Love Story in Glasgow

I thought Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story was a hilarous, brilliant book when I read it last year. In fact, it's one of those novels that seems to grown in stature as time goes on (and other books disappoint).

Set in a near future New York, it depicts a society being torn apart by a financial crisis clearly related to the one we've just experienced. A broken United States of America is being ruled over by an authoritarian coalition (no really), having been credit crunched into a state of revolution. It is a society in which technology - in the shape of highly evolved iPhones called Apparats - dictates not just how we work but how we date and socialise too. Facebook isn't just a social networking tool, it is the social network.

Shteyngart takes the iPhone generation and twists it. There are some gloriously irreverent features to the book. His anti-hero works for a company promising eternal youth (it's a hollow promise, but such companies already exist). The fashion of the day is dominated by 'onion skin' jeans... think transparent leggings. His world is one in which the sex war has been fought and lost on many battlefields and retail parkchanging rooms.

This is a very funny writer dealing with a topic that is highly prescient. I interviewed him over the phone last September and you can read the piece here - posted in an earlier blog. Now he is coming to Glasgow, so if any of you fancy a really interesting Saturday afternoon go and check him out on the Aye Write website.

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