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This month, Troy Patterson, Jody Rosen, and Jacob Weisberg discuss Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart's follow-up to his popular Absurdistan. Set in near-future New York, middle-aged Lenny Abramov decides he's never going to die. He's pretty well positioned not to, since he works for the "Post-Human Services" division of a corporation that extends the life of its (wealthy) customers, pretty much indefinitely. He also plans to sustain himself with the love of Eunice Park, a younger Korean woman.
The novel is a romance, and a satire, and also a work of science fiction. The writing is at times hyper-caffeinated, at times intensely lyrical. It's fun to read but also presents a disturbing vision of the near-future. Our critics, perhaps you've gathered, find Super Sad hard to pin down.
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The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
Imperial Bedrooms, byBret Easton Ellis
Reality Hunger, by David Shields
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
White Noise, by Don DeLillo
Lit, by Mary Karr
The Original of Laura, by Vladimir Nabokov
"A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath," by Raymond Carver
The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
A Vindication of Love, by Cristina Nehring
Thy Neighbor's Wife, by Gay Talese
"The Swimmer," by John Cheever, and "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," by Flannery O'Connor
Atmospheric Disturbances, by Rivka Galchen
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Night of the Gun,by David Carr
American Wife,by Curtis Sittenfeld
Brideshead Revisited,by Evelyn Waugh
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
Anna Karenina,by Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful Children,by Charles Bock
All the King's Men,by Robert Penn Warren
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tree of Smoke,by Denis Johnson
The Audacity of Hope,by Barack Obama
The Road,by Cormac McCarthy
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
Independence Day,by Richard Ford
The Emperor's Children,by Claire Messud
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Beloved,by Toni Morrison
Everyman,by Philip Roth
Saturday,by Ian McEwan
The Year of Magical Thinking,by Joan Didion
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