Sunday, January 29, 2012

Too Close for Comfort

Tales of the near future often involve dystopian shenanigans of the Orwellian variety. Capitalism in its most extreme form has oppressed the 99% and turned them into GDP generating cogs in some great fascist machine and blah, blah, blah. Gary Shteyngart, the brilliant satirical author behind Absurdistan has penned something a lot more frightening with Super Sad True Love Story. He has a written a story of the future that feels like it could take place next week. A story that feels true, set in a future that probably will occur if our leaders continue to steer the ship down this ever narrowing strait of corporate greed.

China is now the superpower the United States once was with the yen-pegged dollar the only currency of value. Most communication between people takes place via  √†pparat (the logical next step in ``smart`` phone technology) making the need to ```verbal`` other people obsolete and moving civilization further down the road to man as an island that John Donne warned us was not a very happy state of existence.

There is also a love story tucked in here somewhere, but I was to busy being terrified by Shteyngart`s vision of the future to really notice. Many critics praised this book for its satirical humor but I would like to praise it for something else entirely: It just might be the scariest piece of fiction since Stephen King introduced us to Pennywise the clown.

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