08 September 2011

a recommendation

lame cover art. good book.

(the old man sent in this sloppily typed note about what he's reading, so i posted it. miguelito)

in the novel I'm reading, the 39 year-old jewish new-yorker protagonist/narrator is reading to his much younger korean american girlfriend. both are graduates of elite colleges--and children of immigrants. the american economy has collapsed--just a few weeks before this scene. those without yuan-pegged currency are ruined. china and norway and venezuela and the saudis are considering selling off parts of the former united states. LNWIs (low net worth individuals) are banished from the major cities--since without purchasing power they have nothing to offer. electronic devices no longer function. young people unable to face life without their portable electronic devices are killing themselves. our lovers are reduced to dealing with a novel, an activity considered anti-social and almost criminal in the pre-collapse american culture. He is reading aloud to her from Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being.

"Are you following all this?" I said. "Maybe we should stop."
"I'm listening," she half-whispered.
"But are you understanding?" I said.
"I've never really learned how to read texts," she said. "Just to scan them for info."

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.
funny. frightening. highly recommended by this particular cranky old man.

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