I love the dystopian genre; the feeling of hopelessness that needs to be overcome makes a great backdrop for a novel. But unlike most books in the dystopian genre, Super Sad True Love Story really stuck with me, more than any other. I’ve been pondering this for a while and I have come to the conclusion that the reason is the fact that this dystopian world feels so close to our future that it feels like this is what our future will be like.
For those who have not read Super Sad True Love Story, I highly recommend it. The novel is set in a very near future—oh, let’s say next Tuesday—where the world is dominated by the Media. The story is centred on a thirty nine year Russian immigrant, Lenny, and what could likely be the world’s last diary. As well as the object of his affection; Eunice, who has her side of the story to by a collection of e-mail correspondences on her “GlobalTeens” account.
While this may be a story of a modern relationship; there is so much more in the novel worth exploring. This dystopian back drop mixing in some very interesting concepts;
Media and Retail
The world is controlled by the media, telling everyone how to think, feel and act. No one reads anymore, they are all feed their information from all the shows streaming to them. Like the media today, this is teamed up with the Retail industry. Media and Retail are the high powered jobs of this world; everyone is a slave to fashion.
The iPhone is gone, replaced with the Apparatus, a device that is required to be worn at all times. This device is the connection to the world, streaming all the news, storing all your personal information; credit rating, personal history and preferences. But this device is so much more powerful than that, it monitors the heart and blood pressure and calculates your attraction to a mate based on history, preferences and the way your body reacts to them. Giving everyone a rating in the following categories; Finances, Personality, Attractiveness and Fuckabililty.
Lack of Privacy
In a world of commercialisation – even porn is mainstream – the Apparatus mixed with reading posts around the world allows all information to be collect and public record. These reading posts will display your credit rating as you walk past. But as this is a world of controlled by Retail and the media telling people to spend, the credit rating is a catch 22; spending money will increase your social rating but decrease your credit rating therefore decreasing your social rating.
There is so much in this book that is worth discussing; it’s a light and humorous read but under the surface it is a witty and intelligently written book. I probably could go on further writing about the dystopian world, including Privatisation of the military and immigration check points, etc. but I have tried to keep this spoiler free. All in all, this world is so close to the direction the world is moving, you can almost feel this coming.
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