When this book trailer, purporting to be a video promoting Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, Super Sad True Love Story, hit the Internet, it immediately went viral.
With cameos by actor James Franco, writers Mary Gaitskill, Jeffrey Eugenides, Edmund White and Jay McInerney, and bevy of beautiful blondes, the trailer is a hilarious send up of Shteyngart’s inadequacies.
He can’t read, thinks teaching writing at Columbia includes a lecture on how to behave at a Paris Review party, and doesn’t know what to do when three debutanates from Mount Holyoke walk through his door.
In short, the trailer has little to do with the book. That’s why it was such hit.
Super Sad True Love Story only came out nine days ago, but it is skyrocketing up the bestseller lists.
As the novelist Jess Walter put it in a review for the Chronicle:
“Super Sad True Love Story” is surely literature’s first dystopian epistolary romantic satire, and as such, it’s a bit of a Frankenstein monster. The tone shifts recklessly, the action sometimes seems grafted on, and the structure – old-fashioned diary entries, instant messages and e-mails – is at times unwieldy.
Doesn’t matter. It’s a wildly funny book that hums with the sheer vibrancy of Shteyngart’s prose, and that holds up a riotous, terrifying mirror to a corrupted American empire in decline.”
Shteyngart is coming to Berkeley tonight to read from his book. He will be at Books, Inc. on Fourth Street at 7 pm.
It should be fun.