Super Sad

I’ve finished reading Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart, and it is quite good. It’s like 1984, but with the past 20 years of pop culture, the internet, and pretty recent political hullabaloo thrown in. Hyped as a hilarious satire, I actually didn’t find it all that hilarious. Amusing, sure, but not laugh-out-loud funny. It’s an excellent read for other reasons, though, so I give it a hearty recommendation.

(And I don’t mean to put down Shteyngart’s comedic skills – I’ve heard him on NPR and he’s a brilliantly funny guy. I just didn’t think humor was Super Sad True Love Story‘s strength.)

The Sad is what’s most vital to the book, I think. In a way it’s overreacting to certain things – the belief that language is dying, for example, something you hear a lot but is largely nonsense. But other things are dead on, like how everyone is obsessed and addicted to their iPhone equivalent, and how the US economy is based pretty much entirely on us buying that useless crap. Maybe the book is funnier than I thought, and I couldn’t see it because that sort of thing annoys me so much.

Now I’m rereading Salman Rushdie’s Fury, which I read years ago and have thoroughly forgotten. It is very funny. Also funny – my wife and I spotted him in New York City on our honeymoon. My wife is so awesome at spotting celebrities she can pick Salman Rushdie out of a crowd at the Museum of Natural History. This is her super power. Even she doesn’t even know how she does it.

Unwritten, Vol. 2,  by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Excellent stuff. Did I mention Unwritten before? It’s about this guy whose dad wrote a series of Harry Potter-style boy wizard books, and he’s living off his father’s fame. Then the lines between the books and the real world begin to blur, with some pretty horrendous consequences.

The Plain Janes, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg, from DC’s now-defunct Minx line of comics. Nothing that will blow your mind, but I enjoyed it. There’s some cute art stuff going on. I’m seeing some reviews now complaining about one-dimensional characters and it’s hard to argue with them.

Old Man Logan, by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. There are a couple of stories that the X-Men do really well, and bleak, horrible futures is one of them. Stories where the heroes failed and are now all dead or otherwise gone always bother me at a fundamental level, but they’re still fun. I guess it’s good to see why we need them. McNiven’s art is incredible.

Irredeemable, vol. 2, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause. Mark Waid has always been one of my favorite writers, and he’s still got it. This series about the world’s most powerful superhero gone bad, killing his former friends, enemies, and millions of innocent civilians keeps taking unexpected turns.

I finally got around to watching Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is, ahem, fantastic. It’s up there with Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, my favorite Wes Anderson movies. If you’ve been as negligent as I, you should check it out.