In Berger’s future, casual human touch is offensive, police surveillance reigns supreme, and serendipity has been replaced by a hyperefficient system based on likes and recommendations. Berger’s rebels and renegades, seeking to break away from this, fetishize retro technology (“Another item in the collection was a box with a round rotating platform and a swiveling mechanical arm.… Focus showed type:record-player”). This dark atmosphere will draw in even fans who are familiar with dystopian worlds.
The characters are charismatic and will keep readers invested. Jack’s journey of self-discovery and quest for individualism as he learns to let go of controlling technology is compelling. Stanton Lime, with his love for outdated technology and old-world wines, is a delightfully appealing revolutionary figure. Berger compellingly explores the predicaments of a globally networked civilization in this stimulating, immersive book.
Takeaway: Fans of dystopian stories will enjoy this speculative fiction thriller.
Great for fans of: Amor Towles’s You Have Arrived at Your Destination, David Eggers’s The Circle.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
The story, setting, characters, and outcome are at once logical and shocking: a horror story with a civilized edge
Berger’s absorbing story skewers reliance on social media... A sharp, gripping story of a bleak future.