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Edward Snowden has shown us where all the information in our information age is going; David Shafer works out the implications in a clever, fast read that channels the zeitgeist. The set-up (which may seem familiar): a ravenous addiction to digital connectivity has seduced us into handing over vast amounts of personal information to ... who, exactly?... which has provoked an equally frenzied panic about the loss of privacy. A serious topic, surely, but Shafer has made of it a shapely comedy/thriller. The three characters he has chosen to save the world are truly unimpressive: a serious-minded NGO worker, a mentally unstable trustafarian and a deeply hypocritical, self-loathing self-help guru (whose tribulations are especially, hilariously awful). This is a very entertaining read with a serious premise and a solid heart.
An NPR reviewer compared this book to Neal Stephenson's work, but the resemblance is only superficial. Stephenson is an idea man, with a dazzling gift for multi-level narrative and a tough, comprehensive and witty view of technology and its history. Shafer is also witty and inventive, but his concerns are essentially moral. He is less interested in the technologies that have led us to this sorry state of affairs than in what we will make of them.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Mr. Shafer writes very well. He has created interesting characters that have the potential for considerable depth; they are appropriately "snarky" & hip! His world is terrifying possible, and the thesis could be right from tomorrow's news.
My disappointment is that (IMHO) the plot took forever to develop and the best part - the last part of the book was what i was hoping to encounter throughout the whole piece. I wish there had been considerable editing and the end of the book actually be the middle of the book. This book would make more sense if these characters will be part of a series...
Mr. Clark's performance is terrific and the reason I stayed with the book until the end.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful