Crosstalk

  • by Connie Willis
  • Narrated by Mia Barron
  • 18 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Part romantic comedy and part social satire, here one of science fiction's most lauded authors examines the consequences of having too much connectivity, and what happens in a world where, suddenly, nothing is private. One of science fiction's premiere humorists turns her eagle eye to the crushing societal implications of telepathy.
In a not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure that has been promised to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. So when Briddey Flannigan's fiancé proposes that he and Briddey undergo the procedure, she is delighted! Only, the results aren't quite as expected. Instead of gaining an increased empathetic link with her fiancé, Briddey finds herself hearing the actual thoughts of one of the nerdiest techs in her office. And that's the least of her problems.

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What the Critics Say

"An engaging and satirical look at relationships, technology, and connectivity in the digital age is expertly narrated by Mia Barron.... Barron does an outstanding job of distinguishing between the conversations in Briddey's head and those happening in real life as well as adding authenticity to each of the characters Briddey interacts with." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Connie Willis and the luck of the Irish...

For some reason, the cover of Crosstalk, made me think it was a re-issue of an earlier novel that I'd missed. I quickly realized it's a new one. Yay! All the Connie Willis humor and detailed plotting is here in full force, but there really is a caveat for new readers.

Connie Willis's writing has a quirk. If you liked To Say Nothing of the Dog, the All Clear duet and/or Doomsday Book, then you're already familiar with the constant "trying to get in touch" "check in with" or the necessity to avoid someone that drives Connie Willis's characters. It's in almost every scene. So it is here although the characters now have modern cell phones. For experienced CW readers, it's par for the course. If you're new to CW, I suspect it might hit you hard.

So, Crosstalk is for aficionados which I am one, but not the uninitiated.

Recommend for fans.
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- Margaret

Unnecessarily Convoluted

Would you try another book from Connie Willis and/or Mia Barron?

Mia Barron is a capable narrator whose work I've enjoyed before. Listening to another Connie Willis might be a tougher sell for me because the dialogue in this one is redundant and drawn out to the point of pain. If that's her style, she'll be a hard pass for me moving forward.


How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Crisper, leaner dialogue that gave the reader more benefit of the doubt re: coming to conclusions and filling in gaps; less convoluted plot points--and scenarios constructed purely to prolong events. This audiobook was 18 hours long. I hung in there, but barely. Maeve as a character/plot device was trying, to say the least.


What does Mia Barron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Believability and depth to Briddey (less so to CB). I wanted more of Briddey's interior monologue. Ironically, for a story that's about telepathy and connection and intimacy (and the commercialization of intimacy), we don't really get to enjoy any sense of completed connection until the end, and only a very little. the takeaway seems to be that nothing is sacred--instead of CB and Briddey connecting more deeply and exclusively, their thoughts are going to be accessible to everyone in her family, including a 9-year-old? Jaysus, as the Irish say.


What would have made this romance irresistible?

Less detail about perimeters, walls, and safe havens (this could have been explained in a page or two--and didn't need to be revisited every other paragraph) and more moments that were devoted to the growing intimacy between CB and Briddey. Maeve barging into their thoughts was a real buzz kill. Presumably, they'll never be able to prevent her from doing this...


Any additional comments?

This book had a ton of potential--compelling subject matter that is topically relevant. Unfortunately this was unnecessarily undermined by making this all link back to Irish heritage and genetics, specifically. In any case, as a reader/listener, I never got the chance to fully immerse myself into this story because long-winded explanations and repetitive details pulled me out of the story.

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- Salimah J. Perkins "I've listened to 48 audiobooks in 2016... and counting!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2016
  • Publisher: Recorded Books