Synopsis (from Amazon)
In a very near future a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don’t tell that to poor Lenny Abramov, proud author of what may well be the world’s last diary. Despite his job at an outfit called ‘Post-Human Services’, which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele, death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn’t it? Lenny’s from a different century. He TOTALLY loves books (or ‘printed, bound media artifacts’ as they’re now known), even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books, Lenny loves Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel 24-year-old Korean-American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in ‘Images’ and a minor in ‘Assertiveness’. When riots break out in New York’s Central Park, the city’s streets are lined with National Guard tanks, and patient Chinese creditors look ready to foreclose on the whole mess, Lenny vows to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability, there is still value in being a real human being.
I bought this book as a kindle daily deal book. I probably wouldn’t have bought it if it was full price. I was interested enough in the future type idea to get it as an impulse buy, but if it had been full price that would probably have made me less interested- like I didn’t think it would be worth it. I think actually my reservations were correct.
Although I did find some of the ideas about the future interesting, such of the idea of paying for ‘life extension’ (i.e. nano-robots who ‘fix’ you from inside out and make you younger), and everybody’s use of an ‘apparat’ (which is a kind of combined smart phone, facebook, I.D. card type gadget, which knows, and shows others everything about you). In some ways the future is realistic. The idea of sharing data about yourself isn’t new, neither is the idea of doing everything on your phone. You can find other people where you are on foursquare, facebook and some dating sites. Nano-robots exist and there is an industry made up with making one appear younger and more attractive. Having a credit card isn’t uncommon, and neither is living on credit. Certainly there are certain aspects that were interesting from that point.
The characters however I did not like. I thought Lenny was a bit of an idiot to be frank. He just followed everyone else. He thought he loved Eunice after one night. He kept thinking they were perfect even when they had arguments all the time. I found him rather self-obsessed. Even in terms of that ‘future’ he was a bit dim, he didn’t seem to understand modern language, or his apparat, or even his friends. In fact all that I can say I liked about him is that he actually read real books, in an age where books were seen as a bit disgusting!
Eunice if anything was more self-obsessed, but in her it was more forgivable as it seemed to be a product of her culture. If anything she was more naive than anything else. I can’t really say more than that without spoiling the book.
Certainly I wouldn’t call it a love story. Maybe sad if I imagine a world could be like this.
Hardback- Large Print (£19.91)