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Lovestarby Andri Snaer Magnason
Synopses & Reviews
"Orwell, Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams are felt on every page, though Magnason is never derivative. His satire and insightful social commentary sweeten the pot and the sheer wackiness of Magnason’s oversized imagination is invigorating."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
LoveStar, the enigmatic and obsessively driven founder of the LoveStar corporation, has unlocked the key to transmitting data via birdwaves, thus freeing mankind from wires and devices, and allowing consumerism, technology, and science to run rampant over all aspects of daily life. Cordless modern men and women are paid to howl advertisements at unsuspecting passers-by, REGRET machines eliminate doubt over roads not taken, soul mates are identified and brought together (while existing, unscientifically validated relationships are driven remorselessly asunder), and rocketing the dead into the sky becomes both a status symbol and a beautiful, cathartic show for those left behind.
Indridi and Sigrid, two blissfully happy young lovers, have their perfect worlds threatened (along with Indridi’s sanity) when they are “calculated apart” and are forced to go to extreme lengths to prove their love. Their journey ultimately puts them on a collision course with LoveStar, who is on his own mission to find what might become the last idea in the world.
Steeped in influences ranging from Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, and Kurt Vonnegut to George Orwell, Douglas Adams, and Monty Python, Andri Snær Magnason has created a surreal yet uncomfortably familiar world, where the honey embrace of love does its utmost to survive amid relentless and overpowering controls.
"In this outlandish yet poignant dystopian allegory, Magnason (Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation) imagines a post-technological world in which the relationship between people and information is turned on its head. 'Cordless' citizens are freed from gadgets and wires while REGRET, something like a retroactive Magic 8 Ball if envisioned by Vonnegut, renders every choice the right one. Louts hoping to pay down debt become 'ad howlers,' 'AdTraps,' and 'Secret Hosts' — human bullhorns spouting targeted advertisements or post-purchase praise ('YOU WERE UNBELIEVABLY COOL TO BUY SUCH GROOVY SHOES!') to pedestrians. At funerals run by LoveDeath, bodies are launched into space and mourners watch their loved ones 'burn up under the heavenly plough' upon re-entry. At the helm of this carefully monitored and controlled society is LoveStar, a God-like old man with three hours left to live and a mission to 'free people from the oppression of freedom.' Then there's Indridi and Sigrid, who want to stick together despite inLOVE's calculation of Sigrid as better matched with a Danish man. Orwell, Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams are felt on every page, though Magnason is never derivative. His satire and insightful social commentary sweeten the pot and the sheer wackiness of Magnason's oversized imagination is invigorating." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
What would happen to the world if global expansion just kept going? One possibility is the tale of LoveStar, a multinational corporation housed in a north Iceland mountain amusement park. As cordless modern men are amply paid to howl secret advertisements and REGRET machines eliminate any doubts over one's actions, LoveStar builds an empire--a mental and physical landscape where rocketing the dead into the sky becomes both a status symbol and a beautiful, cathartic show for those left behind. LoveStar is an exercise in ruling the world. Will the company, and its godlike namesake founder, cause the end of that world?
Steeped in the influences of Calvino, Levi, Borges, and Vonnegut, Andri Snær Magnason has created a surreal yet uncomfortably familiar world, where the honey embrace of love does its utmost to survive amid overcalculation. The first novel by one of Iceland's most celebrated young writers, LoveStar has been called--by one German style magazine--a mixture of Douglas Adams'sThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, George Orwell's 1984, Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the heartbreak romance of Nicholas Sparks.
Winner of the DV Literary Award, nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize, and named "Novel of the Year" by Icelandic booksellers in 2002, Andri Magnason's LoveStar contains plenty of puffins (yes the bird) and is downright hilarious.
About the Author
Andri Snær Magnason is one of Iceland's most celebrated young writers. He has written poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction, and in 2009 he co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2002 LoveStar was named "Novel of the Year" by Icelandic booksellers and received the DV Literary Award and a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize. LoveStar was also shortlisted for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award. His children's book, The Story of the Blue Planet—now published or performed in twenty-six countries—was the first children's book to receive the Icelandic Literary Prize, and was also the recipient of the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award and the West Nordic Children's Book Prize. Andri is the winner of the 2010 Kairos Award.
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