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The Unbinding: A Novel

by

The Unbinding: A Novel Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"[A]s enjoyable as it is unique....Call it Phillip K. Dick with less paranoia and more humor....The prose retains the immediacy of its real-time authorship. The web links are available for clicking and surfing on the novel's website. It's proof that online or off, a good story is still a good story." Snowden Wright, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Before AidSat I had no self, no soul. I was a billing address. A credit score. I had a TV, a computer, a phone, a car, an apartment, some furniture, and a health-club locker. Then AidSat hired me and gave me a life. And not just one life. Hundreds of them, thousands.

Kent Selkirk is an operator at AidSat, an omni-present subscriber service ready to answer, solve, and assist with the client's every problem. Through the AidSat network Kent has a wealth of information at his fingertips — information he can use to monitor subscribers' vital signs, information he can use to track their locations, information he can use to insinuate himself into their very lives.

Review:

"Kirn (Thumbsucker) serialized this neat surveillance culture satire on Slate.com in 2006. The web version makes a mostly smooth transition to print, except for items in bold that Kirn encourages readers to type into the book's accompanying web site. The book centers around Kent Selkirk, who makes his living at a company called AidSat, a kind of invasively cyber Dear Abby-like organization designed to coach desperate people on everything from alternatives to suicide to negotiating the purchase of a home. (Caller heart rates are monitored through bracelets and ear jacks.) When smug Selkirk starts to develop a crush on bland neighbor Sabrina, he uses AidSat to his advantage, but is unaware that others are working against him. Adding an element of mystique is Sabrina's eccentric friend Colonel Geoff, who talks incessantly and mysteriously of 'The Unbinding.' The familiar morals — that people are not who they appear to be, that they can easily lose track of themselves in the cybercacophony, and that exhibitionism is replacing real contact — are done with a light enough touch and enough novel content to make the thin conceit and epistolary format work swimmingly. The Crying of Lot 49 this isn't, but it's a quick and funny George Saunders-esque slice-and-dice of creeping corporate information hegemony." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Kirn (Thumbsucker) serialized this neat surveillance culture satire on Slate.com in 2006. The web version makes a mostly smooth transition to print, except for items in bold that Kirn encourages readers to type into the book's accompanying web site. The book centers around Kent Selkirk, who makes his living at a company called AidSat, a kind of invasively cyber Dear Abby-like organization designed to coach desperate people on everything from alternatives to suicide to negotiating the purchase of a home. (Caller heart rates are monitored through bracelets and ear jacks.) When smug Selkirk starts to develop a crush on bland neighbor Sabrina, he uses AidSat to his advantage, but is unaware that others are working against him. Adding an element of mystique is Sabrina's eccentric friend Colonel Geoff, who talks incessantly and mysteriously of 'The Unbinding.' The familiar morals-that people are not who they appear to be, that they can easily lose track of themselves in the cybercacophony, and that exhibitionism is replacing real contact-are done with a light enough touch and enough novel content to make the thin conceit and epistolary format work swimmingly. The Crying of Lot 49 this isn't, but it's a quick and funny George Saunders-esque slice-and-dice of creeping corporate information hegemony." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Kirn's The Unbinding merits our close attention, not only for itself — the man is a talented writer — but for what might be portended for the art of fiction." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Scattered throughout the text are boldface words that will serve as hyperlinks if you go to the web site. This is an interesting experiment, but the form this novel takes does not lend itself to a consistent vision of the questions raised. One could just go to Slate.com and read it online." Library Journal

Review:

"Kirn depicts technology as a looming Orwellian force, spying on the citizenry, turning our insides outward....The loss of privacy makes for comedy, at first, and then for a sense of foreboding as trampled boundaries refuse to reappear." Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Walter Kirn is a contributing editor to Time magazine, where he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in his first year, and a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, GQ, Vogue, New York and Esquire. He is the author of four previous works of fiction: My Hard Bargain: Stories, She Needed Me, Thumbsucker, and Up in the Air. He lives in Livingston, Montana.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307277411
Author:
Kirn, Walter
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
January 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.96x5.24x.46 in. .40 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Unbinding: A Novel Used Trade Paper
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$2.50 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307277411 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Kirn (Thumbsucker) serialized this neat surveillance culture satire on Slate.com in 2006. The web version makes a mostly smooth transition to print, except for items in bold that Kirn encourages readers to type into the book's accompanying web site. The book centers around Kent Selkirk, who makes his living at a company called AidSat, a kind of invasively cyber Dear Abby-like organization designed to coach desperate people on everything from alternatives to suicide to negotiating the purchase of a home. (Caller heart rates are monitored through bracelets and ear jacks.) When smug Selkirk starts to develop a crush on bland neighbor Sabrina, he uses AidSat to his advantage, but is unaware that others are working against him. Adding an element of mystique is Sabrina's eccentric friend Colonel Geoff, who talks incessantly and mysteriously of 'The Unbinding.' The familiar morals — that people are not who they appear to be, that they can easily lose track of themselves in the cybercacophony, and that exhibitionism is replacing real contact — are done with a light enough touch and enough novel content to make the thin conceit and epistolary format work swimmingly. The Crying of Lot 49 this isn't, but it's a quick and funny George Saunders-esque slice-and-dice of creeping corporate information hegemony." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Kirn (Thumbsucker) serialized this neat surveillance culture satire on Slate.com in 2006. The web version makes a mostly smooth transition to print, except for items in bold that Kirn encourages readers to type into the book's accompanying web site. The book centers around Kent Selkirk, who makes his living at a company called AidSat, a kind of invasively cyber Dear Abby-like organization designed to coach desperate people on everything from alternatives to suicide to negotiating the purchase of a home. (Caller heart rates are monitored through bracelets and ear jacks.) When smug Selkirk starts to develop a crush on bland neighbor Sabrina, he uses AidSat to his advantage, but is unaware that others are working against him. Adding an element of mystique is Sabrina's eccentric friend Colonel Geoff, who talks incessantly and mysteriously of 'The Unbinding.' The familiar morals-that people are not who they appear to be, that they can easily lose track of themselves in the cybercacophony, and that exhibitionism is replacing real contact-are done with a light enough touch and enough novel content to make the thin conceit and epistolary format work swimmingly. The Crying of Lot 49 this isn't, but it's a quick and funny George Saunders-esque slice-and-dice of creeping corporate information hegemony." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[A]s enjoyable as it is unique....Call it Phillip K. Dick with less paranoia and more humor....The prose retains the immediacy of its real-time authorship. The web links are available for clicking and surfing on the novel's website. It's proof that online or off, a good story is still a good story." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Kirn's The Unbinding merits our close attention, not only for itself — the man is a talented writer — but for what might be portended for the art of fiction."
"Review" by , "Scattered throughout the text are boldface words that will serve as hyperlinks if you go to the web site. This is an interesting experiment, but the form this novel takes does not lend itself to a consistent vision of the questions raised. One could just go to Slate.com and read it online."
"Review" by , "Kirn depicts technology as a looming Orwellian force, spying on the citizenry, turning our insides outward....The loss of privacy makes for comedy, at first, and then for a sense of foreboding as trampled boundaries refuse to reappear."
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