So Good!!! Jennifer Egan weaves some Goon Squad characters into a wonderful extended web of connection. Speculating on a corporate's capacity to upload consciousness ostensibly for medical benefit, the story is modern and pacy with well drawn characters. This is a big subject and a lot could go awry, but she is so clever and manages to pull this tale together in such a way, we can but marvel at her reach.
From one of the most dazzling and iconic writers of our time comes an electrifying, deeply moving novel about the quest for authenticity, privacy, and meaning in a world where our memories are no longer our own--featuring characters from A Visit from the Goon Squad.
It's 2010. Staggeringly successful and brilliant tech entrepreneur Bix Bouton is desperate for a new idea. He's forty, with four kids, and restless when he stumbles into a conversation with mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or "externalizing" memory. Within a decade, Bix's new technology, Own Your Unconscious--that allows you access to every memory you've ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others--has seduced multitudes. But not everyone.
In spellbinding linked narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of styles--from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter, and a chapter of tweets. In the world of Egan's spectacular imagination, there are "counters" who track and exploit desires and there are "eluders," those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Intellectually dazzling and extraordinarily moving.
The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. With a focus on social media, gaming, and alternate worlds, you can almost experience moving among dimensions in a role-playing game. Egan takes her "deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture" (Vogue) to stunning new heights and delivers a fierce and exhilarating testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption.
'A complex, compelling read that showcases Egan's masterful storytelling' * Time *
'Fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad will not want to miss this new novel' * jNews *
'A thrilling, endlessly stimulating work that demands to be read and reread' * Kirkus Reviews *
'Egan returns to the fertile territory and characters of A Visit from the Goon Squad with an electrifying and shape-shifting story that one-ups its Pulitzer-winning predecessor' * Publisher's Weekly *
'A forceful, wonderfully fragmented novel of a terrifyingly possible future, as intellectually rigorous as it is formally impressive, and yet another monumental work from Egan' * Library Journal *
'Playfully twists various narratives into a series of compelling interconnected vignettes, featuring many of the same characters from her award-laden 2010 novel. Ever the consummate storyteller and with a deft and powerful sense of characterisation, Egan is sure to have struck gold once more' * Harper's Bazaar *
'A fast-paced polyvoiced romp through America in the grip of a sinister tech that allows others into your mind. EEK! Includes a dazzling novella Egan wrote' -- Margaret Atwood, via Twitter
'Egan is skilful, even masterful, at writing in a variety of styles and formats to suit each character's voice, making the book that much more real and that much more affecting' * Bloomburg Businessweek *
Inventive, effervescent...Egan plaits multiple narratives and techniques to underscore the manifold ways our own desires betray us in a brave new coded world * Oprah Daily *
Very funny, penetrating, and impactful * Glamour *
Tech guru Bix Bouton creates 'Own Your Unconscious,' a technology that allows users to access and share every memory they've ever had. It's a concept so killer, it's hard to believe such technology doesn't already exist * USA Today *
[The Candy House] does what only the best and rarest books can: peel back the thin membrane of ordinary life, and find transcendence on the other side * Entertainment Weekly *
Haunting and often hilarious...a wondrous, riotously inventive work of speculative fiction * Booklist, STARRED review *