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#1 2020-07-31 13:12:22

Bloke
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From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,639
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Textpattern Book Club

[ split from here ]

GregConnery wrote

I recall a short fiction novel… in the distant future ads invade personal space in every house and every car.

Sounds interesting. I read something similar; can’t recall the author or title, haha. Self publish job, I expect, so it’s difficult to track down.

Anyway, the crux of it was two warring media agencies whose CEOs would do anything for the upper hand. Even as far as spinning news of people’s demise while wearing one of the products on the opposing company’s roster, because any news is coverage that causes stock fluctuation.

At the time, it was a story of abject consumerism and product placement and people-as-products (or at the very least, people as unwitting pawns in a global game played by fat cats) in extremis. But nowadays, with the amount of data we share/leak and is mined, I’m not so sure it could entirely be regarded as fiction.


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#2 2020-07-31 14:26:24

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
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Re: Textpattern Book Club

Bloke wrote #325040:

GregConnery wrote

Sounds interesting. I read something similar; can’t recall the author or title, haha. Self publish job, I expect, so it’s difficult to track down.

(Not the one you’re thinking of but…) It also reminds me of “Follower” by Eugen Ruge. Despite the English name, it’s currently only in German though the translation rights have been sold for English, so it may be published for English readers.

Also set in the future, it’s a dystopian novel that blends the state monitoring of Stasi-DDR with the corporate surveillance of today and spins it forwards into an age in which state and corporations have become almost indistinguishable. A bit like David Mitchell’s language shifts in Cloud Atlas, it uses various linguistic devices to alter the reader’s consciousness: new names for things on the one hand and a practically no full stops on the other, only commas. Consequently, it reads as a continuous stream of semi-neurotic self-aware monologue broken only by the profile bulletins of the surveillance agencies, which are alarmed when his device no longer monitors him. Numerous current PC-topics have been taken to their (logical?) extreme, while others have become everyday, and the book ends by confronting the reader with an ethical dilemma. It has been variously received. On the surface, not a lot happens and at the same time, the unrelenting stream of sentences spinning onwards is hard going until you get into the rhythm of it.

English synopsis from the publisher: https://www.rowohlt.de/catalogue/hardcover/eugen-ruge-follower.html


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#3 2020-07-31 16:05:52

Bloke
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From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,639
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Re: Textpattern Book Club

Oohh that sounds interesting. Maybe if someone can translate the stream of consciousness successfully into English it’ll eventually make its way here.


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#4 2020-07-31 16:08:51

gaekwad
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From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,076

Re: Textpattern Book Club

So, Textpattern Book Club, yes?

I could do with more in my culturally bereft life.

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#5 2020-07-31 16:26:16

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
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Re: Textpattern Book Club

gaekwad wrote #325046:

So, Textpattern Book Club, yes?

I could do with more in my culturally bereft life.

Good idea. Especially fiction. I read all day at work when translating. Hard to ‚browse‘ for English books here because the english bookshelf in every bookshop has the same selection and most are ‚best hits‘.

But one thing I did enjoy from the popular hits section – and also vaguely ‚on topic‘ for this thread – was ‚Machines like me‘ by Ian McEwan. I guess I don‘t need to describe that one.


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#6 2020-07-31 17:16:02

colak
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From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,169
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Re: Textpattern Book Club

gaekwad wrote #325046:

So, Textpattern Book Club, yes?

I could do with more in my culturally bereft life.

I know it is not fiction, but it is relevant to this thread. The html version of Data Feminism (MIT Press) has just been released for free.


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#7 2020-08-01 05:00:31

colak
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From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
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Re: Textpattern Book Club

My previous post was meant for the other thread but not to worry:)

Although I have not read a novel for some years now, here’s one of my favourite ones, from when I was reading them.
J. G. Ballard. High-Rise.
Both the 1975 published book and the 2015 released movie are as dystopian as we can get.


Yiannis
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