Friday, August 17, 2018

The Glitch: Live in the world of data, not delusion

I was very generously given a copy of this book, The Glitch, in exchange for an honest review and it has taken me until now to actually get that finished. I am sorry and if I can please buy your forgiveness with some pictures of the current distraction.

Adorable, right? All is forgiven?

So anyway, The Glitch. I saw this book around the bookernet and it seemed intriguing. Shelley Stone is a type-A executive to the extreme. She ran a company making a device called a Conch that's basically Google glasses but it's worn in the ear and tells you things (people's names, the weather, restaurant reviews) rather than showing them on a screen right in front of the eyes. Except people seem to like the Conch. She takes 2am conference calls, repeats various axioms to herself throughout the day, takes standing naps to maximize her time, keeps a note reminding her to "be likeable" because it's not something that comes naturally. I'm not saying I've known people just like her but I have seen (and worked with) people that could have inspired her, with the characteristics just dialed up to 11.

You may think that this is what the book will focus on BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. Shelley meets a mysterious person who seems very, very interested in Conch who seems to keep showing up around Shelley and her family. Then a woman shows up who seems to be Shelley from the past. She looks like her, has her scar, and knows things about Shelley's past. And then there seem to be some issues with Conch that don't make sense.

Had the book been more of a satire of Shelley, I think I would have enjoyed it more. I only say this after the fact because otherwise, all of that other mystery and intrigue and sci fi-ness would draw my attention. Indeed it did when I read the description. But honestly, it didn't pan out the way I wanted. Not even the way I wanted, but in a way that was particularly interesting or that ultimately paid off.

I did really like the ridiculousness of the tech industry and Shelley's craziness, especially when she brings her executive style to her home. Because if there's one thing young children (she has 2) love, it's business jargon. And while Shelley isn't really the most likeable person, I did appreciate a female character that is allowed to prefer work to family. She doesn't hate her family but she loves her work and that's where she thrives.

Ultimately I liked the writing but felt like there were a lot of ideas going on here and many of which just didn't really work out.

Gif rating:
Title quote from location 1727

Cohen, Elisabeth. The Glitch. Doubleday, 2018. NetGalley.