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Books

Review: Transmission – Hari Kunzru

A witty and clever novel combining Seattle high-technology, London’s marketing/PR industry and Bollywood, Transmission is a hilarious meditation on the connected world we live in today. A lonely Indian programmer working for a large software company unwittingly unleashes a computer virus based on his love for a Bollywood actress. In parallel, a vacuous young PR executive at a London firm engages in ever more desperate behavior in an attempt to raise money for his company. In Mumbai, a beautiful actress prepares to shoot her new movie in Scotland and looks to use the event as an excuse to break out of her cloistered life. Kunzru weaves together these disparate strands into a single overlapping narrative that is at once humorous and believable, keeping us on the edge of our seats as we watch with increasing incredulity as the protagonists drag themselves back from the precipices they find themselves on. Accurately skewering the post-Internet generation, “Transmission” falls somewhere between “White Teeth”, “Neuromancer” and “Through a Scanner Darkly”, while conjuring up a world all of its own.

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