Title: Transmission ***SIGNED & DATED***
Publisher: Dutton, NY
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed and Dated By Author on the Full Title Page
Edition: 1st. Edition, 1st. Printing.
First Edition, First Printing with full number line. Signed, without inscription, and dated 7.6.04 (year of publication) by author on the FULL title page. New unread As New book in As New dust jacket. Event flyer laid in. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box with Delivery Confirmation. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in protective clear wrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 010683
Synopsis: Fired from his IT job in Redmond, Washington State, Arjun decides to unleash the virus he's been growing on his computer. All over the world the virus has a cascading effect on peoples' lives. Everywhere new viruses are springing up to refer to the film star Leela Zahir in text, image or code!
Review: Transmission is Hari Kunzru's second novel and, in a similar vein to Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, the title is instructive; it's figuratively and literally, the book's pulsing leitmotif. To transmit is, by definition, to "send across", and the migration of information and people, the destruction and the erection of borders in our hi-tech, supposedly global village, (a world where Indian graduates gain Australian accents working in local call centres) is what this novel is all about. Although to be clear, that's an "all about" in much the way that Jonathan Coe's What A Carve Up! was "all about" the Thatcherite 1980s; narrative invention, humour and satire form essential components of Kunzru's prodigious literary arsenal. (No prizes for guessing who Gavin Burger, an incomprehensively verbose US presidential spokesman who puts in a fleeting comic turn, could be modelled on.)
Leaving aside the broader forces of globalisation, Kunzru's chief dramatic agent is a computer virus that meshes together the lives of his main characters: Arjun Mehta, a sexually-naïve Indian programmer working in America who unleashes the contagion; Leela Zahir, a Bollywood actress whose image the bug zooms across the globe and Guy Swift, head of Tomorrow, a Shoreditch-based consultancy whose ongoing quest to harness the "emotional magma that wells from the core of planet brand", becomes somewhat nobbled in the immediate technological fallout. Of his cast, not unsurprisingly Guy comes closest to caricature (though his scheme to rebrand European border police as Ministry of Sound-style nightclub bouncers--"Europe: No Jeans, No Trainers"--sounds alarming believable). But then Guy's is the incarnate of the worst, Panglossian traits of the West in this callow information age. His certainty and self-absorbed fecklessness (which thankfully he does eventually suffer, horribly for) contrasts jarringly with poor, Mehta, whose American dreams tip, all too swiftly into nightmare. --Travis Elborough
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