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Grayday (2004)

von Hari Kunzru

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
7322424,117 (3.4)26
There's a message in your inbox. Then, a few moments later, your computer crashes. Leela Zahir, Bollywood actress and temperamental star, is being catapulted from the fringes of fame into a million inboxes. Arjun Mehta, computer geek, looks up from his screen to find that he does, after all, have a role to play in the world. Guy Swift, marketing executive with his own agency, a beautiful girlfriend and a handle on modern life, is losing his grip. The message that has landed in a million inboxes has the power to destroy dreams and to make them, to hijack lives and to set them free. In this age of instant worldwide communication, anything can happen and anything will . . . Hari Kunzru's new novel is a heady mix of London, Bollywood and Silicon Valley. Taking in three continents and following the lives of Guy, Arjun and Leela as they make their way in the real world, Transmissionis a brilliant and funny take on life at the click of a mouse.… (mehr)
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An interesting story. Several subplots. But a very weak ending - they disappear. I was hoping there would be some resolution or moral to the story. Instead it was just ended in a series of events requiring as much suspension of disbelief as most of the rest of the story. I was enjoying it even though I had to accept many unlikely possibilities. Who does not want to believe in the good natured hacker who was only trying to get his job back after it was taken from him unfairly? But unleashing world wide computer viruses that do many different things to undo the world? And a Bollywood starlet who just wants to get away from a mother who pushes too hard? Simplistic but engaging. I just wanted a ending that I could believe in. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Oct 24, 2020 |
This book deserves a great deal more attention. It is the perfect satire
on: the Silicon Valley mindset, Conspiracy nuts, and Bollywood all rolled into a very funny novel. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
Transmission is the story of the havoc wreaked on society by a computer virus named Leela, named after a fictional Bollywood star named Leela Zahir. At its center is a young Indian computer programmer, Arjun Mehta, who releases the virus when his tenuous, exploitative job with a Silicon Valley antivirus company comes under threat. Kunzru interweaves this main story with several other threads: the rise and fall of Guy Swift, a British new-money entrepreneur who runs a company called Tomorrow*, which seems to specialize in marketing empty rhetoric to various multinational businesses; the career of Gabriella Caro, Guy's girlfriend, who works as a public relations manager and suffers from her family's old money; and briefly, Leela Zahir herself, who has been thrust into the world of show-business by her pushy mother.

Kunzru has a brilliant eye for satire. Guy Swift's proposal, for instance, that Europe be rebranded as a sort of "VIP zone" for elites in the same way that certain nightclubs market themselves toward the rich and the famous is comedy gold, especially given what happens to him later in the novel. The only problem, in my opinion, is that most readers are a little too used to having their hands held: that is, they often want authors to reveal the satirical facade, just for a moment, to drop a wink after delivering a piece of searing irony so as to say "hey, it's just satire, I'm only kidding." What I admire about Kunzru is that he doesn't do this, and so those who don't get joke, well, they miss out. It's a daring strategy, one that, as a quick perusal of the academic criticism about Kunzru's novels suggests, leads to some overly literal interpretations of his work.

The main shortcoming I found in Transmission was that Kunzru struggled to find a consistent range for his considerable comedic talents. A deliberately flat character like Guy Swift, for example, seems better designed for a much broader kind of comedy than was on offer. Mostly, I think this problem had to do with how Kunzru deals with social class, since the grand conceits of those in charge generally make them a perfect target for the kind of humorous poetic justice which is conferred on characters like Swift or Darryl Gant, Arjun's passive-aggressive boss at Virugenix. The strategy works less well when it comes to the more difficult aspects of society, for disillusionment, poverty, and exploitation are much harder to laugh at from the bottom up.

Kunzru usually manages to address such issues without seeming preachy, but it does make it seem as though the novel proceeds at two different speeds that don't quite gel with each other. Thus, there is the touching story of Arjun, who seems like a kind of holy fool, on the one hand, on whom is conferred a mixture of innocent sincerity and frustrated pathos, and on the other hand, the broad satire of the delusional Guy Swift, who could easily have wandered out of the pages of a Martin Amis story. The result is an entertaining but uneven novel, one in which the various threads are tied together competently but a little too glibly for my taste. ( )
  vernaye | May 23, 2020 |
This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time already. I enthousiastically started reading multiple times, but never got any further than around page 55.
I guess I couldn't make it work, my expectations based on the blurb of the book didn't march what I was reading. And sometimes that's not a problem at all when the book grabs you from the start. Other times, like this, it didn't.
So... I have decided to give up trying and let this book travel on to new readers.
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 7, 2019 |
Kinda silly and unbelievable potboiler. ( )
  RekhainBC | Feb 15, 2019 |
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There's a message in your inbox. Then, a few moments later, your computer crashes. Leela Zahir, Bollywood actress and temperamental star, is being catapulted from the fringes of fame into a million inboxes. Arjun Mehta, computer geek, looks up from his screen to find that he does, after all, have a role to play in the world. Guy Swift, marketing executive with his own agency, a beautiful girlfriend and a handle on modern life, is losing his grip. The message that has landed in a million inboxes has the power to destroy dreams and to make them, to hijack lives and to set them free. In this age of instant worldwide communication, anything can happen and anything will . . . Hari Kunzru's new novel is a heady mix of London, Bollywood and Silicon Valley. Taking in three continents and following the lives of Guy, Arjun and Leela as they make their way in the real world, Transmissionis a brilliant and funny take on life at the click of a mouse.

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Durchschnitt: (3.4)
0.5 1
1 3
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