Landscape with Invisible Hand
When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth - but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents' jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv's miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive. And since the vuvv crave anything they deem "classic" Earth culture (doo-wop music, still-life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it's hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he's willing to go - and what he's willing to sacrifice - to give the vuvv what they want.

Landscape with Invisible Hand Details

TitleLandscape with Invisible Hand
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherCandlewick Press
ISBN-139780763687892
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Fiction, Dystopia, Teen

Landscape with Invisible Hand Review

  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Futuristic satire so sharp I'm probably now bleeding internally in a few places. Novella-length short, would make a good YA classroom read - super discussable. And not 100% bleak. More like 80-20.
  • Brandy
    January 1, 1970
    Terrifying in how timely this is. Aliens invaded Earth, sure, but it's really more colonization than invasion. They've brought technologies, and automation! They will help the economy! Except that automation means fewer jobs, which means higher unemployment, and everything goes downhill accordingly. (This is why the "realistic" tag, despite the aliens.)Adam is an artist. He's struggling to support his family and be true to his own ideals. Whether he's trying to hold a failing relationship togeth Terrifying in how timely this is. Aliens invaded Earth, sure, but it's really more colonization than invasion. They've brought technologies, and automation! They will help the economy! Except that automation means fewer jobs, which means higher unemployment, and everything goes downhill accordingly. (This is why the "realistic" tag, despite the aliens.)Adam is an artist. He's struggling to support his family and be true to his own ideals. Whether he's trying to hold a failing relationship together (for the ratings) or struggling with an embarrassing disease (because his family can't afford the medical treatment), Adam has a unique perspective and voice. It's a bleak portrait of the future, but not a distant one--a near future, one where automation has put millions out of work, where healthcare is only afforded to the super-rich, where teaching is replaced by one-size-fits-all videos and the arts are utterly unsupported. Publishing schedules being what they are, this had to have been written before the Trump administration took hold, and yet. ... this is a harsh, unflinching look at Trump's America. Monetize everything; you're only worthwhile if you're wealthy; fuck the poor and sick. I want this book everywhere.
    more
  • Renata
    January 1, 1970
    how is M.T. Anderson so good at writing every kind of bookis he a witchI just don't knowthis was beautiful and difficult and ultimately hopeful in just the best way
  • Ameriie
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful. I really enjoy Mr. Anderson's voice, as well as the parallels he makes in his stories. His books are raw and immersive, throwing you in without preamble, trusting you to figure out the world.
  • Figgy
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come. Didn't go where I was expecting... Painted a very tangible feeling of lower class, and of the medium class being thrown into that same hardship. Interesting layout with each chapter having a "title" that matches a corresponding artwork created by the main character.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Woooooooooooooooooooooow"Feed" was the last M.T. Anderson book I read, and that was probably over a decade ago. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when I saw that he had some new material coming out in the fall. That said, it can also be a bit nerve racking when an author has been out of your life for so long. I mean, I loved "Feed" and Anderson's writing style is one of my favorites, but what if after so long, it just didn't have the same effect? I mean I've changed, he's probably changed, Woooooooooooooooooooooow"Feed" was the last M.T. Anderson book I read, and that was probably over a decade ago. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when I saw that he had some new material coming out in the fall. That said, it can also be a bit nerve racking when an author has been out of your life for so long. I mean, I loved "Feed" and Anderson's writing style is one of my favorites, but what if after so long, it just didn't have the same effect? I mean I've changed, he's probably changed, so many variables! Well, I shouldn't have worried, because "Landscape with Invisible Hand" definitely reminded my why I love Anderson's work so much. This is a slim book, just cresting over a 100 pages, but my goodness does it pack a powerful punch. The desolation and deterioration of not only Adam and Chloe's relationship but Earth as a whole and its inhabitants is heartbreaking and, quite honestly, an interesting commentary on our country's current state. Additionally, with such sparse language, Anderson does an exceptional job of not only captivating his reader but he's also able to do so in a weirdly brutal and beautiful way. I think my favorite aspect of this book, though, is just how much discussion power it has for teens. I can seriously picture them talking for hours over this book and for that as well as all of the other reasons I mentioned, this is an absolute necessity in all YA library collections. Seriously. I'm probably going to re-read it right now . . . and maybe again after that . . .* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
    more
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I got a copy of this signed for a friend who didn't like Feed. I loved Feed, so hoped that maybe he would like a different book by Anderson.After reading to page 57, I skipped to the end and am asking forgiveness from my friend. This was really quite bad.Setting/World. Takes place in the near-future, after benevolent, if business-minded (not benevolent if they only want $, just my two-cents) aliens come to Earth with amazing tech. That only the rich can have. So far, I'm seeing it. Then it goes I got a copy of this signed for a friend who didn't like Feed. I loved Feed, so hoped that maybe he would like a different book by Anderson.After reading to page 57, I skipped to the end and am asking forgiveness from my friend. This was really quite bad.Setting/World. Takes place in the near-future, after benevolent, if business-minded (not benevolent if they only want $, just my two-cents) aliens come to Earth with amazing tech. That only the rich can have. So far, I'm seeing it. Then it goes off the rails.The aliens decide no more clean sources of drinking water for the poor masses. They don't say WHY, maybe to make more money when the poor get sick from untreated water? Main MC has a nasty stomach bug due to dirty water. Never thought to boil it, really? So that's kinda weird.Then the statement that alien made food is cheaper than American grown. Ok, I can see that. But then to say everyone was out of work, so no money for food, BUT cheaper to buy food than to grow your own?!? Really?!? Cuz if the parents had no job prospects, they had a back and front yard. GROW food for your family for crying out loud! How is that more expensive than spending money you don't have on food? I think this was supposed to be some sort of awesome social commentary that completely missed the mark for me. Maybe my friend can explain it to me, because I just didn't get it at ALL. I hope he likes it, I know I didn't. 1.5 stars, not sure which way to round, since I really almost hated it, but I did want to see what happened at the end and I liked the ending, so up to two stars.
    more
  • Krista Regester
    January 1, 1970
    A story of a deeply twisted, "worst case scenario" dystopian future. Adam and his family are turned from a white collar, comfortable society - to scrapping for rice and beans. This is an oddly unique and particularly interesting novella.
  • Crowinator
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite passage, and my vision for the librarian I want to be, from the desperate narrator of this bleak and beautiful novel about his favorite teacher:We all have our visions of crazy success.Mr. Reilly must have had his once, too. A kid my age named Dave Reilly. He went to art school. Maybe he still secretly nurses those private visions where he's discovered and suddenly he's the big shit. I don't know.And now he's thrown everything--all his talent, all his energy--into helping us paint and d Favorite passage, and my vision for the librarian I want to be, from the desperate narrator of this bleak and beautiful novel about his favorite teacher:We all have our visions of crazy success.Mr. Reilly must have had his once, too. A kid my age named Dave Reilly. He went to art school. Maybe he still secretly nurses those private visions where he's discovered and suddenly he's the big shit. I don't know.And now he's thrown everything--all his talent, all his energy--into helping us paint and draw and sculpt and grow up. Boys who are hiding secrets, girls who can barely stand to see daylight--he has devoted his life to listening to us and giving us a space to make our statements.That, I guess, is why he is one of the few actual adults I know, as opposed to people who are just old.
    more
  • Dawn Abron
    January 1, 1970
    4.5One day aliens inhabited, not invaded, earth promising a better life but it was actually only for the 1%. The rest of the world is poor and starving and trying to find a way to get up to the sky to live like the wealthy. Adam and his family is unfortunately the 99% and their life is abysmal.Adam is an artist and paints everything he sees and I wondered how he could afford all his supplies when his ever optimist mother is unemployed. I know his teacher buys supplies for his class but does Adam 4.5One day aliens inhabited, not invaded, earth promising a better life but it was actually only for the 1%. The rest of the world is poor and starving and trying to find a way to get up to the sky to live like the wealthy. Adam and his family is unfortunately the 99% and their life is abysmal.Adam is an artist and paints everything he sees and I wondered how he could afford all his supplies when his ever optimist mother is unemployed. I know his teacher buys supplies for his class but does Adam take supplies home? Paint and especially canvas is expensive; I guess we aren’t supposed to ask questions. Back to the review…Adam and his girlfriend get a great idea to make money- a reality show about their love. They film episodes of their dates and since the aliens, the vuvv, “invaded” during a 50’s themed drive-in movie, the vuvv love everything 50’s nostalgia and Adam and his girlfriend have to use words like groovy. Of course at some point they begin to hate each other and it becomes a problem much like Adam’s entire life. He has a disease that gives him no control of his bowels, his father is a dick, and his girlfriend and her family are dicks too. So when Adam has an opportunity to win an art contest that could get his family up to the 1%, you just know that that is NEVER going to happen-DAMN YOU MT; CAN'T THIS LOVELY FAMILY CATCH A BREAK! I was so angry and frustrated at this wonderful family’s bad luck that I began to hate this book but I knew there was a deeper message so I trucked along.There is an ending and that’s all I’ll say but I liked it and the message and it stayed true to the story and the family.This was a short albeit heartbreaking story about a little family who tries to stay positive in their shitty lives. Adam had a great attitude and took no crap from anyone and his mother’s half glass full perspective really helped me get through this depressing book.
    more
  • Melissa Chung
    January 1, 1970
    Let me share a quote from the book before I begin my review.“We are tiny figures, pointing at wonders, provided for scale, no lives of our own, surveying the landscape that has engulfed us all.”This quote could describe many things. How we view the world around us. How we impact each other, our surroundings, this planet. It could also describe our incessant need for technology and social media. This quote is the last thing you read from this book. It pretty much sums up this book. I’m giving thi Let me share a quote from the book before I begin my review.“We are tiny figures, pointing at wonders, provided for scale, no lives of our own, surveying the landscape that has engulfed us all.”This quote could describe many things. How we view the world around us. How we impact each other, our surroundings, this planet. It could also describe our incessant need for technology and social media. This quote is the last thing you read from this book. It pretty much sums up this book. I’m giving this story 3 stars because it was bleak, slightly boring and I was expecting something else.‘Landscapes with Invisible Hand’ is about a teen boy named Adam Costello. There was an alien invasion on Earth. The powerful and rich sold the planet for technology and medicine. The rich were rich and everyone else grew poorer. Every one lost their jobs.Adam is an artist and at first paints fantasy. Beautiful sunlit meadows and castles with blue skies. After his father leaves the family completely broke, Adam starts painting what he actually sees and with feeling.The real world around him is dirty, neglected and run down. He paints what the aliens have done to his beautiful home. He has an epiphany. When I first picked up this book, I was excited because it was about aliens. These aliens were not fun at all. Organically they seemed like squat alien robots. They use Earth as a vacation destination. Exploiting the humans. They refer to our history as cute. They relish in our imagination. Adam is a kid with a gastrointestinal disease. Merrick’s is what it is called. I looked this up online and couldn’t find the exact spelling. What I could find was Marek’s. A form of herpes found mostly in chicken and rarely in turkey. Adams condition is mentioned a lot in the book and he is constantly shitting himself.I just found the whole book bizarre. A lot of it was beautiful and other times, I just hated to pick it back up. Chloe is a nightmare. The whole Marsh clan is obnoxious. The mom is a sad dreamer. The dad has issues. Then we are left with Adam and Nettie. Trying to live one day at a time. Just sad.I guess the ending was a little more uplifting, but not much. They can hope for change. That is all they can do.
    more
  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Ever since I fell hard for Feed as a teenager, I’ve followed M.T. Anderson’s career. His repertoire is eclectic to say the least, regrouping children’s adventure novels, historical nonfiction, and award-winning YA. In Landscape with Invisible Hand, he returns to the lands of trenchant satire that I first discovered and adored so much in Feed. If he could write one of these tomes every single year, gradually taking on everything that ails us—racism, capitalism, consumerism, imperialism, and so on Ever since I fell hard for Feed as a teenager, I’ve followed M.T. Anderson’s career. His repertoire is eclectic to say the least, regrouping children’s adventure novels, historical nonfiction, and award-winning YA. In Landscape with Invisible Hand, he returns to the lands of trenchant satire that I first discovered and adored so much in Feed. If he could write one of these tomes every single year, gradually taking on everything that ails us—racism, capitalism, consumerism, imperialism, and so on—I would be a happy reader forever.Here the tone is similar to Feed’s but more focused. The vuvv, an alien species with high tech and voices like sandpaper, have colonized Earth, leaving its human inhabitants to scrabble in the mud leftover. Anderson throws the reader directly into this dystopia, leaving her to draw the lines between Earth in 2017 and his fictional Earth of the near future. Although I take heart in the fact that Anderson trusts the reader to fill in the blanks, I would have appreciated more detail on the hows, whens, and whys, simply to take advantage of his imagination. The book clocks in at a scant 160 pages, and I can't help but wonder why it wasn't expanded to novel length since there is more than enough material to support it.On this vuvv-conquered Earth, humans have nothing left to sell: vuvv technology can make everything better, faster, and cheaper. That’s why our hero Adam must sell the only things he’s got: love and art. Anderson dissects the dangers of commodifying that which was once considered sacred. The ensuing hijinks become zanier and zanier as the story moves forward, ramping to deliriously comic heights with one of the grossest and funniest break-up scenes in memory before climaxing with a laugh-out-loud speech about monetary policy and the metric system (American exceptionalism on the metric question persists even post-apocalypse). Faced with this cracked mirror of a story, I groaned, I guffawed, I shuddered. The satire flies so high, it may be in orbit, but it works because Adam is a believable and empathetic protagonist. He not only has to worry about the end of life as he knew it but also mundane concerns like “Is it embarrassing to be seen with my teacher out of school?” and “Will that hot girl maybe kiss me?” Landscape with Invisible Hand is too short to saw away a piece of your heart like Feed but it’ll certainly stab you in the stomach a few times in between your fits of laughter.
    more
  • Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Will be doing a full video review within the next couple of weeks.My Video Review
  • Nicola Mansfield
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent take on a dystopian future. I liked this way more than "Feed". A great story all around of a particular family trying to live in a world taken over by aliens who gave the Earth the answer to all its problems: world peace, cures to all disease, etc. On a serious note, without bias, it looks at both extremes. What happens to a civilization that is given everything they need to "survive" is that they can no longer survive without being "taken care of". What happens in a complete busine An excellent take on a dystopian future. I liked this way more than "Feed". A great story all around of a particular family trying to live in a world taken over by aliens who gave the Earth the answer to all its problems: world peace, cures to all disease, etc. On a serious note, without bias, it looks at both extremes. What happens to a civilization that is given everything they need to "survive" is that they can no longer survive without being "taken care of". What happens in a complete business centred society is there is no room for love, for each other and the esthetic things in life lose any true emotional value.
    more
  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    A sci-fi satire on class where the uncaring ultra-rich are subbed for uncaring aliens. Ridiculously bleak (I'm a fan of bleak but it was tough). 3 stars for me because I couldn't ultimately see what Anderson was going for besides the basic metaphor. I like satire to have an extra layer of bite, and never found it here.
    more
  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book. Through generous donations, I am receiving a class set to teach to my ninth grade English students. I cannot wait to analyze and discuss the many relevant themes within this novella.
  • Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. An interesting book that looks into colonisation (by aliens), capitalism, and class, but that felt distant/detached. At times it felt like it had been written specifically to be analysed for themes in a classroom, raising or alluding to topics and then dropping them again.It's a short, easy read, suitable for ages 13+
    more
  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    This was an entertaining book that slyly pokes fun at material culture with a sci-fi framing.Earth has recently been colonized by Vuvv aliens, and at first their medical and technological advances seem like a boon, but soon it puts people out of work and society starts to collapse. Teen Adam’s parents are out of work and struggling to hold on to their home and dignity. When another family moves in to share with the bills, Adam falls in love with their daughter Chloe. Adam and Chloe broadcast the This was an entertaining book that slyly pokes fun at material culture with a sci-fi framing.Earth has recently been colonized by Vuvv aliens, and at first their medical and technological advances seem like a boon, but soon it puts people out of work and society starts to collapse. Teen Adam’s parents are out of work and struggling to hold on to their home and dignity. When another family moves in to share with the bills, Adam falls in love with their daughter Chloe. Adam and Chloe broadcast their choreographed dates to the Vuvv (who enjoy retro 50’s era Earth courtship) for money, but when their romance fades in real life, Adam hopes his artwork will win an award to bring in money for his family and save them from financial ruin.Each chapter title relates to a piece of artwork that Adam is working on, and once readers figure that out, it’s fun to imagine how it ties into a narrative about alien colonization. What Adam does at the end of the story seems counterintuitive to what people think today, but that’s what might make readers stop and think about their own choices and motivations. The story was refreshingly short, as I believe too many YA novels are overblown, and the satire was spot on. The narrative can be enjoyed on several levels- as a fun sci-fi romp or as a witty reminder of how much social media and how we wish to be identified can define us. I participate in a Tournament of Books with other teen librarians, and was assigned this book (which I had read previously) and graphic novel Motor Crush. Read this link to find out which book I pushed through to the next bracket: http://ow.ly/EUtN30igMbp
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    M.T. Anderson is a wizard who writes sharp, dark, painful visions of terrifying futures (and pasts) that are nevertheless hilarious and infused with heart and hope.
  • Brenda Kahn
    January 1, 1970
    Another brilliant dystopian science fiction that hits pretty close to home. Sly, satirical, bleak and believable.
  • Flannery
    January 1, 1970
    I adored this. It was a quick read, and should appeal to teens who like dystopias or bleak stories.
  • Keitha
    January 1, 1970
    As usual, I found Anderson's writing tough to read but well worth the pain.
  • Chance Lee
    January 1, 1970
    In Landscape with Invisible Hand a teenager attempts to help get his family out of debt by entering an art contest. There are also aliens who look like tables and communicate in a variety of mechanical clicks. And unfortunate bouts of diarrhea. Reading Landscape with Invisible Hand I thought of M.T. Anderson as George Saunders, Jr. Anderson has thrown his characters into a strange, otherworldly scenario -- in this case worldwide alien occupation -- where they behave strangely but believably in t In Landscape with Invisible Hand a teenager attempts to help get his family out of debt by entering an art contest. There are also aliens who look like tables and communicate in a variety of mechanical clicks. And unfortunate bouts of diarrhea. Reading Landscape with Invisible Hand I thought of M.T. Anderson as George Saunders, Jr. Anderson has thrown his characters into a strange, otherworldly scenario -- in this case worldwide alien occupation -- where they behave strangely but believably in this situation -- like when our main character catches another character shaved bald and scuttling crablike because he wants to be an alien -- and the whole weird-ass smorgasbord is layered with progressive social commentary -- here: it's either anti-performative shows of love or anti-performative displays of human emotion in general (like on YouTube). And it's definitely one big long middle finger held up to rich people who perpetuate and exploit the class divide. I'm happy to have an anti-capitalist novel to recommend to younger readers at the library. Adam, the main character, is an artist, and his artistic interpretations of the world around him serve as the book's framing device. Each chapter centers around something he creates, whether it's through paint and paper or digital landscapes created in a virtual-reality environment. An art mentor tells Adam to observe the atmosphere, the space between objects, as opposed to the objects themselves. This image of "spaces between" evolves into Adam thinking about other gulfs, such as the gulf between two economic classes. Quite a bit of thought is given to the invisible hand of the market economy, and how it's basically suffocating the vast majority of the population.Earlier this week, I'd read an article in The Baffler in which Meagan Day wrote about predatory lenders (i.e. basically all of them) and the frequent excuse of blaming their practices, and the economy as a whole, on "the market," as if it were its own entity outside the realm of human control. M.T. Anderson has created a brilliant allegory by giving this so-called market physical form in the shape of his alien invaders. In the book, the situations can come across as absurd -- like needing to flee to an alien colony for medical treatment. However, remove the aliens, and this book pretty much exists inside our grim reality. I found Landscape with Invisible Hand as compelling as much of Saunders's earlier work like "Sea Oak" or "Escape from Spiderhead." While Anderson reminds me of Saunders, I worry that appending "Jr." to his name implies that he is less-than. However, my attitude shows a bit of cynicism, whether that attitude is my own (of which I have plenty) or a reflection of the world's attitude that the younger generation is less than the older, I'm not sure. I don't believe Anderson holds that particularly cynical attitude (although he does have plenty others, too). In Anderson's book, the art mentor tells Adam that he will surpass him, the teacher. So I hope he would see "Saunders Jr." as a compliment.In a recent article for the New York Times book review, Anderson wrung his hands about obsolete details in novels that "date" the text, like cordless phones. Personally, I think it's ridiculous to worry about that sort of thing, and it seems like Anderson reaches that point, too, by the end of his article. "Let’s tell the stories of this moment now," he writes "and of the future, whether we’re wrong about what will happen or right. Let’s tell the stories of the changes we see." This book is a slim 149 pages. (Design note: I love how the book is taller than most books -- approximately 9.6 inches tall as opposed to 8.2) It shouldn't be as unwieldy as an intergalactic space cruiser, but it is. Somehow, with a stunner of a final line, Anderson lands it smoothly, balancing his craft on a fine edge between optimism and cynicism. Our real-life story is bound to fall on one of these sides, but only time will tell.
    more
  • Lori Anketell
    January 1, 1970
    "We thought there was a great distance between the future and us, and now here we are, falling through it." This book was was a unique comparison to Catcher!
  • Pocket Full of Pages
    January 1, 1970
    "We are tiny figures, faceless, pointing at wonders, provided for scale, no lives of our own, surveying the landscape that has engulfed us all".After hearing so many great things about the author M.T. Anderson, we were just so excited to be asked to review 'Landscape with Invisible Hand'. This is the first novel we've read by the author and we are just honestly glad to say that we were pleasantly surprised.This novel has so many important and inspirational key messages. One of our favourites was "We are tiny figures, faceless, pointing at wonders, provided for scale, no lives of our own, surveying the landscape that has engulfed us all".After hearing so many great things about the author M.T. Anderson, we were just so excited to be asked to review 'Landscape with Invisible Hand'. This is the first novel we've read by the author and we are just honestly glad to say that we were pleasantly surprised.This novel has so many important and inspirational key messages. One of our favourites was that a line was clearly drawn to try and outline the differences between different types of art and how you can find art in general to be inspirational.This message is portrayed throughout the novel through the main character, Adam's life. Adam was torn between following his dream and entering his artworks in a Vuvv art competition. In particular, Adam was confused and torn between entering artwork that he knew the judges would love or entering his pieces that he knows is true to himself. This novel takes place when Aliens invaded or rather colonized Earth. With new technology and other advancements, the Vuvv also known as 'aliens' are allowing for fewer jobs and higher pricing within the economy, creating Earth to be a really hard planet to live on. Following this plot line, the main character Adam struggles to support his family financially whilst being true to himself. He constantly struggles with an embarrassing disease and art is the only thing that gets him through each day. M.T. Anderson wrote this novel to be a new viewpoint that is unflinching and honest to outline the truth to being yourself and fighting for everything you possibly believe in. Overall, we did enjoy this novel as we loved the novel's messages which were quite inspirational. Book Rating: 4/5 Stars. 
    more
  • Tina Dalton
    January 1, 1970
    MT Anderson does it again! I've been so eagerly awaiting this book and was not disappointed in the least. In fact, I kept interrupting my reading to say to my hubby (also an MT Anderson fan), "This is so good!" and "Just wait until you read this, it's amazing" and "I mean, he's just so good with dialogue!" I think he got a bit tired of it after a while and rarely do I gush about a book while I read it. I'm too in the zone. But wow. The premise: aliens come to earth and promise to share all their MT Anderson does it again! I've been so eagerly awaiting this book and was not disappointed in the least. In fact, I kept interrupting my reading to say to my hubby (also an MT Anderson fan), "This is so good!" and "Just wait until you read this, it's amazing" and "I mean, he's just so good with dialogue!" I think he got a bit tired of it after a while and rarely do I gush about a book while I read it. I'm too in the zone. But wow. The premise: aliens come to earth and promise to share all their awesome technology so earth leaders welcome them with open arms...and thus the earth is invaded without the least bit of resistance. Because alien technology is so far superior to earth's it reeks devastation on earth's economy. This is the story of one boy's attempt to capture that devastation in art, as well as the struggle of his family in this society. It's heartbreakingly beautiful.
    more
  • Kend
    January 1, 1970
    Well frak, this is some bleak shit. But it's also great! But it's so GRIM. But it's so good! But ....I could go on for a while.M.T. Anderson kicks ass. With words. With beautiful, beautiful sentences. Which involve "necking" and "gee" occasionally. And characters behaving believably in an outsized, colorful future. I just want to give Adam's art teacher a hug. Poor guy. Having to eat that steak off the floor. With a smile. Dear gods that scene made me angry. In a good way, or sort of good, since Well frak, this is some bleak shit. But it's also great! But it's so GRIM. But it's so good! But ....I could go on for a while.M.T. Anderson kicks ass. With words. With beautiful, beautiful sentences. Which involve "necking" and "gee" occasionally. And characters behaving believably in an outsized, colorful future. I just want to give Adam's art teacher a hug. Poor guy. Having to eat that steak off the floor. With a smile. Dear gods that scene made me angry. In a good way, or sort of good, since the words were amazing but the feeling was just ughghghghg. I'm going to go punch myself in the face, now. Without words. For just a minute. And then I'll be back, but I won't review this book again, since just remembering how it made me feel is torture. But, wow. One of the best books of the year. And also frakking AWFUL. In the best way.Props, you.
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my, although fictional futuristic, this book nails the disillusionment and disenchantment of our present day. In this book the environment has been degraded, the water is bad to drink, health care for the poor is a commodity, unemployment is rife, people are bitter/depressed/violent, and the wealthy just keep getting wealthier and living far above the lowly people in poverty. Social media also creates ugly implications in this book. The ending offers a solution of sorts: care for your family, Oh my, although fictional futuristic, this book nails the disillusionment and disenchantment of our present day. In this book the environment has been degraded, the water is bad to drink, health care for the poor is a commodity, unemployment is rife, people are bitter/depressed/violent, and the wealthy just keep getting wealthier and living far above the lowly people in poverty. Social media also creates ugly implications in this book. The ending offers a solution of sorts: care for your family, work on relationship building, create art, be true to yourself, and make your living space a smaller footprint on the earth. Wow on the social commentary. FEED by the same author haunted me for so long. I think this one will, too.
    more
  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a great 'now' book. Or 'always' book. Aliens land and peacefully offer us schmucks tech and cures, and it ruins us, creating a have nots economy that certainly mirrors our own. A stinging indictment of capitalism that's never didactic. Instead, the novel is funny, infuriating, and sad in the right ways.
    more
  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    I can see where the appeal comes for some, but for me it just wasn't there. I kept going because it was short and also because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. The "and..." that would bring it all together and give me some sort of reason for having gotten to the end.An impulse check out that I'm sort of wishing I had left sitting on the shelf.
    more
Write a review