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Turn of the Century

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
As big and exciting as the next century, this is a novel of real life at our giddy, feverish, topsy-turvy edge of the millennium. Turn of the Century is a good old-fashioned novel about the day after tomorrow--an uproarious, exquisitely observed panorama of our world as the twentieth century morphs into the twenty-first, transforming family, marriage, and friendship and pr ...more
ebook, 672 pages
Published March 9th 2011 by Delta (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bill Gusky
Interesting boom-time book, ultimately not much more than a soap opera involving media makers and big business.
Mar 15, 2017 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
One of those big, noisy, throbbing with energy New York City novels.
Hi-tech personalities. Midlife crises. Lost inside the corporate world where Bill Gates can't be bothered to pick up the phone. An examination of the shallow world of BarbieWorld as a metaphor for the manufactured man and woman.
Al Young
Oct 06, 2013 Al Young rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book gets a lot of comparison to Tom Wolfe and and his Bonfire of the Vanities. It's been a few years since I read Bonfire, but I really liked it, and am a big fan of Wolfe. Turn... got some good recommendations and user reviews on Amazon peg it as a book that people either love or hate (a good sign, I think). It purports to do what Bonfire does except for the internet generation.

I don't want to turn anyway from this book, but it just wasn't for me. On the positive side, Andersen is a pret
Aug 30, 2007 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to read this since it was 1999. Sad. And I wish I had read it earlier as it's definitely a bit dated now (It's always tough to read a pre-2001 book that is set in New York City. However it's amusing to see the things that Andersen predicted that now exist, and don't), but it's still a great book, in the great-American-novel-of-the-moment category, like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. It's looooong, though, so be prepared and the ending is a little too happily-ever-a ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
Turn of the Century was a much better read after the actual turn of the century, when I read it again a week ago. It was released in 1999, it's set in 2000/2001, and a dozen years later so much rings true. Only he didn't really "get" the potential of the internet back then. It's not as prescient as Super Sad Love Story, but in parts at least as entertaining, in a very grown-up way, sincere. Great scenes involving the development and production of a TV news show, and a Silicon Alley upstart. I wa ...more
Dec 15, 2010 MJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really did enjoy this book. His writing style is clean and snarky, and his characters are vividly drawn. He really captures the feel of the city at the time. As the book was published in 1999, the story is set in the near future, and on so many things he was eerily prescient. But unfortunately real-world events overtook the book, and every casual mention of the World Trade Center just grabbed at my heart. Perhaps that's unfair, but now, 11 years after the year 2000, despite all the details he ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Gobasso rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I had very extreme reactions to this book. I loved the way the author skewered the norms of our present day society. I had a terrible time empathizing with the characters and almost stopped reading the book because of their lack of appeal. It is unfortunate that this book about 2001 was written before 2001 and the 9/11 events. In hind sight it suffers from some triviality because of the changes experienced after that day. I think I will try another title by this author but I can't recommend this ...more
Tim Basuino
Jun 29, 2014 Tim Basuino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really should get a 3.5, or if there were a 10 star system, 7 stars. I was pondering as to whether to assign three or four stars, eventually settling on four, because:

1) In spite of it being a 1999 timepiece, it translated well to 2014.
2) It didn't pretend to have any heroes, a constant irritation of mine with various bestsellers.
3) It seemed a particularly adequate representation of the media, both then and now.

While some compared this to "Bonfire Of The Vanities" (Which I'd give five
Mar 13, 2010 Siobheann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Achingly clever and funny. Set in the early 2000's - if you have every worked for a big corporation or pllayed buzz word bingo in a boring will love this. Very clever. Very LA. Some big words I didn't know. Not an easy read, but VERY enjoyable!!

If you read Hello, like gadgets, movies, name dropping - give this a go.

I bought it in a second hand book shop in York. The reviews on the back are impressive and I can see why.
Feb 26, 2008 Barry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A personal reaction - not a review: I couldn't really relate to the central characters (rich, successful, married with children New York entertainmnet and IT professionals). So although the book was nicely unpretentious, and mostly entertaining and amusing, I wouldn't have finished it if I'd not had time to kill. Oh, and as a side benefit it does do a good job of illustrating the insanity of the stock markets and their effect on the behviour of publicly listed corporations.
Jun 09, 2011 cheeseblab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when it was more or less new and found it guffawingly funny. Same again, though I'd forgotten how painfully sad it also is, as we watch the ideal couple whom we love dearly fall prey to suspicion and envy and drift toward a seemingly inevitable breakup.

Also the source of a catchphrase I've used for the past decade-plus: "Is that a good thing or a bad thing, Daddy?"
Jan 09, 2013 MaryAnn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
got thru it, but I felt like it took forever. (It was a month actually) Almost like there wasn't really a story, just situations occurring. However, I read it 13 years after the fact, so perhaps some of the impact got lost because I have lived so far past the time being written about.

Oct 31, 2007 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beth, Gina
Andersen's take on the turn into the 21st century was poignant and fantastically hillarious. He criticizes modern trends in child rearing, dot-com boom and bust, mobile phone craze and dedication. Although it was lengthy, the pace was quick, and never missed a beat.
Feb 18, 2011 Dean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever writing style - especially in the way he uses cultural references. You get the sense that he knows the two worlds his main characters inhabit (Broadcast TV and Computer Gaming) very well. The Characters a pretty generic though and the story a little flat.
Sep 07, 2012 Cj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit to not finishing this book. After reading more than 200 pages of this dense tome I put it down. It was going nowhere. It was filling with characters that I didn't care and who grew more and more outrageous as the book went on. It's nicely written, but plodding.
Apr 21, 2009 Bret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consistently hilarious. It seems like, reading it today, this book should be dated, since it takes place ten years ago and is full of old buzzwords about the internet/digital media/etc, but all in all is well written enough to avoid dragging throughout it's rather extensive length.
Jun 10, 2013 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to give up on a book but I could not finish this one. After reading almost 200 pages, I still did not find it interesting and did not get involved with the characters. It seemed dated after only 13 years.
Jul 03, 2008 Pam marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
06/29/08 purchase from library book sale room
Shoshana G
It's a little weird to read this book, because it reads like historical fiction now.
Oct 15, 2011 Brian marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm more necessarily interested in this book, but as a placeholder for a book he'll be writing in the future. Recommended by mike van wagoner
Read first 50 pages. Don't care to continue. Feels outdated.
Das Buch ist extrem langatmig und nicht schön zu lesen. Allerdings ist Geschichte auf eine ganz eigene Art fesselnd.
Nov 30, 2008 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Splendid novel of the dot-com/new-media boom/bust.
Bill Keithler
Aug 10, 2011 Bill Keithler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hugely underrated novel which anticipated large shifts in pop culture over the past decade.
Dec 21, 2008 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly compelling, can't put down reading, but worth it for the occasional gem of an observation or just right, turn of phrase.
Apr 15, 2013 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great narrative and characters bring to life the fantastic collision of media, Wall Street, and the fast paced life at the turn.
Mar 13, 2011 Christine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I Didn't really finish - I couldn't even make it through chapter 2! The writing style, and probably the subject matter, did not engage me at all. Boo
Jan 20, 2010 VeganMedusa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bc-copy
Unfortunately, this is the kind of book that's very of its time (the year 2000). Fortunately, to an old codger like me, the year 2000 was just last week.
Sallie Gouverneur
Sep 24, 2007 Sallie Gouverneur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
audacious, funny, cleverly structured and written, after all,with a good heart under all that cynicism and shrewd observation
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Kurt Andersen is the author of three novels -- Heyday (a New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2008 Langum Prize for historical fiction), Turn of the Century (a national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book), and the new True Believers.

He is also host of the Peabody Award-winning weekly public radio program Studio 360, and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

Previously, Kurt was a co
More about Kurt Andersen...

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