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The Unbinding

2.64 of 5 stars 2.64  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Before AidSat I had no self, no soul. I was a billing address. A credit score. I had a TV, a computer, a phone, a car, an apartment, some furniture, and a health-club locker. Then AidSat hired me and gave me a life. And not just one life. Hundreds of them, thousands.

Kent Selkirk is an operator at AidSat, an omni-present subscriber service ready to answer, solve, and assist
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Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Anchor (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 220)
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Sheila
I vacillate between two and three stars on this one.

I found this story of super-high technology and psychosis interplay(with a heavy dose of paranoia mixed in) rather compelling, although it ultimately left me feeling stranded and confused (maybe not an inappropriate reaction at all, given the subject matter).

The whole thing had me thinking "well, this is what you get when you put modern technology in the hands of the wrong individuals". Unfortunately, it also has me thinking that we're all pot
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Mike
This book was crazy. It made very little sense. It was mostly confusing.
On the good side it was short and some parts were interesting. I liked the spy aspect to it but that was also a confusing part too.
Joseph
There are so tremendous cultural insights that show up as nuggets. The style reminds me of Bret Easton Ellis' Lunar Park part Douglas Coupland circa Girlfriend in a Coma.
Meg
Unsympathetic, amoral characters with no interesting personality traits.
Radha
I've tried to read this book a few times, and am finally giving up.
Meg
The best thing I can say about it is that it's relatively short.
Bridgette
What was with Tom Cruise?
Vicki
Jan 04, 2008 Vicki rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nope
I'm still technically reading this book. (As in, I haven't finished it yet, not that I'm actively reading it.) But I don't like it. I'm going to finish it, for two reasons: 1) I will not be bested by a book; and 2) it's like 35 pages long. Seriously, if I ever just pick it back up, I'll finish it and then I can hate it, qualm-free.

Here's the thing: it's a book that was initially published online, in installments. If you read it when it came out, you followed all of these links in the text to web
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shawn mac
This novella was okay. I like the structure and "flow" of each chapter. Originally for the web (I think Slate), the author of Thumbsucker delves into a not-too-distant future scenario of a society well entrenched in the information age, where background checks replace rumors and speculation, surveillance is more a formality than a sign of mistrust, and the term "blind date" loses all meaning.

When originally published online, it was chock-full of links for further reading which allowed for more i
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Nick
Really disconcerting book. The main character is fairly sociopathic, yet is strangely sympathetic (?) (probably lending to the disconcertion). It takes place in a near future where everything is monitored electronically. The main character's job as one of these monitors dominates the book. I've heard this described as "Orwellian" but thats really wrong. Its too corporate-friendly, or suspicious-internet-person-friendly to be Orwellian. The story is told through internet posts, emails, letters, a ...more
Jessica
"But that's my impression whenever I ask my colleagues for helpful tidbits on clients I'd like to bang."

"'Forget the White House. Forget the Capitol. If somebody wants to kick us in the balls, he should attack the Library of Congress."'

"Her smile was like the flap on a white envelope: that clean, that even, and that wide."

"When you finally let someone in, completely, wholly, it's nice to know that he has insides, too."

"They merely said, 'Follow us,' and my friend did. Out of the building and int
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atusa
i bought this book for a dollar and regret spending even that much money on it
Alex
This novel was compiled from an online serial about an operator at AidSat – a ubiquitous company (like medicalert) whose powers to offer emergency aid and assistance are abused by the obsessive love-struck protagonist. A paranoid romp; through consistency this novel manages to achieve in some small part, the successful paranoia of DeDillo. This writer was at his best writing scathing rants about the everyday lives of the middle and upper middle class.
Kevin
There's no story here. Or rather, what there is storywise amounts to an argument over the internet. Not precisely the stuff that stirs the soul.
Kirn has some worthwhile insights and satirical points. Not worthwhile enough to read this short book to glean, but, you know, theoretically worthwhile
Stephanie
ok i've only read 4 pages of this book and i'm already hooked...
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too bad the above review did not last...got very confusing towards the end, lost some of the plot and too many random references...but still interesting as a concept
Joslyn
was originally a serial on salon, lending interesting of-the-moment elements, and enjoyable for folks of a sci-fi bent. not the best bit of literature ever, but i had fun with it.
Tim Meneely
Kirn's a nice guy. No joke. And it's a nice little story.

Beefs:
Purports to be post-medium. (I hate that.)
Appropriates mythemes, years before Levi-Strauss died.
Lesa
Jan 15, 2008 Lesa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Paranoid techies
OK so I didn't read it all... it bored me. Don't bother, life is to short to waste time on insignificant literature.
Seth
Jul 06, 2007 Seth is currently reading it
wtf is an interactive book mr. thumbsucker....we are about to find out
Corey
Kirn is one of our best and most important writers.
Ellen Gawryla
A quick read, well written and enjoyable.
Brandi
I realized I already read this on-line. Meh...
Beth Shields-Szostak
Jun 22, 2010 Beth Shields-Szostak marked it as to-read
Shelves: signed
pb original; 1st edition, signed by author
Peej
Peej added it
May 01, 2015
Zachary Wright
Zachary Wright marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2015
Cindy
Cindy marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2015
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Walter Kirn is a regular reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, and his work appears in The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Time, New York, GQ and Esquire. He is the author of six previous works of fiction: My Hard Bargain: Stories, She Needed Me, Thumbsucker, Up in the Air, Mission to America and The Unbinding. Kirn is a graduate of Princeton University and attended Oxford on ...more
More about Walter Kirn...
Up in the Air Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade Thumbsucker Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever Mission to America

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