An enjoyable read- not as good as Transmission or My Revolutions but kunzru's talent and descriptive evocative and wide ranging intellect shines forthAn enjoyable read- not as good as Transmission or My Revolutions but kunzru's talent and descriptive evocative and wide ranging intellect shines forth never the less...more
With the waning sovereignty of nation states as more and more people get linked up in global (or, if you prefer, translocal) process of trade, immigraWith the waning sovereignty of nation states as more and more people get linked up in global (or, if you prefer, translocal) process of trade, immigration or the interconnection of information technology, new forms of organization - massive, almost beyond our comprehension- are emerging. Kunzru's book, situated across the globe, highlighting the strange interconnections between strangers, speaks to the outlines of these forms, giving them faces, highlighting the connections wrought by IT and the "flow" of transnational capital and challenging the reader to try and understand the world we live in. Yet this is not a multi-sited ethnography of globalization but a work of fiction and for purely literary merit this book shines forth. It was one of those books that I picked up and the sheer brilliance of the writing and the plot, the echos of ideas, the strange connections compelled me to not put it down. The literary aspect of the book means that Kunzru explores subject formation and how deeply personal, cultural beliefs become cosmopolitan as people enter the integrated circuit of global capitalism. Globalization thus emerges not as an impersonal boogyman, the spread of a calculating rational neoliberalism which reforms the world in its image, but as a more complex interaction between people's identity, the market and the transportation and information structures that define our era. Globalization is articulated in local forms and local forms become central to global processes, the exploited indian programmers are not ruled by the processes of that define their lives but they enter into a dialectical relationship, re-forming and asserting their own agency within this global processes. The book poses many of the best problems of modern theories of globalization- How are individuals agentic in the face of global processes, how does technology redefine who we are and how we interact with the world, what is the role of advertising or the nationstate, what happens when very different cultures and moral systems all are integrated into the same economic system. etc. etc.
This book is well worth the reed, a pleasurable and thought provoking page turner. Its scope and clarity, intellectual rigor and commitment to level switching in the systems that make our currant age speak powerfully beyond the page. His writing is reminiscent of Zadie Smith or Amitav Ghosh in the way it explores identity and global forms. I plan on reading all the other books he has written (My Revolutions, also by him, was similarly amazing though dealing with an entirely different set of intellectual and moral questions about political praxis today). ...more