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3.33  ·  Rating details ·  363 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Kitab Balasubramanyam has had a rough few months. His girlfriend left him. He got fired from the job he hated for writing a novel on company time, but the novel didn't sell and now he's burning through his mum's life insurance money. His father has more success with women than he does, and his Facebook comments get more likes. Kitab is reduced to spending all of his time i ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published November 12th 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published July 3rd 2014)
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3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  363 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Katy Noyes
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Connections used to be important. Now it's all selfies and sandwiches on Twitter."

The fact that I had to ask my husband what 'meatspace' is will tell you something about me. So while I don't share the protagonist's obsession with all things internet and cyber, I was aware enough to understand the references, the humour, and the irony of the story.

I saw this as a book mocking all things online, for readers who probably spend a lot of their free time online. But so I don't sound hypocritical, I a
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. I don’t think it reads too well as a commentary on social media — the bits on online life came across as quite heavy-handed, like they were forced onto the plot and main character’s development even as they were meant to be driving both, and Kitab’s social media usage felt quite alien to me. (Also Kitab and Aziz are just bad at Twitter/blogging and this annoyed me a disproportionate amount.) I wonder, however, how much of this is because ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I have to admit, at first I was not a big believer in all the hype that came with Nikesh Shukla's third novel, Meatspace; for while it starts out as a funny little character-based comedy about young artists in London, it certainly doesn't seem like "the greatest book on loneliness since The Catcher in the
K.J. Charles
Kitab is a novelist with one book, writer's block, and an internet problem. His unhealthy relationship with social media and porn have left him jobless and dumped, he's not writing the next book, and things get weird when his namesake doppelganger from Bangalore turns up in London and sets about (ineptly) stealing his identity. It's a very weird story, in a slightly awkward place between satire and magic realism and I don't quite know if it came together for me. I kept expecting Kitab 2 to be a ...more
Meatspace in part is a great social commentary on what the internet is doing to us. Kitab spends so much time composing tweets and checking for updates, he isn’t really present in the real world, or meatspace as some would call it. He places so much importance on gaining meaningless interactions online; has his latest tweet been retweeted, or just favourited?

He’s slowing slipping away from the real world though. It sounds like his break up was probably over his social media time and ignoring his
Debbie Kinsey
This really wasn’t for me. I just don’t enjoy books/films/tv that make me cringe (I should like Alan Partridge but I don’t, I hate cringing), and there’s a lot of cringing for the main character Kitab in this. I could see that ‘Kitab 2’ was partly a real-life version of the stories he would tell about his brother, but I found the character ridiculous and annoying (and cringe). I also really didn’t like the ‘twist’ at the end. So, yeah, not for me at all.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This just wasn’t for me
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The First and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me.”

I said to someone recently that between social media and a number of other factors, I feel like I have lost most of my ability to communicate with people on any normal level. It is with this thought that I approached Nikesh Shukla’s Meatspace.

Meatspace is the name that people who spend their lives online give to the world outside—as in, the opposite of Cyberspace. It is the story of Kitab, author of Indian descen
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meatspace is about Kitab Balasubramanyam, a young author living in London with a paralyzing case of writer's block. His first book has garnered tepid reviews. His girlfriend left him because he lacks joie de vivre. He obsesses over maintaining an (often painfully artificial) online "presence".

It's easy to empathize with Kitab because our lives can feel similar to his. Here's a quick checklist -- Have you ever embellished a story to project an idealized version of yourself? Do you catch yourself
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
mh. that's a difficult one to review. it was good. it really was. but i would not say i liked it a lot. i'm still super unsure about it.

maybe a good adjective to sum it up might be "awkward". you know, if something is just that little bit "off" and you are embarrassed and ashamed and oh-no-ing on someone else's behalf? that was me while reading. an awkward male lead with awkward family and friends - ah acquaintances - which felt so realistic to me that i felt constantly ashamed for him. the poor
Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
Meatspace is the first book I’ve read that really gets to the heart of Twitter. This amusing book is about Kitab, a young man who spends his entire time perfecting his online persona. His obsession comes at the expense of his real life, from which he becomes increasingly isolated.

This book makes a lot of great observations about society’s increasing reliance on the Internet. The jokes were occasionally too “blokey” for me and I found myself cringing at some of the scenes I’m sure were meant to b
Jen Green
For the first three quarters of the book I'd say it was a solid three stars. Engaging but not addictive, interesting if slightly unbelievable. However the last quarter was much better pace-wise and authenticity-wise and more of a 4 star so I thought I'd write this to explain that I can't decide on my star rating for this book... 3.5 I guess.
Rebecca Rouillard
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a review copy of this book from Netgalley. You can read my review on the Writers' Hub:
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
From time to time, normally when I’m walking through London, I have a little fantasy that I like to indulge. I pretend that I’m accompanied by someone from hundreds of years ago, and I’m trying to explain to them the things around us. (For some reason the person always looks like that old portrait of William Shakespeare, complete with receding hairline, twiddly little moustache, ambiguous smile.) I tell them what we are doing here, on a giant mechanical stairway that carries us many storeys belo ...more
3.5/5. laugh out loud funny, and i personally didn't see the ending coming with aziz living on in kitab's mind. i enjoyed it, and it was timely in my life (still is, as i catch myself mindlessly staring at other people's highlight reels/hot takes/inane thoughts on a tiny fucking screen, when i could be doing better things). copy-pasting an exerpt from another reviewer:

The novel is a bit smarter than it seems at first, but not that much smarter. It is entertaining, and often quite funny and perce
Georgina Bawden
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This was really readable, so I've bumped it up to 3 stars. The ending infuriated me so much I marked it as 2 originally!

The book follows a writer struggling to write his second novel (so far so meta). He and his brother Aziz have simultaneously discovered their doppelgangers on the internet and embark on slightly awkward adventures as they meet them in real life.

The main character Kitab is only vaguely sympathetic. He's grieving, he has a strained relationship with his father, he's recently bro
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't in my usual wheelhouse but I enjoyed it a lot without being able to really put a finger on why. I was just rooting for Kitab! It's interesting how fast technology changes, because a lot of this book is influenced by it's setting in a world where Facebook and social media is still kind of new to people, which feels like such a far off time even though it's only a few years. Anyway, I'm still thinking about why I liked this book but I will say I think it's going to stick with me. A ...more
Thomas Hale
A story about social media, identity and the struggle to fit in. A failing writer and his laddish brother each encounter their doppelgangers online, and end up meeting them face-to-face, with strange and troubling consequences. The main plot was interesting, and often genuinely unpleasant to read, with a queasy Chris Morris-esque sense of helplessness. There's romance, which is sweet enough, though for me it didn't do enough to flesh out the rest of the book. The last chapter in particular spoil ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
....there’s a certain kind of ‘male lit’, usually British, which you can identify by how long it takes the main character to get to a description of his dick or a comment about his preferences in porn. This is one of those books.

I was hugely disappointed with this, not least because Nikesh Shukla is an inspiring writer / inspiration (cf, The Good Immigrant). I’d only read his columns before now, which have left me mildly unsatisfied; I thought he’d be better in longform. It was not to be. Flat,
A firm 3.5 but it was a bit too weird for me and a use of a clichéd literary device meant a mark down. Also, I don't understand how someone who's meant to be living his life online and on social media doesn't have the sense to block people on Twitter or do simple things to protect his various accounts. Though I guess if Kitab knew how to do all that there wouldn't be much of a story. I liked however the portrayal of how technology/social media controls lives and how online personas are so carefu ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Buttery
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed both the characters Kitab and Kitab 2 - think Kitab 2 felt so familiar! It lost a star simply because I couldn't relate as well to Kitab's social media use. I personally am not one for twitter, so it's likely just because of that. The characters were beautiful and felt like real people, and it got me laughing out loud at times.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caden Hare
Didn't make it very far into the book, so my review is not conclusive, but I decided not to finish reading it because I was getting annoyed. It probably does capture a cultural moment, as the back of the book says, but I guess I'm not interested enough in the cultural moment it's describing.
Meredith Schorr
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, original, and quirky read. At times I wasn't sure I liked it, yet I couldn't put it down. I did not see the twist coming and it truly blew my mind and made me want to read it again with the knowledge I now had. Touching ending.
Richard Kemp
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I laughed. I cried.
Jenine Young
Mar 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I picked this up on a whim at my local library and have to say it's a terrible book. it wants to be Fight Club but doesn't quite pack the same punch.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unlikeable characters abound. And I felt it had very little depth.

The twist can be seen from a mile off and doesn’t make sense even!!!
L.E. Turner
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We enter Kitab's life at a time when things could be going better - he's wasting his money, failing to write, and most troubling is that he spends too much time obsessing over chutney. As the story progresses, Kitab and his brother Aziz play out parallel but unique experiences as Aziz tracks down his internet doppelganger and Kitab is befriended by another Kitab Balasubramanyam online and then in real life.

The name of the book is perfect - meatspace, a term used to mean real life as opposed to c
Alex Butler
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***Random Thoughts, Some Spoilers, Favourite Quotes***

There is a sense of uncanny in Kitab 2 hacking into his Twitter and posting nude pictures because the truth doesn't even matter online. The fact he has the same name and has control of Kitab's twitter feed is enough to confirm something as real in the digital space.

"everything your twitter bio tells the world about you, that's what people want to know. Gender, ethnicity, likes'"

"This time I am seething with war. War doesn't take public transp
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