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Crosstalk

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  4,200 Ratings  ·  1,067 Reviews
Science fiction icon Connie Willis brilliantly mixes a speculative plot, the wit of Nora Ephron, and the comedic flair of P. G. Wodehouse in Crosstalk a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever d ...more
ebook, 592 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Del Rey
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John Armstrong Well, have you ever encountered any of either in a Willis book? I mean, except for her outright porn titles ....

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brad
May 31, 2016 Brad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, humor, 2016-shelf
You know, I was worried that my being a total fanboy of Connie Willis would have unduly influenced any kind of review I might make for any new novel, but I never should have worried. At all. This is a Great SF Romantic Comedy, with all the best features of To Say Nothing of the Dog, at least with the comedy of errors, the speed and flurry, and the comedy, even if we're not in the realm of time-travel any more.

This one is all about communication, and if you really think that you've got it all fi
...more
Philip
Dec 30, 2016 Philip rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-releases
2ish stars.

This is ridiculous. Well obviously because it's farce, but if you ask me, it's more of an irritating, eye-roll ridiculous than a humorous one. In this book, Willis has the subtlety of a hand grenade and the nuance of a stick figure. It's a fast-paced romantic sci-fi comedy about telepathic gingers except it's hard to tell when the comedy is intended and the romance is creepy. (view spoiler)
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

In Crosstalk, Connie Willis’ new near-future science fiction novel, Briddey works for Commspan, a smartphone company that is anxious to compete with Apple. For the last six weeks Briddey has been in a whirlwind romance with Trent, a hot young executive at Commspan, who swept Briddey off her feet with his suave charm and his Porsche. Now Trent has invited Briddey, as a prelude to getting engaged, to get a popular “minor” neurological brain surgery,
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Abby
Sep 22, 2016 Abby rated it really liked it
Briddey Flannigan knows she's lucky to have a boyfriend like Trent Worth. He sends her flowers, takes her to the hottest restaurants, and texts her first thing every morning. Far from being allergic to commitment, Trent has already said the big ILY, and now he's proposing they have an EED to become even closer. It all has the rumor mill at their workplace churning with barely concealed envy. Who wouldn't want their boyfriend or girlfriend to suggest something so romantic? And after only six week ...more
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

I need to be upfront: Connie Willis is my all-time favourite author and I love her. Her books are perfect.

I waited an agonizing six (SIX!!) whole years to get my hands on this book and it was worth it. I would wait another six years to get this sort of amazingness again (well, I’m incredibly impatient person so while I would wait, I wouldn’t do it quietly).

Crosstalk was one of her lighter and hilarious books. It wasn’t gutwrenching lik
...more
Althea Ann
Sep 28, 2016 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like experiencing a prolonged anxiety attack. But wait! That's not a bad thing! It's like having a funny, clever and romantic anxiety attack!

Connie Willis' books tend to either feature a comedy of manners set against a dark and dire background... or a comedy of manners in a somewhat less catastrophic situation. This is one in the less-dire and more light-hearted category. But Willis' humor always has her own distinct flavor; it's unmistakable - and I love it.

Here, she riffs
...more
Chocolategoddess
The blurb of this book was a bit wishy-washy, but it's Connie Willis, so I expected some kind of interesting comment on current communication and the ridiculousness of the EED. Instead I got a story exploring the pros and cons of telepathy, something I figured out myself as a small child, with added creepy romance. I'm pretty disappointed.

The book opens with a lot of promise. Briddey (how does one pronounce that?) is some kind of executive (Maybe. We never really find out what she does) at one o
...more
Brendon Schrodinger
Remember when Apple launched their watch (the year before last?) and there was that creepy app where you could transmit your heartbeat to another wearer or just even tap out morse code for "I am following you with a knife"?

Well, it freaked Connie out a little too. And her wonderful mind took this on and pushed this creepy technology to its limit.

Trent and Briddey have had a whirlwind office romance over the last month, and Trent has popped the question. No, not engagement, but to get an EED. It
...more
Diane
This is a fun mix of science fiction and romance. The story is set in the present day, with some genuine cultural references, but the difference is that in Connie Willis' world there is a device that can be implanted in your body that allows you to feel your partner's emotions.

It seems Connie was inspired by all of the health and activity trackers that are available these days, and wondered what would happen if those trackers could also sense emotions. But when our heroine, Briddey, gets the dev
...more
Phrynne
Oct 31, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it
I have read nearly every book Connie Willis has written and enjoyed each and every one of them. And I enjoyed this one too although it lost a star for a few things that irritated.
Firstly the MC. I loved many of the characters, especially CB and Maeve, but Briddie came close to driving me crazy. She was either being a doormat for her nonsensical family or she was being deliberately obtuse about the obvious.
Secondly Willis always has a tendency to go into great detail and she can take a whole ch
...more
Carolyn
Jan 23, 2017 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, humour, 2017
I found the opening chapter of Crosstalk totally suffocating. Here was this telecomm middle manager, Briddey Flannigan being inundated first by her colleagues wanting to know details of her dinner out with the boss and then by her family who constantly phone and email about trivial personal problems, even turning up at work or waiting for her in her apartment to the point where it was over the top farce. Somehow this seemingly intelligent grown up woman (who admittedly does seem a bit empty head ...more
Hallie
Oct 11, 2016 Hallie rated it it was amazing
That's a 'how-much I enjoyed it' rating, rather than an 'objectively it's just that good' one. Because, really - it's Bellwether updated, and with actual spec-fic stuff (vs the lightest suggestion there might be a hint of fantasy amidst all the satire), with an abundance of the mobile phones everyone always complains about Willis' characters not having, and a ton more family.

I got off to a worried start, because one the first page there was Briddey (Bridey is the common nickname for Bridget/Bri
...more
Lata
I have a bunch of jumbled thoughts about this book, and mulling didn't help, so I'll just list the jumble bits and be done with it:

-I found Briddey's family simply hideous. No concept of privacy, no respect for boundaries, constantly talking over one another and refusing to listen to one another. Hideous.
-Liked Maeve, though I thought she was waaaaaaaaay too precocious and super brilliant for a nine-year old.
-I often wanted to smack Briddey -- she was a total doormat with her family, couldn't p
...more
Sherwood Smith
Sep 25, 2016 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fantasy
Connie Willis seems to have two modes: dark, powerful novels, and lighter ones that verge on romantic comedy, though skirting serious subjects. Such as the duo Blackout and All Clear, which I enjoyed for the most part—but felt would have been immensely better at half the length.

That is because I am not fond of stories in which everyone runs around madly trying to find one another, and just missing, while interrupted by impedimenta that just leads the protagonist further and further astray, so a
...more
Stevie Kincade
(Audiobook) I couldn't finish this one. I gave it over 6 hours (35%) to convince me it was worth continuing. Narrator Mia Barron was quite good so this is one of the few I abandoned purely because of how much I hated the characters and story.

This was a comedic farce without the comedy. It was an Abbott & Costello "Who's on first" routine, with smartphones and no punchline(s).

Briddie was supposedly an exec for a smartphone company but she was spectacularly stupid. She makes important decisio
...more
Suzanne
Oct 17, 2016 Suzanne rated it liked it
Crosstalk was my first experience with Connie Willis, whom I've been meaning to read for quite some time now. I'll admit that I was slightly hesitant at first. I didn't want to judge this one by its cover, but it seems slightly hokey, and gave me pause. However, I need not have feared, as the story is much better than the cover might indicate.

Against the wishes of her somewhat meddlesome but well-meaning family, Briddey Flannigan gets an EED to open up new avenues of communicating with her boyfr
...more
Jamie Collins
I’m a big fan of Connie Willis’s work, but I wasn't crazy about this one. Sure it’s well written, but the plot is nonsense. It’s a romantic comedy, but it’s not particularly romantic or funny. Also, while I don’t mind telepathy in my fantasy fiction, if a book is going to offer a pseudo-scientific explanation for it, then that explanation needs to be better than the one offered here.

It is amusing that Willis finally allows her characters to have cell phones (not to mention telepathy) and yet the
...more
Jessica
Dec 19, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Connie Willis's novels come in two flavors: Incredibly Serious and You'll Love it Even As It Traumatizes You, and Madcap Science Fiction Screwball Comedy. I cannot get over how she can go back and forth between them so well! Since her last big project was the Best. WWII. Book. Ever. (Blackout/All Clear, come for the time travel, stay for the heartbreak!) Crosstalk is of the Madcap Screwball Comedy flavor, obviously.

And it's wonderful!

It reminded me so much of my beloved Bellwether, but here we'v
...more
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 13, 2016 Jacob Proffitt rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, chaste
I really struggled with this book, pretty much from the start. This is largely down to Briddey and her personality. It really bothers me when people let themselves be walked all over by everybody and Briddey is that kind of person. It's one thing when it's loved-ones or there's at least some semblance of reciprocity (still annoying, but not as bad), but with Briddey, it's everybody; colleagues, boyfriend, her own assistant, and her family is just awful.

I found that almost as annoying as the plet
...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)

I received this book as an ARC for free from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

As I've seen said elsewhere, Crosstalk is a novel about the pros and cons of telepathy. It's also a frantic sci fi romantic comedy.

I hate to compare an author's newest novel overwhelmingly to prior works, but having read quite a few novels and stories by Willis in just the past 2 years, I was reminded... a lot... of other stories. The maddening corporate culture and miscommunication was reminiscent of Bellwether. T

...more
Ashley
I really, really ended up enjoying this, but it was touch and go there for a bit. Connie Willis's writing always has this distinct, relentless tone to it, and it gets under your skin until you see where it's going. I've had that same experience with all the books I've read by her, although the tone takes a different specific tenor every time. In Doomsday Book it was the tedium of death. In To Say Nothing of the Dog it was the farcical nature of time travel. And here it's a relentless onslaught o ...more
Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don't quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely in a way far beyond what sh ...more
Kristen
Honestly, I have no idea how to rate this book. I had a wonderful time reading it and this may very well be the most FUN I've had reading a book lately, but it also doesn't hold together very well in a lot of ways. Getting the characters into amusing situations seemed to come before logic and characterization and the characters are one note... And yet, I could hardly put it down even though I had a lot of issues with it!

The part of me that loved how entertaining it was wants to give it 4-4.5 sta
...more
Keith
Oct 16, 2016 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many elements make up the crazy patchwork quilt of modernity. One thing that stands apart and perhaps centrally is our seemingly infinite methods of communication. Has any society been so overwhelmingly connected? With Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, IM, voice and video we can communicate with ever increasing numbers of people. Added to this are thousands (millions?) of podcasts, blogs, web pages all clamoring for our attention. It is these modern addictions that form the state of affair ...more
SmartBitches
Oct 17, 2016 SmartBitches rated it it was ok
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I love Connie Willis’s work. I devour everything she writes, and I’m utterly incapable of judging her books impartially. She once granted me at 90-minute interview, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it changed my life. Which is why it’s surprising that I did not care for her new book, Crosstalk, a romantic comedy that other reviewers are praising to the skies. I found this book to have a great concept but tedious pacing and sloppy characterization
...more
Fatima
Jul 28, 2016 Fatima rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars!

This is my first Connie Willis book and after hearing so many good things about her and her novels from other sci-fi lovers, I decided to give her a try. The idea behind this novel is a really, really unique one, but oh my gosh, did it really confusing and difficult to keep up with. I'm not too sure if I loved the whirlwind of the plot or if I found it too annoying, but it was really entertaining.

Briddey is a decent main character. She's realistic, ambitious, and really well put toget
...more
Melissa McShane
I found myself pulled in two directions while I was reading this. I enjoyed it thoroughly, for one--it reminded me of Bellwether in its madcap rendition of contemporary corporate life, and I liked Briddey as a protagonist. Her reactions to her newfound abilities seemed realistic, and her reluctance to tell her almost-fiancé that she was sharing brainspace with another man helped define that relationship, preparing me for (view spoiler). There's ...more
Candace
Rating 3.5. But I can't quite say "I loved it" which is what a 4star is. So rounding down on this one. NetGalley and the Publisher provided me this copy and that in no way affected this review.

I have read Connie Willis before. I've read Blackout and All Clear. Being a big fan of time travel, I'm ashamed I haven't read her other books which are even more popular. (I'm getting to them!) However, this book is not a time travel; it is a romance with some light science fiction. I also happen to love
...more
thefourthvine
Nov 20, 2016 thefourthvine rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, sff, trope
I really liked the middle (roughly) one-third of this book. The rest was incredibly annoying. So I'm going to review this in third parts.

First third: Briddey is just a girl who can't say no, can't set any boundaries (tip: don't give keys to people you can't trust not to break into your apartment), and can't finish a sentence. For the entire first third, that's all that's happening: people are telling her what to do, she's trying to get out of it without every saying "No" or "I don't want to," an
...more
Mur Lafferty
I don't usually write reviews but I just experienced this book like my dog eats his dinner- devouring as fast as possible and then sad/confused when it's all gone.

Fans of Willis' romantic tropes will find this book comfortably familiar- there's and lot of Bellwether and "Miracle" in this book. Reading this was a delight.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Apr 14, 2016 12:12PM  
  • Six Wakes
  • The Stars Are Legion
  • Arabella of Mars
  • Ancestral Night (White Space, #1)
  • Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow, #2)
  • Ghost Talkers
  • An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds, #1)
  • Necessity (Thessaly, #3)
  • Everfair
  • The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)
  • Cloudbound (Bone Universe, #2)
  • Head On (Lock In, #2)
  • Certain Dark Things
  • The Last Days of New Paris
  • Snug Ship
  • The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty, #2)
  • Feedback (Newsflesh, #4)
  • The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales
14032
Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.

She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Ficti
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“maybe I should join It’s Only Brunch. It’s like JustDinner, but with mimosas.” 1 likes
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