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Touch

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,997 ratings  ·  551 reviews
From the author of the acclaimed I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, a satirical and moving novel in the spirit of Maria Semple and Jess Walter about a New York City trend forecaster who finds herself wanting to overturn her own predictions, move away from technology, and reclaim her heart.

Sloane Jacobsen is the most powerful trend forecaster in the world (she was t
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Cody Deitz I'm not sure what you mean by "younger generation" but I technically fall in the gray area between Millennial and Generation Z.

I am personally a big …more
I'm not sure what you mean by "younger generation" but I technically fall in the gray area between Millennial and Generation Z.

I am personally a big fan of human interaction, and I would not prescribe myself as socially anxious in any sort of way. I enjoy putting my electronics away - which is ironic in this moment - and talk face-to-face with people. I actually find myself increasingly frustrated with others when they do not communicate with me while we're together but they are glued to their phones. I also am a caller, not a texter.

That being said, I don't think there is an easy answer in terms of "going back to more face-to-face contact". My age group is getting into "retro" things, like record players, original Nintendos, and upcycling clothes straight from the 70s. Is face-to-face contact something that is "vintage" and will be picked up? I would like to think so, but I also ordered my McDonalds from a self-service touch screen last week.

I hope we learn to lean away from this technology and start to go back to personal conversation face-to-face. I love to have heart-to-hearts with my friends, and that type of emotion cannot be mimicked through a black screen--it is made through eye contact and other nonverbals.

I hope this was helpful, Margaret. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,997 ratings  ·  551 reviews


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Courtney Maum
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I've heard that this is GREAT.
Carol (Bookaria)
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction
Sloane, the main character in the book, is a trend-forecaster and the best one in the world. The revelations come to her in the form of glimpses, images, emotions and she translates them into predictions. She lives with Roman, her romantic partner of over 10 years but their relationship is deprived of touch, they haven't even had sex in the past 18 months.

When a new prediction comes to her -the return of empathy, touch, and profound human interaction- her long-held beliefs are shaken as well as
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Jennifer
“One of the real problems with the breakdown of interpersonal relations in the digital age is that people don't know how to be intimate anymore.”
Courtney Maum takes this unfortunate truth and multiplies it by ten in her satirical novel: Touch. With humor, drama, and emotion, our present-day is restructured into a setting with self-driving cars, emotional bonding with computers and smart phones versus other humans, and people who seek out physical contact by scheduling extended massa
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Jessica Sullivan
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
You know those condescending articles that Baby Boomers write about how Millennials needs to get their heads out of their phones and enjoy the world around them—as if it's utterly impossible for people to simultaneously adapt to modern technology and live a fulfilling life?

I don't think Courtney Maum was trying to come across like one of those articles, but what she was going for just wasn't strong or compelling enough to resonate.

Touch's main character, Sloane Jacobsen, is a world-renowned tr
...more
Gretchen Rubin
A thought-provoking novel about the power of the senses in human connection.
Kasa Cotugno
This book belongs on the shelf next to The Circle by Dave Eggars. Taking place the day after tomorrow, when the irresistible lure of the screen is more and more replacing that of human interaction, trend spotter Sloane finds herself more and more disenchanted with the current world until like Snow White, she is revitalized. Roman, her partner of 10 years, is the character that made me laugh out loud -- his becoming an internet sensation as he clads himself in Spiderman-like onesies, making his w ...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was an engaging social commentary on the digital age and constant need for connection via electronic means. An aging trend forecaster becomes disillusioned with the constant distraction of cell phones and tablets and advocates for more face-to-face interactions. Her boss, the CEO of an electronics company, and her partner, who famously wears a Zentai suit, disagree. Really, the suit should have been enough reason to dump that guy.
Kristen Beverly
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
As someone who has been wifi & cable free at my home since July, I really enjoyed this satire on the role that technology has taken in our lives.

And yes, I have survived going wifi free, and you can too.
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Katie/Doing Dewey
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Summary: This didn't feel very unique, but the career-focused part of the plot was fascinating and the whole thing was thought-provoking.

"Sloane Jacobsen is the most powerful trend forecaster in the world (she was the foreseer of the swipe ), and global fashion, lifestyle, and tech companies pay to hear her opinions about the future. Her recent forecasts on the family are unwavering: the world is over-populated, and with unemployment, college costs, and food prices all on the rise, having childr
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Briar's Reviews
Touch by Courtney Maum is one of my fave reads of 2020. Seriously, this book is ridiculously good.

I was shocked by how much I loved this book. The plot sounds super intriguing, but the content just blows it out of the water. Let me explain:

Sloane is a trend forecaster, and she's really good at it. She sees trends coming from a mile away, almost like clairvoyance. She gets hired by a tech firm because she's so good, and they want her to help develop products for them relating to the population en
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Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On page 114 of Courtney Maum's new novel TOUCH, I realized I was thoroughly, irrevocably hooked. The protagonist, Sloane, is a trend forecaster who finds herself in a bind. Does she hail the next hot thing in tech, or find the strength to say what she's slowly realizing is in her heart – the need to return to the world of human touch? Throw in family trouble and an appealing love interest, and in lesser hands than Maum's we might find ourselves in an overly earnest book. But not here. Instead, M ...more
Sarah Swann
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was so interesting! It really challenges the mindset of how depend we are on our cell phones and electronics. I loved the drama and the over-the-top side characters. I really enjoyed this!
Amy
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Those of you who scorn our increasing reliance on digital electronics, this is the book for you. Courtney Maum skewers those who constantly "look down" and the sense of disassociation they suffer, and she does it in ways that will make you think and occasionally laugh.

Sloane Jacobsen has made a living by relying on intuition, something that can't be reduced to an app. She is a "trend forecaster," which is not the same as a "trend analyst" or a "trend pioneer." Sloane doesn't start trend
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Rachel Smalter Hall
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, american, fiction, tech
This book was not for me. I loved I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You for being so funny, sharp, and sarcastic, and Touch did not work for me in the same way.

This is an "issues" book in the same way that The Circle by Dave Eggers is an "issues" book. They use fiction to look at a particular issue — in both cases the prevalence of technology in modern culture — and otherwise there isn't much going on. The themes are blunt and everything in the book is in service to that theme, with little su
...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
One of my favorite books of the year. This is a short and rambling review based on the fact that I was traveling, and doesn't fully reflect my admiration for the story!

I LOVED this book. It is an incredibly provocative look at our need for human touch and intimacy and scarily true condemnation of current and future tech. Maum manages to create a wonderfully lovable character in Sloane while simultaneously presenting her as in dire need of human touch and intimacy while also being aloof and omnis
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Kristy
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sloane Jacobsen is the most famous and sought after trends forecaster in the world. Companies across the globe seek Sloane's knowledge about the "next big thing." Sloane may be confident in her work life, but her personal life is a mess. She's not happy with her boyfriend, Roman, and she's basically estranged from her family--all since she fled to Paris shortly after her father's death. But now Sloane is working for six months in New York: she's back near her family, and Roman is accompanying he ...more
Abby
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved Courtney Maum's first novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, so my hopes were quite high for this new book, for which I received an advance copy. I'm thrilled that my expectations were exceeded by this moving, smart, funny and wise story about a trend forecaster looking at a future she doesn't quite believe in--for humanity and for herself--and what she does with her predictions. From its subtle sendup of New York silliness in tech, cuisine, and business, to its really empathet ...more
Samaire
This was a fascinating look at where our first world lives are going, based on our obsession with technology, screen time, and social media mania. It made me as the reader think hard about what (and who!) is most important and how I should be spending my time. In this novel, I finally feel that I have a protagonist who changed for the better, finding her best self. My only criticism is that it wrapped up a bit too neatly at the end - a bit of a Hallmark ending. But overall, excellent thought pro ...more
Melissa
Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
I guess this is going to be one of those books that everyone else loves and I don't get. But not only did I not get it, I actually kind of hated it. I did not connect with, like, or believe a single character in the book. I should have given up after page 20 like I wanted to. I will not ignore my gut instincts like that ever again.
Megan
Just such a fresh and fun read. It had that indescribable quality that we all search for in a book that made me so excited to keep turning the pages. It's always a little harder for me to express why I like a book than the ones I don't so I'll rely on some great passages from the book.

"The environment was shit, people's ability to empathize with others was going to hell in a fair-trade handbasket, politics around the world had become a poisoned farce. It felt like the only thing people wanted w
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Nineveh
Jul 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ok normally I would think it unfair to summarize a book in one weird, but this one just so perfectly fits this word that I almost don't feel bad about it.

Ready? Here it is: Puke

Absolutely disgusting, I only finished it because by the time I really realized just how selfish and inane that main character was I was already almost half way through, so what the hell. Incredibly repetitive, obnoxious, and just plain old ridiculous.

Maybe it's because I'm not to that mid-life crisis point yet in my life
...more
SusanJ
Apr 23, 2017 added it
At the start of the book, I didn't think I would like the book. As the book progressed, I found myself relating more to Sloane. The book encompasses family, technology and a feeling of disconnectedness.

I finished the last two thirds of the book in one day. It pulls you in and you start to root for Sloane hoping that the trends she sees will come to fruition.

The title of the is "Touch" and it certainly touched me.
Jennifer
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
At first I thought this would be a cool book but it lost me along the way. I liked the tech angle, the future thinking, the trend setting were all interesting and the P-Line app was genius! And then it shifted and what I was left with was - to be truly happy you should find a (younger if possible) super soulful man who can give you an orgasm and get you pregnant. *eye roll* meh.
Kristen Lemaster
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The satire is heavy-handed and feels more like a lecture at times, but there are some real moments of tenderness and vulnerability that rescue this novel's main intent: leaving us to question our relationships with tech and with touch.
Jamie L
Aug 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Didn't finish. Bored bored bored.
Jamie
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A provocative look at our hyper-connected world.
Sarah
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
3.5 rounded up
Ajia McAferty
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read - thought provoking about the role technology in our relationships as well as on ode to how we are allowed to change as women.
Laurie
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sloane Jacobsen is a highly respected trend forecaster living in Paris. She invented the swipe while attending a Future Trends conference in Miami in 2005.
Sloane has decided to return stateside with her boyfriend Roman. She has taken a six month position with Mammoth in New York City to present products for a ReProduction summit. Mammoth and Sloane will be focusing on creating trends for the childless. But things don’t go quite according to plan. The next craze she is forecasting is not what ev
...more
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Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (a GOOP book club pick and one of Glamour Magazine’s top books of the decade), I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and Touch (a New York Times Editor’s Choice and NPR Best Book of the Year selection), and the handbook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, out now ...more

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“The almost biological certainty that the more often you checked your cell phone, the more likely you were to find that one wondrous message or notification that would improve your entire life.” 3 likes
“Visually and audibly, the world of today was designed to distract. Before you could give a name to your own feelings, there was something telling you what to think and want.” 3 likes
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