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Touch

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,205 Ratings  ·  446 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
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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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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 massages and
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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
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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
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.
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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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!
Kate Olson
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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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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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.
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
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
Abby
May 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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Rachel Smalter Hall
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american, audio, 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
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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.
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
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Lara Lillibridge
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Mama, stop looking at your phone!" my children used to complain, until I took my phone out of my pocket and left it in the other room during dinner. In my defense, it buzzes for all sorts of reasons. Kindle buzzes me. IMDB has just started buzzing me. the NY Times buzzes. I have Twitter and Facebook notifications turned off, but it seems like every day something new is buzzing me and I then have to take 10 minutes to hunt down the notifications section and fix it. If you have been caught in the ...more
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
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A provocative look at our hyper-connected world.
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
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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.
Victoria Colotta
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: This is a smart, witty, and thought-provoking read.

I will be honest with you all. I was excited about this book, but didn’t know what I would think of it when I finished. I was hoping for something in the same vein as THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri. What I got was different, but equally as enjoyable.

TOUCH follows the evolution of Sloane. She is a trend forecaster hired to help guide a tech company create products for the childless. However, as time progresses and
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deep
Apr 01, 2017 marked it as to-read
PW Starred: Maum’s trenchant satirical novel is about the intersection of modern technology and human interaction. Sloane Jacobsen, a highly influential trend forecaster who predicted the “swipe,” moves from Paris to Manhattan for a six-month collaboration with tech company Mammoth. Accompanying her is long-term life partner Roman Bellard, a Frenchman and Zentai-wearing intellectual obsessed with “sensuality in the digital age.” Sloane’s outspoken views on childbearing as ecoterrorism dovetail w ...more
Geetanjali
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks, Belletrist for putting this book up as an recommendation.

The main character - Sloane is a trend forecaster and a good one she is. She predicts what the humans will need in the future not with respect to any materialistic products but their generalized needs. And she predicts - Return of Human Affection!
Her long-time partner (mostly unromantic), Roman believes in Neo-Sensuality and is convinced that 'After God goes Sex.'
The protagonist feels like there should a Modern Compromise!

The prese

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Julie
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, own, vine
I was initially drawn to this book because the main character was an advocate of the childfree-by-choice movement. Sloan is a trend forecaster and foresees the burden that overpopulation will have on the planet. She and her partner Roman are newly settled in New York as she takes on a job with a tech company looking to revolutionize the industry with her insight. For someone who is supposed to be so good at her job, Sloane seems pretty scattered and doesn’t articulate her thoughts very well. Con ...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book very thought provoking. The main character, Sloane, is a sought after trend forecaster. She has relocated from Paris to NYC with her partner Roman. She is working at a company that wants to sell more electronic devices and to market them to people that want to remain childless. As Sloane begins her work there she starts to see a need for people to be less addicted to devices and to become more involved with the people around them. Sloane is feeling this need as she is also reco ...more
D. C.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I recall Michael Chabon writing in one of his essays about "guilty pleasures" and reading. His point (I hope my paraphrasing does him justice) was that this should be a contradiction in terms. If it's a pleasure to read, just enjoy it and forget about the guilt. There's wisdom in that.

And that's how I'd like to think of Courtney Maum's second novel TOUCH. It's intelligent, clever, and very funny -- in other words, it's a wickedly fun book. (Somehow, I can't stop thinking of it as a guilty pleasu
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Courtney Maum is the author of the recent novel, "Touch" (a New York Times Editor's Choice selection) the chapbook "Notes from Mexico," and the acclaimed debut novel “I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You,” which was rated a book of the year by Real Simple, Bustle, Electric Literature, and Flavorwire, and a book of the month by Amazon, iTunes, and Library Journal. Hailed by publications from O ...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.” 4 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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