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Landscape with Invisible Hand

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  2,875 ratings  ·  546 reviews
When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth - but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents' jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean ...more
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,875 ratings  ·  546 reviews


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Emily
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Futuristic satire so sharp I'm probably now bleeding internally in a few places. Novella-length short, would make a good YA classroom read - super discussable. And not 100% bleak. More like 80-20.
Brandy
Terrifying in how timely this is. Aliens invaded Earth, sure, but it's really more colonization than invasion. They've brought technologies, and automation! They will help the economy! Except that automation means fewer jobs, which means higher unemployment, and everything goes downhill accordingly. (This is why the "realistic" tag, despite the aliens.)

Adam is an artist. He's struggling to support his family and be true to his own ideals. Whether he's trying to hold a failing relationship
...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
M.T. Anderson is so clever. This is a satirical sci-fi that examines some of the worst aspects of our society. I liked this, but I definitely prefer his novel, Feed over this one, because that book BLEW my mind and left me shook for days, whereas this was just a short, clever lil book that would be fascinating to discuss with others, but overall didn't shake me to the core like Feed did.
Renata
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, ya, sci-fi
how is M.T. Anderson so good at writing every kind of book

is he a witch

I just don't know

this was beautiful and difficult and ultimately hopeful in just the best way
Erin
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Woooooooooooooooooooooow

"Feed" was the last M.T. Anderson book I read, and that was probably over a decade ago. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when I saw that he had some new material coming out in the fall. That said, it can also be a bit nerve racking when an author has been out of your life for so long. I mean, I loved "Feed" and Anderson's writing style is one of my favorites, but what if after so long, it just didn't have the same effect? I mean I've changed, he's probably changed,
...more
Amerie
Sep 16, 2017 added it
Shelves: 2017-faves
Wonderful. I really enjoy Mr. Anderson's voice, as well as the parallels he makes in his stories. His books are raw and immersive, throwing you in without preamble, trusting you to figure out the world.
Figgy
Review to come.

Didn't go where I was expecting... Painted a very tangible feeling of lower class, and of the medium class being thrown into that same hardship.

Interesting layout with each chapter having a "title" that matches a corresponding artwork created by the main character.
Jen
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista Regester
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A story of a deeply twisted, "worst case scenario" dystopian future. Adam and his family are turned from a white collar, comfortable society - to scrapping for rice and beans. This is an oddly unique and particularly interesting novella.
Crowinator
Favorite passage, and my vision for the librarian I want to be, from the desperate narrator of this bleak and beautiful novel about his favorite teacher:

We all have our visions of crazy success.

Mr. Reilly must have had his once, too. A kid my age named Dave Reilly. He went to art school. Maybe he still secretly nurses those private visions where he's discovered and suddenly he's the big shit. I don't know.

And now he's thrown everything--all his talent, all his energy--into helping us paint and
...more
Jill
Ever since I fell hard for Feed as a teenager, I’ve followed M.T. Anderson’s career. His repertoire is eclectic to say the least, regrouping children’s adventure novels, historical nonfiction, and award-winning YA. In Landscape with Invisible Hand, he returns to the lands of trenchant satire that I first discovered and adored so much in Feed. If he could write one of these tomes every single year, gradually taking on everything that ails us—racism, capitalism, consumerism, imperialism, and so on ...more
Fran
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The plots explored as a result of alien invasion run similarly. In this adaptation they come in peace and share advanced technology, whereby billions are unemployed within a couple months. And so begins a new era. Short but thought provoking, depicting new horrors and introspective discussion. POV of older teenaged boy.
Bang Bang Books
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5
One day aliens inhabited, not invaded, earth promising a better life but it was actually only for the 1%. The rest of the world is poor and starving and trying to find a way to get up to the sky to live like the wealthy. Adam and his family is unfortunately the 99% and their life is abysmal.

Adam is an artist and paints everything he sees and I wondered how he could afford all his supplies when his ever optimist mother is unemployed. I know his teacher buys supplies for his class but does Adam
...more
Melissa Chung
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 52-in-2018
Let me share a quote from the book before I begin my review.

“We are tiny figures, pointing at wonders, provided for scale, no lives of our own, surveying the landscape that has engulfed us all.”

This quote could describe many things. How we view the world around us. How we impact each other, our surroundings, this planet. It could also describe our incessant need for technology and social media.

This quote is the last thing you read from this book. It pretty much sums up this book. I’m giving
...more
Scott
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Through generous donations, I am receiving a class set to teach to my ninth grade English students. I cannot wait to analyze and discuss the many relevant themes within this novella.
Melissa
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
M.T. Anderson is a wizard who writes sharp, dark, painful visions of terrifying futures (and pasts) that are nevertheless hilarious and infused with heart and hope.
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
3.5 stars. Will be doing a full video review within the next couple of weeks.

My Video Review
Nicola Mansfield
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent take on a dystopian future. I liked this way more than "Feed". A great story all around of a particular family trying to live in a world taken over by aliens who gave the Earth the answer to all its problems: world peace, cures to all disease, etc. On a serious note, without bias, it looks at both extremes. What happens to a civilization that is given everything they need to "survive" is that they can no longer survive without being "taken care of". What happens in a complete ...more
Jessica Woodbury
A sci-fi satire on class where the uncaring ultra-rich are subbed for uncaring aliens. Ridiculously bleak (I'm a fan of bleak but it was tough). 3 stars for me because I couldn't ultimately see what Anderson was going for besides the basic metaphor. I like satire to have an extra layer of bite, and never found it here.
Megan
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I will be re-reading this title in the future. It's depressing AND fun!
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
3.5 stars. An interesting book that looks into colonisation (by aliens), capitalism, and class, but that felt distant/detached. At times it felt like it had been written specifically to be analysed for themes in a classroom, raising or alluding to topics and then dropping them again.

It's a short, easy read, suitable for ages 13+
Nancy
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, audio
This was an entertaining book that slyly pokes fun at material culture with a sci-fi framing.

Earth has recently been colonized by Vuvv aliens, and at first their medical and technological advances seem like a boon, but soon it puts people out of work and society starts to collapse. Teen Adam’s parents are out of work and struggling to hold on to their home and dignity. When another family moves in to share with the bills, Adam falls in love with their daughter Chloe. Adam and Chloe broadcast
...more
Paul
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great 'now' book. Or 'always' book. Aliens land and peacefully offer us schmucks tech and cures, and it ruins us, creating a have nots economy that certainly mirrors our own. A stinging indictment of capitalism that's never didactic. Instead, the novel is funny, infuriating, and sad in the right ways.
Keitha
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As usual, I found Anderson's writing tough to read but well worth the pain.
Flannery
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I adored this. It was a quick read, and should appeal to teens who like dystopias or bleak stories.
Brenda Kahn
Another brilliant dystopian science fiction that hits pretty close to home. Sly, satirical, bleak and believable.
Chance Lee
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Landscape with Invisible Hand a teenager attempts to help get his family out of debt by entering an art contest. There are also aliens who look like tables and communicate in a variety of mechanical clicks. And unfortunate bouts of diarrhea.

Reading Landscape with Invisible Hand I thought of M.T. Anderson as George Saunders, Jr. Anderson has thrown his characters into a strange, otherworldly scenario -- in this case worldwide alien occupation -- where they behave strangely but believably in
...more
Lori Anketell
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"We thought there was a great distance between the future and us, and now here we are, falling through it."

This book was was a unique comparison to Catcher!
Pocket Full of Pages
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
"We are tiny figures, faceless, pointing at wonders, provided for scale, no lives of our own, surveying the landscape that has engulfed us all".

After hearing so many great things about the author M.T. Anderson, we were just so excited to be asked to review 'Landscape with Invisible Hand'. This is the first novel we've read by the author and we are just honestly glad to say that we were pleasantly surprised.

This novel has so many important and inspirational key messages. One of our favourites was
...more
Josh
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Of the Anderson books I’ve read, this one feels the most YA, the least mature. The size of the other novels (Feed just under 300 pages, Octavian closer to 400) allows for a deeper exploration of theme. Landscape does some of this with its examinations of art, culture, and “benevolent” colonialism, but it’s lacking and the conclusions it draws don’t approach Feed or Octavian.
Tonally, this is the most lighthearted of Anderson’s works that I’ve come across. Fart and shit anecdotes stink up the
...more
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Matthew Tobin Anderson (M. T. Anderson), (1968- ) is an author, primarily of picture books for children and novels for young adults. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His picture books include Handel Who Knew What He Liked; Strange Mr. Satie; The Serpent Came to Gloucester; and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. He has written such young adult books as Thirsty, Burger Wuss, Feed, The
...more
“The hand that records is also what makes everything unclear.” 2 likes
“Someday I'll give it to her. When everything is better. The natural history of her life, sketched out, because nothing means as much until it has vanished.” 1 likes
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