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After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,933 ratings  ·  308 reviews
The definitive novel of today’s Silicon Valley, After On flash-captures our cultural and technological moment with up-to-the-instant savvy. Matters of privacy and government intrusion, post-Tinder romance, nihilistic terrorism, artificial consciousness, synthetic biology, and much more are tackled with authority and brash playfulness by New York Times bestselling author Ro ...more
Kindle Edition, 577 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Del Rey
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,933 ratings  ·  308 reviews


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Jane
I almost DNFed this several times. If I had it to do over again, I would not only not finish it, I would not start it. It took me over a month to slog through it.

I really enjoyed Rob Reid's other book, Year Zero, and I'm fascinated by fiction about artificial intelligence and the Turing Test. But this bloated book in the end doesn't have enough interesting to say about either to justify over 500 pages.

There is a super macho, misogynistic, Freudian work of fiction running throughout the narrative
...more
David Katzman
Jun 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I started reading this...thought it would be a refreshing contemporary change after completely both Infinite Jest and The Alexandria Quartet. And yet. The opening voice on the first few pages was so unbearable grating I had to immediately put it down. I've never been so annoyed by the opening of a book in my life. It was as if the author was screeching at me. Nevermore After On.
Tim Chang
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is going to be one of THE must-read sci fi books of 2017 -- wonderful blend of humor and thought-provoking implications of AI, in a style that's poised to make this the next "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"!
Brenda Ayala
You almost beat me, After On. You were almost the first book I DNF'd for the first time in like three years. There were a few times where I was super close.

But you know what pushed me forward?

You told me I couldn't finish you. So I did, damnit. You can't tell me what I can or can't finish reading!

There are heaps and heaps of pages that are just unnecessary. Long, drawn out explanations about various Silicon Valley start ups and established entities. Explanations about logistics. Our main chara
...more
Otis Chandler
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, ai, thriller
A fun, humorous, fast-paced, and fascinating take on what happens when an AI awakens. In order to tell this story, Reid invents a fictional Silicon Valley company called Pluttr, which seems sort of like a mashup of Snapchat+Facebook+WeChat but with more big data about us all, so it’s able to really personalize it’s experience. Frankly it seems like a good idea and where the afore mentioned companies are likely going. And this is one of my favorite things about good science fiction - it predicts ...more
Dan
Aug 13, 2018 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I'm not opposed to reading books about Silicon Valley after I've left, and the characters and plots are relatively realistic, but their pseudo-technology is driving me nuts. The reality behind tech right now is that no one has life-changing technology at this scale, they're just pretending they do, and that just makes it all the more ridiculous.
Adam
May 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review is based on an advanced reading copy I received while at the ALA Midwinter Conference in January 2017.

Honestly I didn't get very far in this book. I tried, but there were so many chopped up sentences and rough grammar and squawking doorbells (I've never heard a doorbell squawk. Ding flatly, yes, but not squawk. Come on.) that I just couldn't stomach the thought of continuing to slog through 500 some-odd pages of the same.

The book started with a weird aside/dare to the reader that w
...more
Andrew
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another rock star performance by one of my favorite writers. This novel reads like a shockingly familiar nightmare/daydream of an imaginary near future, while at the same time bringing us twinges of a shared past...very Meta.

From a stylistic standpoint, Reid's writing is sort of M.C. Escher elopes with Douglas Adams and they end up honeymooning at Burning Man with Zuckerberg and Sandberg.
Erick Tseng
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rob Reid's "Forever On" is SO GOOD! It's a must-read.

Imagine if Joseph Heller, Michael Crichton, Andy Weir, the writers behind Silicon Valley, and Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors had an orgy. Their love child would be this book.
Jeremy
Oct 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to give up at about 40% when I realized I was skimming all but one story line and fixating in my reading progress, eagerly awaiting the end.

Disappointing, I'm a big fan of the related podcast series.

Characters are without any substance. Plot is trivial. Writing is sophomoric, though vocabulary is above average. If you are in Silicon Valley and love the smell of your own farts, this is a book for you!
Genevieve Kim
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, witty, energetic-- could not put this book down. Forever On got me to look beyond typical black-and-white attitudes toward technology, AI, media consumption, global politics, gender and even spirituality, and to explore the various thought-provoking shades of gray.

A must-read adventure for all of us living in a world of encroaching change. I typically don't read sci-fi and loved this book. Hats off to Rob Reid for an ingenious vision.
Molly
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted everyone in this book to stop talking, especially the narrator.
Bob Cutler
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I am stunned at how highly rated this book is. It almost made it to my "did not finish" list. The author cleverly challenges the reader to read all 547 pages right at the start of the book. I probably wouldn't have read much beyond the first 100 pages without it. However, I did skip 200 pages in the latter half of the book and I feel like I missed almost nothing plot-wise.

Here are the flaws That caused me to rate this as a one-star book:
1. Lots of tortured similies. Sometimes consecutive sentenc
...more
Nathan
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book alternates between terrifying and hilarious so fast I'm pretty sure I got whiplash several times. One of my favorite aspects of the book is trying to figure out who the narrator is, which I'm proud to say I did. I'm definitely going to be more careful about reading the EULA when I sign up for stuff... OK, let's be honest, no I won't, because who has that kind of time? Anyway, lots of fun to be had in this book, and I definitely recommend it to all and sundry. For those who have read Ye ...more
Sean Randall
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, yeah - over 2,700 exclamation marks are a bit of a turnoff. and some of the nebulosity and sheer randomness? It goes a tad far. But as a story, it's good. As a montage of the valley, it seems to work. As a pinhole analysis of Humanity, flaws and all, it's pretty damned hot. SO despite feeling frustrated on a pret-ty regular basis ... I liked it. I enjoyed it. I read it at odd hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep and found myself picking it up when I had plenty of other things that need ...more
Exapno Mapcase
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This is a Goodreads First Reads review.

There is a lot of information to parse through throughout this novel and all of it becomes relevant during the course of the story, you just have to try and keep up. The best part comes when the A.I. comes fully aware and starts interacting with the main characters.
J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I'm gonna try to come back and clean this up later. Let me first say that I greatly enjoyed Year Zero, it is a lot of fun.

Not enjoying it so far. It's very dull and not a fan of the narration.

It is picking up a little bit and has some redeeming qualities. The fake reviews are too funny.

Okay, hate it now.

Some beautiful millennial bashing....but it turned into tongue in cheek, wouldn't want to offend those cry babies. They'll start occupy Reid's house, crapping on his carpet and selling trinkets t
...more
Heather
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this behemoth of a book. It gets very dark and deep, which is to be expected dealing with AI and supercomputers. However author Rob Reid never lets the reader go without lots of humor sprinkled throughout, many of it in the form of old Amazon.com reviews. This helps strike a balance in what could have been overall a very bleak story.

My favorite quote in the book:

"I think the whole point of the simulation might be the exercise of free will. I mean, why create an entire universe i
...more
Amr Elnahla
Feb 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found the start of the book, mocking its 576-page length, quite funny, but then found the book, quite boring, running for at least 500 pages more than it should have! Too many plot diversions, too many rabbit hole explorations, and too many narrative voices. It’s a story that barely moves forward, packed with weak dialogue, immature characters, and a senseless direction.

I give the book 1 star for what if is, and give myself 5 stars for pushing through it!
Saleh
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it! A 2017 must for science, fiction, and tech fans. Goes surprisingly deep on some topics.
Brian Sletten
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of the book is "After On" but I've called it "Her Daemon" in my head since I finished it as it neatly ties together themes from both Spike Jonze's "Her" and Daniel Suarez's "Daemon" all while lampooning (downright skewering in places) Silicon Valley (and deservedly so). While Dave Eggers attempted something similar in "The Circle" this one worked much better for me.

First the bad, like Joe Devon said in his review, I found it a slog to finish the book (an experience which I had previou
...more
Kevin
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
86% done and still considering stopping.
At the very least I'll leave my review now, because if I do finish, I may be angrier than I am now.
Please note: Audible edition - which isn't helping the situation.

Where does one begin?

I know, how about Character Development (or lack of).
There's a lot of "stuff" about the 3 main characters, but it doesn't equate to much real development.
1. The "Main Character" (presumably our hero) - Has a heart of gold, a debilitating disease that he keeps secret, and we
...more
Nilesh
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After On is a brilliant book. Laugh Out Loud. Makes one learn a lot. With a story. Great twists. Amazing writing style. And social messages too. Still not for everyone. Let me take elaborate on these points one by one.

Laugh out loud: The book is humourous absolutely all through. The jokes are mostly in your face and loud a la Douglas Adams, but novel enough in most cases to work because of their high humour quotient. One cannot but chuckle at the personality imparted on the AI. The millennial ov
...more
Joshua Kerr
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gabriel Gruber
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As we are living in an aera which is highly influenced by digitalization I was searching for a book that tells the story where digitalization can lead and my choice fell on this book.
The book contains several storylines that at the end of the book merge to a big picture. The main storyline tells the story of a startup which tries to build a social network service which helps their users to find the right gifts for their family members and friends but fails. Before the company finally broke they
...more
Erfan
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2019, ai
You can find every possible tech buzzword in this book, and it's plot is not the strongest. At times some characters are totally forgotten and removed from the story line. And you can tell it's politically "woke" by its occasional jab and shade at China and Middle East, but not Russia (like they just didn't color the White House brown). Nonetheless,the story was worth reading just once and honestly the end scenario (for the super AI) was totally new for me; I had not seen nor read any similar sc ...more
Stacey
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, fast paced and witty
Roxy
Sep 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got 14% of the way through but couldn't finish it because it was so bad.
Benny Koch
Worth buying just to read part 1. Very interesting look at silicon valley and where tech is headed. Pretty funny too.

Part two was super frustrating to get through and I eventually gave up. The writer tells the story through many different methods and seemed to lose track of the main characters. I got really bored of different bloggers and the narrator telling me what was happening instead of the writer telling the story through the main characters.

The political thriller aspect was unnecessary.
...more
Jeremy
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My first red flag should’ve been when I couldn’t make it through the synopsis without first having PTSD symptoms from The Circle, followed by intense boredom. It took me no fewer than three tries to read the entire synopsis, and even then I wasn’t sure if this was a fiction, non-fiction, non-fiction-adjacent, or what. However, at the insistence of a cousin who loved the book, I dove in.

I have to admit though, he was right. Partially anyway. The first 5% of the book was godawful, and I probably
...more
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Rob Reid is a writer and technology entrepreneur based in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. He's the author of "Year Zero" (Del Rey, 2012) - a novel about aliens with a mad passion for human music. He also wrote "Year One" (William Morrow, 1994), a memoir about student life at Harvard Business School; and "Architects of the Web" (Wiley, 1997), which chronicles the rise of the Interne ...more
“On a scale of Burning Man to North Korea, how free are you tonight?”).” 1 likes
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