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Uncanny Valley

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The prescient, page-turning account of a journey in Silicon Valley: a defining memoir of our digital age

In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener—stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial--left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: January 14th 2020 by MCD
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    Release date: Jan 14, 2020
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    Average rating 4.25  · 
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     ·  51 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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    Emily
    I thought I was burnt out on reading about tech, but many parts of this excerpt made me laugh out loud:

    Job listings are an excellent place to get sprayed with HR’s idea of fun and a 23-year-old’s idea of work-life balance.

    Also, this!!!!!!

    To solve our problem, management arranges for a team-building exercise. They schedule it on a weeknight evening, and we pretend not to mind. Our team-building begins with beers in the office, and then we travel en masse to a tiny event space at t/>To/>Job
    ...more
    Siobhan
    Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
    Uncanny Valley is a memoir about Silicon Valley, about being a woman there, and about the changing tech landscape. Anna Wiener left being an assistant in New York City publishing to work in a startup and soon ended up in Silicon Valley, working in data analytics. The memoir charts her time there and then at an open source repository company, as she looks at how she became deeply embedded in some of the mindsets of Silicon Valley and still felt like an outsider in others, particularly as someone ...more
    Jenee Rager
    Sep 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
    Try as I might I could not get into this book. I think the story itself was informative, and it could have been interesting had it been written in a different style. I really struggled with the lack of names. Instead of just calling her co-workers "John" or "Mary" or whatever name she felt like, the author referred to them by their job description, making it impossible for me to connect with any of them. This was a goodreads giveaway and I appreciate the opportunity to try reading something new ...more
    Afton Montgomery
    Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    With this memoir, Anna Weiner had me laughing and groaning out loud in equal measure. Uncanny Valley is really a collection of her observations (so precise and detailed that her attention feels almost uncanny itself) as she shifts her life from the New York publishing scene to San Francisco tech at the beginning of the startup boom. She’s as cutting as the sharpest knife but never for the sake of her own superiority; rather she includes herself in every comment and critique and invites the reade ...more
    Doon
    Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
    This book is badged as an inside look into the world of tech bro’s by a woman who was there. However, the books main insights, that the men who work in Silicon Valley are mainly white, middle-class and supremely confident men who think that every idea they have has value, are nothing you didn’t already know.

    I kept on reading, expecting that there would be a ‘gotcha’ moment, an insight into a well-known public occurrence, but it never came. It felt like it was written for people who don’t follow
    ...more
    Natasha
    Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2019-rc, non-fiction
    I think my respect to big tech companies are diminishing day by day.
    Laura
    Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Anna Weiner’s Uncanny Valley is a memoir of working in Silicon Valley in her mid-twenties; for me, it felt like a good online article that had been stretched out into more than three hundred pages. Weiner has nothing especially insightful to say about tech, and rehearses familiar critiques: the dominance of young white men, the lack of concern for data security, the distance from the ‘real world’. I also found the way Weiner presents herself as totally unrelatable; she seems to think it’s a clas ...more
    Patrick
    Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
    A fast-paced, witty, and unflinching account of the Silicon Valley-San Francisco tech ethos in the years leading up to the infamous 2016 election. Wiener's story lends significant insight into this world, which at times feels very much like an alternate reality from the rest of the country. A truth she seems aware of and as the memoir progresses, hyper-aware of ...

    I lived and worked in the Bay Area for 5 years, only a very small part of that time at a major tech company. What I learn
    ...more
    Nicole Handy
    Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I won this novel via Goodreads Giveaways.

    Who would have thought that a memoir about working in the startup boom would be so interesting, funny and full of feeling? Anna Wiener does a magnificent job of making the reader feel like they are taking this journey with her.

    I love her dry wit, descriptions of her mostly male, highly driven co-workers. She takes the role seriously, but not too seriously and that perspective is what makes Uncanny Valley informative but fun. I especially enjo
    ...more
    Natalie Daher
    Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    One of the clearest-eyed analyses of Big Tech's transformation of our definition of professional and personal success and understanding of privacy, as well as on the city of San Francisco. Wiener was already one of my favorite writers on Silicon Valley, but she has set an entirely new standard on observation and prose. Finished in one week, and I'll be thinking about this book for years.
    Penny
    Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Thank you Goodreads for the ARC of this book. Anna Wiener does a fantastic job of making you feel you are taking this high-tech journey with her. I have been curious about the silicon valley. This book is very well written. Very informative but Ms. Wiener keeps it fun.
    Chloé Cooper Jones
    Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    The writing in the book had the power to knock the wind out of me. There's a sentence on every page that I wanted to shout out my window. I hope this book gets all the support and praise it deserves. It's masterful.
    Jodie Marie
    Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
    This book unfortunately did not hold my attention well. In some ways, it is interesting, especially if you are interested in the economics of tech companies. Definitely wasn't my thing, and the writing itself was rather dry and boring to me.
    KarnagesMistress
    Jul 31, 2019 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: giveaways
    I received this book for free on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 through Goodreads Giveaways. It is an advance reader's copy, and came with a cloud stress ball.
    Chris Wilson
    Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Does this confirm all my priors? Sure, but it's so well-written, so easy-to-read and a perfect portrait of a culture.
    Elise
    Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Clear-eyed, personal and universal at the same time. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.
    Megan Kirby
    Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Rlly enjoyed Wiener's memoir on San Fransisco during the tech boom--and it had me thinking a lot about the ways tech dictates my own life. (And talking about it incessantly at any party I went to.)
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    Jul 29, 2019
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