Marianne's Reviews > Meanwhile in Dopamine City

Meanwhile in Dopamine City by D.B.C. Pierre
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Meanwhile in Dopamine City is the fifth novel by Man-Booker Prize-winning Australian-born author, DBC Pierre (Peter Findlay). Having successfully managed to thus far resist Shelby-Anne’s persistent pleading for a smart-phone, one impulsive act by Lonregan Cush makes the purchase an essential part of keeping his little girl close. And if his nine-year-old has a smart-phone, he’ll need to enter the digital age too, swimming through the cyberspace miasma himself, to keep her safe.

If the closest it has ever been to sublime was before his wife, Diane died nine years earlier, Lonnie’s life, over the course of the novel, steadily progresses to the ridiculous, then to the tragic, and ultimately to the sad and pathetic, until the final, hopeful, pages. Along the way, he is swamped by more useless information than he could ever want or need. He loses his job, some of his friends, custody, his freedom and sometimes, hope.

More than half of the novel is presented in a rather annoying format of the main narrative (in which, as a further irritant, there are no quote marks for speech) together with a continuous sidebar that takes up a third of the page. This side bar is a newsfeed that relates to the main narrative (a bit like those annoying ads that pop up in your browser pages) consisting of (often bizarre) research and studies, equally bizarre apps, weird litigation, support campaigns for wacky causes (such as the rights of the virtually pregnant).

If, initially, the reader has to get past the blue-collar-worker patois without a phrase book, the story does later demonstrate the phenomenon of language being unrecognisably altered at viral speed through trendsetters dictating use. With occasionally convoluted, but always rich descriptive prose, Pierre also explores the awful potential of trust scores. This is a funny, clever and insightful commentary on the world we now inhabit, and the Often scary) direction it is taking.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Faber & Faber
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Reading Progress

September 7, 2020 – Started Reading
September 7, 2020 – Shelved
September 7, 2020 –
page 25
September 8, 2020 –
page 70
September 9, 2020 –
page 110
September 10, 2020 –
page 233
September 11, 2020 –
page 393
September 12, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Jeanette (new)

Jeanette Great review Marianne

Marianne Thanks Jeanette

PattyMacDotComma Good review - I remember reading Vernon God Little a very very long time ago, but the only things I remember is that it was very strange but I sort of liked it. It won the Booker Prize in 2003, and that's how I often feel about the winners of big prizes - ambivalent. I don't know if you got a paper copy or an e-copy, but it sounds as if this would be better on paper, anyway, with the sidebars.

Marianne PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Good review - I remember reading Vernon God Little a very very long time ago, but the only things I remember is that it was very strange but I sort of liked it. It won the Booker Prize..."

Thanks, Patty, I had a library paperback, for which I was grateful when I saw the format.

PattyMacDotComma :)

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