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Sunday, 19 April 2020

#BookReview LITTLE EYES by SAMANTA SCHWEBLIN


ABOUT THE BOOK


A spine-tingling portrait of our obsession with technology, from the Man Booker International-shortlisted literary star


They look harmless enough: you could even call them cute. Not quite a phone, not quite a toy, not quite a robot, these are Kentukis. And it doesn’t take long for these apparently innocent devices to fall prey to our dark obsession with technology.



Little Eyes is a chilling portrait of our compulsively interconnected society. Schweblin irresistibly pulls the reader into an unsettling world of voyeurism, narcissism and the sinister reality that lies beneath the most seductive of masks.

PUBLISHED BY ONEWORLD

PURCHASE LINKS




MY REVIEW

This was a brilliantly sinister little book! Don't let the cute cover fool you! And that's the case with the 'pets' that are in the homes of people, as is akin to the technology we all have in our homes nowadays, and the role they play in our daily lives and the dependence and impact they have on those people who have them, or who are the dwellers controlling the toys from their computers far away. It makes you want to switch off all devices in your home pronto!!

The story follows a number of different characters, each with a link to these toys, whose popularity is sweeping the world. You can choose to be a 'keeper', somebody who buys a 'kentuki', which comes in many guises, and you log on, charge them up and wait for a 'dweller' to connect with you and then you're being watched! You have a virtual pet! If you choose to be a dweller, then you get to watch through the eyes of your kentuki and see how someone else lives, many thousands of miles away - notice their routines, be there to comfort them.....

What I loved about this was the variety of characters used and how they each interacted with their toys, both in front of the camera and behind it. It showed how easily we can connect with people around the world - it shows the loneliness behind so many people that they crave a connection with someone or something, that they're willing to use technology in this way. There's that initial excitement of having this new piece of tech, followed by the fear it can impose on the user.

It is used by the young and old and it was fascinating to see how different generations dealt with the role of the Kentuki. And how that also changed whether they were an owner or a dweller. Not sure I'd want to choose either role, but if I had to then I'd probably be a dweller! Watching over the life of someone else, rather than them seeing all I do!!

I found it to be such a fabulously, intriguing read, and definitely of the times. It will make you look at those smart devices we surround ourselves with in a completely different way, just knowing that they could be watching you! Aarrggghh!! Be afraid!! Highly recommended!!

★★★★

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