Posted 20 hours ago

The Echo Chamber: John Boyne

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and while i agree with the message - the dangers of how deep social media has integrated itself in our lives, how reliant we are on it as individuals and as a society to push an agenda, and the often negative feedback loops that plague social media - its just too… on the nose for me.

There is plenty of dialogues that should be considered funny, but I couldn’t stop feeling the author’s anger. Invited on to the Six O’Clock News to make his public apology, Cleverley bursts out of his management-imposed contrition like a latter-day, anti-trolling Peter Finch in Network. JB is astute, with a deep understanding of plot, themes, characters and relationships, so from the beginning, when you encounter awful characters – no, I mean horrible characters and unbelievable scenarios. This is a far-fetched, ridiculous, funny, biting look at how far we’ve come or how low we have sunk, depending on your point of view, and how attached to a smartphone you are. Summary: This is definitely a controversial book, but I get what Boyne was trying to say and I think choosing a satirical narrative was a smart move.The thing was though is that it's TOO much - like this is obviously a satirical take on cancel culture - but in my opinion it was a bit loud, if this book was a bit more subtle in it's humour I think it would have been funnier. That's not to say that there weren't some very funny moments, among the many ridiculous situations and occasionally grating monologues.

The Cleverly Family are made up of Dad, George, a ‘national treasure’, known to the country for his long-running TV chat-show.

The author discusses many of the moder day issues relating to social media use such as cancel culture, influencers, political correctness and the woke culture. Being in my early 40’s I have seen the rise of the World Wide Web and the introduction of social media sites: Hi5, Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (sorry I never liked Snapchat and I just can’t get into Tik Tok – yet) However in the past two years, especially on Twitter and Instagram stories I’ve noticed a new breed of people cropping up; they are self-righteous, quick to act aggressive if an opinion does not match with theirs and get all their education from memes, which they share and follow as the gospel truth. In all honesty, I can’t say I enjoy the book though fully recognise that I may be an outlier here and it’s well worth checking out 4 and 5 star reviews to get a balance of opinion.

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