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I Listen: A Document of Digital Voyeurism Paperback – June, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1888277104 ISBN-10: 1888277106 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Incommunicado Pr; 1 edition (June 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888277106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888277104
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,834,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I LISTEN may defy a legal boundary by showing that telephone privacy is an outdated concept in the digital age. Forget about Big Brother. Think unstead of a quiet-spoken 29-year-old who identifies himself only by his first initial, V, and doubles as The Spacewurm" -- The New York Times

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rose on May 12, 2000
Other reviews have trashed this book but don't explain why. It's a fascinating collection of cell phone conversations recorded illegally over a period of about 5 years. The slightly edited transcripts go a long way to showing how strange, and yet how human, the world is around us. Drugs, sex and relationships predominate. Some of the stories are pretty frightening, but all of it provides a great document about who our neighbors are, what they're doing, thinking and talking about when they're not being observed. Definitely not for the easily offended, but more than worth your time to read.
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I first picked up this book in a store about three years ago; I found it intriguing, the Spacewurm intercepting calls and taking down the gory details.

Some of the calls were funny, while others were a bit disturbing. What they do is show people as they are, no different than any of us.

The argument between Tracy and Richard is a good example; a broken relationship, with recriminations that many can identify with.

While the legality of picking off cell calls puts him in a gray area, it doesn't seem to have gotten the Wurm in trouble (yet). Not a great work of art by any stretch of the imagination, but a cautionary tale: be careful what you say on your cellphone!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "notpink" on February 18, 2001
I picked up this book thinking the idea was pretty interesting- a number of phone conversations illegally recorded and transcribed into writing by the author. Normally I'm not into "eavesdropping" but I thought, "What the hell, I don't mind conspiracy theory fodder every now and again". I was hoping that this book wouldn't rely too much on "sensation", but unfortunately that's what it did.
The general gist of the conversations are: lovers' quarrels, people trying to pick each other up, people talking about sex, people insulting each other, and so on. There are one or two moments in the book that are good for a brief chuckle, but otherwise it's about as boring as Jerry Springer. Each conversation is accompanied by a brief commentary by the author- how he picked up the call, a story surrounding it, etc. I got the idea that the "true" humor was in the very situation, at the moment it was happening. It's just trite and obnoxious in book form.
Also, I found the typeface the book was written in to be VERY annoying. It's a "computer"-look font that made reading much more difficult than it should have been. It seemed the designer was trying to go for a "futuristic" or "cyber" look, but for the whole book to be displayed that way was just overkill. Not to mention the whole "this is the future, it's sooo scary" feeling the author was shooting for was completely laughable.
Conclusion: if you still consider daytime talk shows to be a great source of entertainment, or are into non-intellectual "futurist" manifesto, you might dig this book. But for myself, it was funny for the first 5 pages and then it got annoying.
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