Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Unbinding has been added to your Cart
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by ToyBurg
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed. Readable copy. All pages complete and readable but expect worn edges, covers, and creases. There is no Amazon condition below acceptable. Markings and/or wear on spine/edges of book.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Unbinding Paperback – January 30, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$0.49 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$13.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Unbinding
  • +
  • A Small Place
Total price: $23.50
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kirn (Thumbsucker) serialized this neat surveillance culture satire on Slate.com in 2006. The web version makes a mostly smooth transition to print, except for items in bold that Kirn encourages readers to type into the book's accompanying web site. The book centers around Kent Selkirk, who makes his living at a company called AidSat, a kind of invasively cyber Dear Abby-like organization designed to coach desperate people on everything from alternatives to suicide to negotiating the purchase of a home. (Caller heart rates are monitored through bracelets and ear jacks.) When smug Selkirk starts to develop a crush on bland neighbor Sabrina, he uses AidSat to his advantage, but is unaware that others are working against him. Adding an element of mystique is Sabrina's eccentric friend Colonel Geoff, who talks incessantly and mysteriously of "The Unbinding." The familiar morals-that people are not who they appear to be, that they can easily lose track of themselves in the cybercacophony, and that exhibitionism is replacing real contact-are done with a light enough touch and enough novel content to make the thin conceit and epistolary format work swimmingly. The Crying of Lot 49 this isn't, but it's a quick and funny George Saunders-esque slice-and-dice of creeping corporate information hegemony.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Kirn's The Unbinding merits our close attention, not only for itself--the man is a talented writer--but for what might be portended for the art of fiction."—The Boston Globe

"Kirn depicts technology as a looming Orwellian force, spying on the citizenry, turning our insides outward. . . . The loss of privacy makes for comedy, at first, and then for a sense of foreboding as trampled boundaries refuse to reappear." —Los Angeles Times

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; First Edition edition (January 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307277410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307277411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WALTER KIRN is a contributing editor to Time magazine, where he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in his first year, and a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, GQ, Vogue, New York and Esquire. He is the author of four previous works of fiction: My Hard Bargain: Stories, She Needed Me, Thumbsucker, and Up in the Air. He lives in Livingston, Montana.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Walter Kirn has a unique view of a world bedeviled by advancing technology and rampant paranoia in a country obsessed by the all-seeing eye of Big brother. A twenty-four hour subscription service, SatAid provides its customers with on the spot help with any number of situations, from personal danger to answering life questions, "Active Angels" like Kent Selkirk providing "seamless life-assistance interfaces" when called upon by subscribers. Basically inept at social conventions, Kent finds this job satisfying on many levels, maintaining a modicum of intimacy that requires little commitment other than his soothing voice on the line. Content to exist in this netherworld, Kent enjoys his general anonymity, pleased to be of assistance, aware that he can execute direct surveillance should events require it for the good of the customer.

When Kent's interest is piqued by a neighbor at his complex, Sabrina Grant, he requests all the available data on her activities and social background, in service of making a personal connection. Although his request is patently against company rules, Kent feels that he is an exception in this matter. Then he meets "Rob" at a health club, a man who is interested in instant friendship; Kent is naturally wary, being of a suspicious bent himself. Then there is the ageing, mentally-addled Colonel Geoff, who takes Kent under his wing, revealing government secrets from a past of networking deeply within the system. As assorted other characters surface via Kent's email, the picture shifts subtly, suggesting that the watcher might well be the watched. A cat-and-mouse game of one-upmanship reveals a more complex battle for top dog in the information industry, Kent and Rob at loggerheads, each outwitting the other in a series of clever ploys.
Read more ›
Comment 6 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By jemacd on March 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting but odd read. It kept me wondering how it was going to resolve the story. A decent waste of an afternoon.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Unbinding
This item: The Unbinding
Price: $13.95
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com