8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"We are not meant to fear them because they are powerful, but because we ourselves are so easily misled.",
This review is from: Alif the Unseen (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)This is the first time EVER that I felt compelled -repeatedly- to underline passages in a book that were either so beautifully written, or made a point so well, that I couldn't get them out of my head and needed to mark them.
Alif is the main character, though his name is not truly his name but a fictional computer ID borrowed from the first letter in the alphabet. He runs a business out of his bedroom in his mother's home, keeping non-State-approved businesses safe from censorship. He fancies himself as a revolutionary of sorts - until his girlfriend breaks up with him and he creates a computer code to prevent her from ever finding him online again. When the mysterious Hand, the computer enforcer for the state, discovers this code and Alif's ex-girlfriend simultaneously delivers to him a mysterious book of old tales from the Jinn, Alif learns just how wrong (and right) he was about himself, his home, and the true meaning of revolution built through technology.
The story is so timely, and the added mystical and religious elements were a wonderfully complex addition to a story that is essentially about technology, it's pros and cons, and the way it has altered every detail of our lives. As one character says, "...something fundamental has changed about the world in which we live. We have reached a state of constant reinvention. Revolutions have moved off the battlefield and on to home computers. Nothing shocks one anymore. We are living in a post-fictional era.".
It's a fascinating book, and one that makes some very good points. Plus, it has action, a bit of romance, and characters that could be found in almost every country in the world. This is one of the few books I've read lately that I can easily see myself going back and reading again and again - and I'm certain that when I do, I will find more passages that compel me to underline them too.