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The Tin Men (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) Kindle Edition
|Length: 180 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
In the very near future, so near that it looks just like the mid-1960s, when the book was written, members of a think tank are preparing for a Royal visit. They are also in the midst of trying to shift society toward a computer-based culture. That has nothing to do with personal computers (still in the future) or computer literacy (programming is the arcane province of the specialist), but, rather, the replacement of people by computers. Sports, for example--it's just statistics, really, and computers are so much better at it, so let them keep the stats, and since the games themselves are just exercises in probability, let the computers handle that as well. Why bring humans into sports at all? Just tell the fans who won and lost on the evening telly. And writing, well, that's just stringing words together, which any properly programmed computer can do much more efficiently than any human, especially when you limit books to what the computers say people actually want--sex manuals and pornographic novels. After all, computers are so much better at determining people's needs than people themselves. And so the novel goes, juxtaposing human characters of increasing levels of incompetency (my favorite was the novelist who thought it prudent to write jacket notes and multiple book reviews before writing the novel itself) against the increasingly farcical (but oddly logical) actions of the computers.
Overall, the novel manages to maintain a progressive flow of humor so that the occasional clunker only forms a bump in the road, not a stop sign. The writing is quite lucid and engaging, but the society against which the novel is set is dated and at times off-putting. On the other hand, if you are an avid fan of the cable show "Mad Men," then you might more of the humor in the novel than most people, as the show and the book share the same time period and a bit of the same mind-set.
It started out well enough with the conversation at the production company or whatever it was, having me laugh out loud. However, when the plot and story moved to the university setting and we were introduced to the professors and immersed in the politics involved, it slowly lost it for me.
All it conveyed was a bunch of weird, nonsense characters, who are self-involved and arrogant. Characters, who are portrayed as very smart, but also quite dumb. Reading the synopsis, I really thought it would have to do with computers and robots and machines taking over as they prepare for the Queen's visit. Rather it was a idea after idea after idea of HOW the computers and machines would take over, and what would they take over (i.e. writing articles, writing books and pornography to name a few). It was honestly, quite ridiculous. It got boring towards the end. It got repetitive, and I hate to say it, but I did not find it very clever either.
Maybe it is outdated, or maybe it's just not for me. Whatever the case, I could not enjoy this book at all, unlike The Trick of It.