Monday, January 27, 2014

Sloan, Robin (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore)

It was fun recognizing the Google jokes as they occurred. Let me explain why.

I work with Google (but not at Google, to be clear). I've actually seen a Google book scanner (and no, I'm not going to divulge anything about it. I take NDAs very seriously.) So when I came to the section in the book that says there's a sign on the door at Google that says "Book Scanner," I started laughing. Then, when the scanner is described in all its weirdness (bells! whistles! pointy arms!) I actually started hopping up and down because that was so funny. And, in the end, when the scanner technician tells everyone to step behind the yellow line, I just dissolved into giggles.

So, it's safe to say that anyone who takes anything described about the digital realm in this book seriously really, really, really isn't getting it. The author is creating a fun mystery based on our current digital technologies world, but making sometimes discreet and sometimes blatant fun of some of the things we spend our time on. (For instance, I'm pretty sure he doesn't believe in digital technology helping us become immortal.) If you Google the book (hah), you'll find there is much controversy around the final solution. I understand that folks are trying to clarify what actual real-life digital and analog widgets can and cannot do. Those folks just might not be getting what they're supposed to out of the book.

The ending actually is a teeny, weeny bit trite. But it made me smile, and it's the right thing to say anyway, so who cares?

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