The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Read more...
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The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, an idealistic online Underground, stands in the way of that takeover, using radical politics, classic spycraft, and technology that makes Big Data look like dial-up. Into this secret battle stumbles an unlikely trio: Leila Majnoun, a disillusioned non-profit worker; Leo Crane, an unhinged trustafarian; and Mark Deveraux, a phony self-betterment guru who works for the Committee.
Leo and Mark were best friends in college, but early adulthood has set them on diverging paths. Growing increasingly disdainful of Mark's platitudes, Leo publishes a withering takedown of his ideas online. But the Committee is reading--and erasing--Leo's words. On the other side of the world, Leila's discoveries about the Committee's far-reaching ambitions threaten to ruin those who are closest to her.
In the spirit of William Gibson and Chuck Palahniuk, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" is both a suspenseful global thriller and an emotionally truthful novel about the struggle to change the world in- and outside your head.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Journalist Shafer hits all the right buttons in his debut as he mixes crime fiction, espionage, and SF in a darkly comic novel about paranoia and big business. A battle for control over all the information in the world has begun. The Committee, an international organization comprising industry and media leaders, has plans to privatize the news, the publishing industry, and all other social media. Dear Diary, an online movement, has set itself up as a formidable enemy of the Committee, using politics, spy craft, and technology to thwart its initiatives. Caught up in this war are Leila Majnoun, a disaffected nonprofit worker; Leo Crane, an unorthodox kindergarten teacher who lives off a modest trust fund; and Mark Deveraux, a drug addict who inadvertently becomes a bogus self-help guru and appears to work for the Committee. At times convoluted but never slack, the plot thrives on a realistic approach while seamlessly switching between such locales as Myanmar, London, and Oregon. The Committee’s takeover of the Internet, its ability to change words as they are being typed, and its targeting of enemies’ family members evokes a chilling, Orwellian society. Agent: Gráinne Fox, Fletcher & Co. (Aug.)