- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Aug 2017
From the cover
Some people think all great books should start with a dare. And those folks can't be big readers—because really, when was the last time you read a book that began with a dare? Well, this one does. And that's not some ham-fisted gambit to position it as "great" because we just established that only half literates conflate opening dares with greatness. So it's, truly, just a simple dare. And it's this: I dare you to finish the fucker.
And let's be real—you probably won't. It's 547 pages printed, after all. Which is to say, any number of "locations," "sections," or "litnodes" on your eReader. And its obnoxious length is nothing compared to the disquieting truths it reveals about a popular social/messaging/hookup platform that humanity already spends 11.2 percent of its online time engaged with. About who really built all that, and why. About who's listening, and what they're recording. And (here's the part that may smart a bit) how terribly uninteresting they almost certainly find you. There's also some truly scary stuff you just don't need to know. About the February bombing in San Francisco. About how it actually saved lives (lots of them—and quite possibly, your own). And about how moronically close we came to nuclear war with China on a recent winter's day (spoiler alert: not my fault).
You don't have to know any of this. And ignoring the hidden ugliness we can't do much about makes life easier. So if you tend to avoid facts like the age of the kid who stitched your favorite blazer just outside of Phnom Penh; or how athletically a certain ex once cheated on you; or how painful and scary the last few days of most human lives are; then for God's sake: Put. The book. Down. Then do yourself a big favor and catch a movie. A numbered sequel, say starring cartoon-men invented to distract tots during the Roosevelt era. You'll find that plenty challenging, and much more fun. It'll also be over sooner, leaving you free for more numbered sequels, or maybe some lite sci fi written for the bright teens and dim grown-ups we euphemistically call "Young Adults."
Are you still there?
If so, sorry if that sounded a bit mean. But we're better off without whoever just stomped off. Those people offend easily and are always whining about how they feel "unsafe," or undercherished if their every clumsy kick, catch, and volley isn't commemorated with trophies. I can't stand those people. I'll bet you can't stand them either. So getting rid of them was worth feigning contempt for some of my own favorite things (pssst: two of the best movies, ever, in my view are Iron Man 1 and 2. Also: I read "Y.A." stuff constantly. I'll bet you didn't know that).
Now that it's just us, I applaud you for at least attempting to see this thing through. Even you probably won't get there (those 547 pages, again). But if you do, I can make you three promises. One: I will never talk down to you. Yes, certain facts herein are hard to confront and accept. Certain others are plenty hard to understand. But I think you're man enough, woman enough, or young adult enough to handle it all. So. No sugarcoating, and no dumbing down. Two: I'll never lie to you. Everything that follows—however fantastical and hard to believe—is entirely true and precisely depicts the underpinnings of the world you inhabit. And finally: at the very, very end of all this, you will find a glittering prize. Books that end with glittering prizes are even rarer than those that start with dares, so lucky you. But please. No peeksies.
With that, I'm almost done with you. And that may be welcome news! My tone can grate a bit, I know. It's probably...