Tuesday, 18 August 2020

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

Just let me dust off this blog thing, I have a review for you! One of my anticipated reads released during lockdown was the follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. If you read that, of course will will be dying to know what happened to April May, and satisfyingly the sequel has answers. More importantly, I liked A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor even more than the first book.
You are a story that you tell yourself, and even if it is not always accurate, it is who you are, and that is very important to you.

The world is reeling from the loss of the Carls, and more crucially, the Dream. They are seeking something to fill that hole. Andy has stepped into April May's shoes, his job now being a "thought leader" in what has disappeared, but at least he's rich from it. He can't believe April May is gone, neither can Miranda or Maya. Is this just a stage of grief or is the message Andy received really from her?

I know some people will read it and wonder why Andy is teaching us about stock markets and private equity, but I loved the dose of economics in this and it is crucial to the plan to save the world. It covers surveillance capitalism and how easily we relinquish power over ourselves in exchange for free things. It looks at what seemingly benign companies plan to do with that power.

But also, Carl is a talking monkey, kind of! I loved revisiting these characters. Maya has a new mystery to follow and Miranda infiltrates an enigmatic scientific organisation in quest of answers.

I feel like Andy is Hank Green, not that I really know much about the Greens beyond their novels. Andy struggles with becoming a brand, how his every word must now be carefully considered. He can't just be himself, but also he doesn't really need to keep going for the money any more. How do you stay relevant?

At some point, we have to realize that the places where we share information are not services we use, they are places where we live.

I love that we are getting more novels by digital natives that are not afraid to firmly plant social media and the internet into their characters' lives. It's such a part of our lives, it seems odd when it's excluded now.

Anyway, I completely recommend both An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor. This is a duology so you don't have to worry about the story being unfinished.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 10A. A book with a main character in their 20s

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery | Blackwell’s

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