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Zed by Joanna Kavenna


Best Seller
Zed by Joanna Kavenna
Jan 14, 2020 | ISBN 9780385545471
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  • Hardcover $27.95

    Jan 14, 2020 | ISBN 9780385545471

  • Ebook $13.99

    Jan 14, 2020 | ISBN 9780385545488

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“Kavenna is a diligent scholar of her form, melding a massively complex plot à la Thomas Pynchon and the wicked social satire of Evelyn Waugh with a healthy dose of Gogol’s absurdist dysphoria thrown in for good measure. Complex, funny, prescient, difficult: Kavenna’s novel tackles nothing less than everything as it blurs the lines between real and virtual.” Kirkus, starred review 

“[A] tangled, riveting parable of the modern surveillance state. . .Kavenna delivers this gripping narrative with wit and dark humor, leaving readers both entertained and a little paranoid.” Publishers Weekly, starred review 

“Kavenna’s scathing indictment of the dangers of technology gone awry, tech conglomerates left unchecked, and the silencing of the free press is a smart and timely work of cautionary speculative fiction.” Booklist

“[Kavenna] brings wit and moments of levity to this portentously dark look at a society ruled by corporate technology.” —Library Journal 

“Joanna Kavenna is a brilliantly unpredictable novelist: whatever you think she might do next, she doesn’t. In terms of its stylistic innovations, Zed is a tour de force [. . .] a novel that takes our strange, hall-of-mirrors times very seriously indeed. It is a work of delirious genius.” The Guardian

“Reminiscent of Dave Egger’s The Circle and Jonathan Franzen’s PurityZed sweats with wit and vitality, and reads like the work of a writer relishing her task. It also transcends its moment. For beyond its commentary on our present age—its technologies and pathologies—it can be interpreted as a cautionary tale about the havoc wrought on us by those who cannot accept that we will never be immortal, omniscient or transparent (to each other and ourselves).”  —The Times Literary Supplement

Zed is brilliant dystopian insanity on a grand scale, describing a world of corporate pretenders, broken software, and algorithms that never quite work as well as they’re supposed to. Hilarious, incisive, and painfully relevant.” —Max Barry, author of Lexicon

“Imagine a denser, intellectually chewier and very British version of dystopian tech satire The Circle, by Dave Eggers, and you’ll have some idea of this…snort-inducingly funny.” Daily Mail

Absorbing and timely. . .Hilarious. Zed plunges into potential extremes, and reminds us that in all our faults, we cannot be reduced to a series of 1s and 0s. At least, not yet.” The Financial Times
“A witty exploration of freedom and oppression . . . fun and erudite . . . For readers who like to nod at clever references, the imaginative Zed will be a delight, and it will no doubt gain many admirers.” The Sunday Times
“A brainy, bustling novel, Zed is hugely enjoyable. . .What’s great about it is that Kavenna uses her scenario not only for horror, but laughter, too, as a send-up of corporate hubris and government heedlessness.” The Observer

“If Joanna Kavenna’s previous novel, A Field Guide to Reality, took us down a dreamy, Carrollian rabbit hole, then Zed, her latest, is more post-Orwellian nightmare. . .It’s bizarre to find all this so funny, not least because it feels alarmingly close to our reality. Zed picks apart, with piercing clarity, how little people think about offering up their data, and how blithe we may be about who gathers it at the other end. . .One of the cleverest books you’ll read this year.” The Telegraph
Zed is a marvel. Not only does it map the chilling implications of creeping technological and corporate influence, it reveals to us the deeply necessary phenomena with which that influence is in conflict. The result is both a painfully convincing dystopia and a moving argument for unpredictability – even chaos – as its own kind of freedom.” —Sam Byers, author of Perfidious Albion

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