Satin Island

Satin Island

Book - 2015
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"When we first meet U., the narrator of SATIN ISLAND, he is sitting in the airport at Turin, caught in a delay caused by a rogue airplane. Like everyone else in the waiting area, he is sifting through airport pages on his laptop, and then through news sites, social pages, corridors of trivia...until he happens to stumble on information about an image on a famous shroud in Turin. The image itself isn't even visible on the shroud; it only emerged when some amateur photographer looked at the negative of a shot he'd taken and saw the figure--Christ's body supine after crucifixion. Only in the negative: the negative became a positive. A few decades later when the shroud was radiocarbon dated, it turned out to come from no later than the mid-thirteenth century. But that didn't trouble the believers. Things like that never do. A "corporate ethnographer," U. is tasked with writing the Great Report. Yet at every turn, U. finds himself overwhelmed by the ubiquity of data, lost in a buffer zone and wandering through a crowd of apparitions. Meanwhile, Madison, the woman he is seeing, becomes increasingly elusive, much like the particulars in the case of the recent, highly-publicized parachutist's death, with which U. is obsessed. He also develops a perverse interest in oil spills, spending great amounts of time watching loops of clean up videos. As U. begins to wonder if perhaps the Great Report will remain a shapeless, oozing plasma, his senses are reawakened by an ominous dream of an apocalyptic cityscape. SATIN ISLAND is a novel that captures the way we experience the world today, our efforts to find meaning, to stay awake, and discern the narratives we think of as our lives"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
ISBN: 9780307739629
0307739627
9780307593955
0307593959
9781101874684
Branch Call Number: FIC McCarthy, T 2015
Characteristics: 192 pages ; 22 cm

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santiano9
Jan 27, 2016

Despite best effort, simply could not get interested in this book. Did not finish.

r
RUTH MITTLEMAN
Oct 28, 2015

very interesting!

Aug 10, 2015

The unformed/ ill-formed monologue of a "corporate ethnographer" on modern life as exemplified by corporations, oil spills, deaths-by-parachute... Toward the end there is a bit of novelty having to do with U.'s girlfriend, but mostly this is flat, anemic, soulless.

manoush Mar 17, 2015

The kind of novel that can be read in one sitting. It evokes a strange, disquieting mood, very fitting for its subject matter. The narrator U. is at the vanguard of the new "knowledge economy," a well-paid corporate anthropologist who spends his time coming up with meaningless, fancy-sounding buzzwords for clients to brand and rebrand themselves. The world McCarthy depicts is our contemporary world, where all human connection is mediated by screens, and huge corporations flatten out diversity and individuality. Pervasive anxiety, information overload, and shallow relations between people are the stuff of McCarthy's world. In that sense the novel is an obvious, unoriginal critique of "post post-modernity." The only arresting part of the novel comes toward the end, when U. finally has a substantive, face-to-face conversation with his girlfriend.

a
AmyMoJoJo
Mar 03, 2015

Found this via io9's article: http://bit.ly/1wS64ZK
NPR says "the satiny glow of those passages gives a reader hope for some kind of fusion of meaning and feeling in a world that's too carefully restrained." SOLD!

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PimaLib_SherrieB Jun 21, 2016

On design: The end point to which it strives is a state in which the world is one hundred percent synthetic, made by man, for man, according to his desires...

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