by Egan, Jennifer | Fiction & related items
Published 07/03/2023 by Little, Brown Book Group (Constable and Robinson) in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 352 pages
Staff pick: Catherine
A brilliant, beautiful, moving novel. It’s in part a kaleidoscopic exploration of technology: the things we sacrifice to it, and the rewards (or not) it offers in return. It’s thoughtful, complex and full of rich characters – but it’s also massively entertaining and punky and fun. Read Visit from the Goon Squad too!
It’s 2010. Staggeringly successful and brilliant tech entrepreneur Bix Bouton is desperate for a new idea.
He’s forty, with four kids, and restless when he stumbles into a conversation with mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalising” memory. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, Own Your Unconscious–that allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others–has seduced multitudes. But not everyone.
In spellbinding linked narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling and extraordinarily moving, The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. With a focus on social media, gaming, and alternate worlds, you can almost experience moving among dimensions in a role-playing game.
Egan takes her “deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue) to stunning new heights and delivers a fierce and exhilarating testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption.