Meatspace The first and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me Kitab Balasubramanyam has had a rough few months His girlfriend left him He got fired from the job he hated for writin

  • Title: Meatspace
  • Author: Nikesh Shukla
  • ISBN: 9780007565078
  • Page: 334
  • Format: Paperback
  • The first and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me Kitab Balasubramanyam has had a rough few months His girlfriend left him He got fired from the job he hated for writing a novel on company time, but the novel didn t sell and now he s burning through his mum s life insurance money His father has success with women than he does, and The first and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me Kitab Balasubramanyam has had a rough few months His girlfriend left him He got fired from the job he hated for writing a novel on company time, but the novel didn t sell and now he s burning through his mum s life insurance money His father has success with women than he does, and his Facebook comments get likes Kitab is reduced to spending all of his time in his flat with his brother Aziz, coming up with ideas for novelty Tumblrs and composing amusing tweets But now even Aziz has left him, travelling to America to find his doppelganger.So what happens when Kitab Balasubramanyam s only internet namesake turns up on his doorstep and insists that they are meant to be friends Meatspace is a hilarious and troubling analysis of what happens when our lives become nothing than an aggregation of shared content, when our online personas are interesting than real life A brilliant follow up from an acclaimed young novelist writing at the sharp edge of modern life.

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      Posted by:Nikesh Shukla
      Published :2019-01-26T18:35:01+00:00

    One thought on “Meatspace”

    1. "Connections used to be important. Now it's all selfies and sandwiches on Twitter."The fact that I had to ask my husband what 'meatspace' is will tell you something about me. So while I don't share the protagonist's obsession with all things internet and cyber, I was aware enough to understand the references, the humour, and the irony of the story.I saw this as a book mocking all things online, for readers who probably spend a lot of their free time online. But so I don't sound hypocritical, I a [...]

    2. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)I have to admit, at first I was not a big believer in all the hype that came with Nikesh Shukla's third novel, Meatspace; for while it starts out as a funny little character-based comedy about young artists in London, it certainly doesn't seem like "the greatest book on loneliness since The Catcher in the Rye, [...]

    3. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. I don’t think it reads too well as a commentary on social media — the bits on online life came across as quite heavy-handed, like they were forced onto the plot and main character’s development even as they were meant to be driving both, and Kitab’s social media usage felt quite alien to me. (Also Kitab and Aziz are just bad at Twitter/blogging and this annoyed me a disproportionate amount.) I wonder, however, how much of this is [...]

    4. Meatspace in part is a great social commentary on what the internet is doing to us. Kitab spends so much time composing tweets and checking for updates, he isn’t really present in the real world, or meatspace as some would call it. He places so much importance on gaining meaningless interactions online; has his latest tweet been retweeted, or just favourited?He’s slowing slipping away from the real world though. It sounds like his break up was probably over his social media time and ignoring [...]

    5. This really wasn’t for me. I just don’t enjoy books/films/tv that make me cringe (I should like Alan Partridge but I don’t, I hate cringing), and there’s a lot of cringing for the main character Kitab in this. I could see that ‘Kitab 2’ was partly a real-life version of the stories he would tell about his brother, but I found the character ridiculous and annoying (and cringe). I also really didn’t like the ‘twist’ at the end. So, yeah, not for me at all.

    6. “The First and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me.”I said to someone recently that between social media and a number of other factors, I feel like I have lost most of my ability to communicate with people on any normal level. It is with this thought that I approached Nikesh Shukla’s Meatspace.Meatspace is the name that people who spend their lives online give to the world outside—as in, the opposite of Cyberspace. It is the story of Kitab, author of India [...]

    7. Meatspace is about Kitab Balasubramanyam, a young author living in London with a paralyzing case of writer's block. His first book has garnered tepid reviews. His girlfriend left him because he lacks joie de vivre. He obsesses over maintaining an (often painfully artificial) online "presence".It's easy to empathize with Kitab because our lives can feel similar to his. Here's a quick checklist -- Have you ever embellished a story to project an idealized version of yourself? Do you catch yourself [...]

    8. mh. that's a difficult one to review. it was good. it really was. but i would not say i liked it a lot. i'm still super unsure about itybe a good adjective to sum it up might be "awkward". you know, if something is just that little bit "off" and you are embarrassed and ashamed and oh-no-ing on someone else's behalf? that was me while reading. an awkward male lead with awkward family and friends - ah acquaintances - which felt so realistic to me that i felt constantly ashamed for him. the poor bu [...]

    9. Meatspace is the first book I’ve read that really gets to the heart of Twitter. This amusing book is about Kitab, a young man who spends his entire time perfecting his online persona. His obsession comes at the expense of his real life, from which he becomes increasingly isolated.This book makes a lot of great observations about society’s increasing reliance on the Internet. The jokes were occasionally too “blokey” for me and I found myself cringing at some of the scenes I’m sure were [...]

    10. For the first three quarters of the book I'd say it was a solid three stars. Engaging but not addictive, interesting if slightly unbelievable. However the last quarter was much better pace-wise and authenticity-wise and more of a 4 star so I thought I'd write this to explain that I can't decide on my star rating for this book 3.5 I guess.

    11. I got a review copy of this book from Netgalley. You can read my review on the Writers' Hub:writershub/reviews-p

    12. From time to time, normally when I’m walking through London, I have a little fantasy that I like to indulge. I pretend that I’m accompanied by someone from hundreds of years ago, and I’m trying to explain to them the things around us. (For some reason the person always looks like that old portrait of William Shakespeare, complete with receding hairline, twiddly little moustache, ambiguous smile.) I tell them what we are doing here, on a giant mechanical stairway that carries us many storey [...]

    13. This was really readable, so I've bumped it up to 3 stars. The ending infuriated me so much I marked it as 2 originally!The book follows a writer struggling to write his second novel (so far so meta). He and his brother Aziz have simultaneously discovered their doppelgangers on the internet and embark on slightly awkward adventures as they meet them in real life. The main character Kitab is only vaguely sympathetic. He's grieving, he has a strained relationship with his father, he's recently bro [...]

    14. A story about social media, identity and the struggle to fit in. A failing writer and his laddish brother each encounter their doppelgangers online, and end up meeting them face-to-face, with strange and troubling consequences. The main plot was interesting, and often genuinely unpleasant to read, with a queasy Chris Morris-esque sense of helplessness. There's romance, which is sweet enough, though for me it didn't do enough to flesh out the rest of the book. The last chapter in particular spoil [...]

    15. This book isn't in my usual wheelhouse but I enjoyed it a lot without being able to really put a finger on why. I was just rooting for Kitab! It's interesting how fast technology changes, because a lot of this book is influenced by it's setting in a world where Facebook and social media is still kind of new to people, which feels like such a far off time even though it's only a few years. Anyway, I'm still thinking about why I liked this book but I will say I think it's going to stick with me. A [...]

    16. A terrible book made even worse by a completely ridiculous ending. The protagonist is insufferable, and all the 2D caricatures of characters in his life are even more insufferable and absurd. The writing is puerile and full of "ironically unironic" hipster language and scenes. At least it was a short read, though it felt like it would never end.

    17. Is it not fitting that right after I decide to cut back social media/email, I get a book from Netgalley about the drain, yet the draw, of cultivating one's online persona? But before I review, I need to make one thing clear: Meatspace isn't one book. Meatspace is two books. In my ePub copy, there's a charming book that's a fun diversion from real life from pages 1 to 216. Then from near the top of page 216 to the last page of book on page 229, comes a book that is such a waste of my and everyone [...]

    18. Interesting, original, and quirky read. At times I wasn't sure I liked it, yet I couldn't put it down. I did not see the twist coming and it truly blew my mind and made me want to read it again with the knowledge I now had. Touching ending.

    19. Didn't make it very far into the book, so my review is not conclusive, but I decided not to finish reading it because I was getting annoyed. It probably does capture a cultural moment, as the back of the book says, but I guess I'm not interested enough in the cultural moment it's describing.

    20. I picked this up on a whim at my local library and have to say it's a terrible book. it wants to be Fight Club but doesn't quite pack the same punch.

    21. Unlikeable characters abound. And I felt it had very little depth. The twist can be seen from a mile off and doesn’t make sense even!!!

    22. We enter Kitab's life at a time when things could be going better - he's wasting his money, failing to write, and most troubling is that he spends too much time obsessing over chutney. As the story progresses, Kitab and his brother Aziz play out parallel but unique experiences as Aziz tracks down his internet doppelganger and Kitab is befriended by another Kitab Balasubramanyam online and then in real life.The name of the book is perfect - meatspace, a term used to mean real life as opposed to c [...]

    23. ***Random Thoughts, Some Spoilers, Favourite Quotes***There is a sense of uncanny in Kitab 2 hacking into his Twitter and posting nude pictures because the truth doesn't even matter online. The fact he has the same name and has control of Kitab's twitter feed is enough to confirm something as real in the digital space."everything your twitter bio tells the world about you, that's what people want to know. Gender, ethnicity, likes'""This time I am seething with war. War doesn't take public transp [...]

    24. Tweets, retweets, status updates, likes, and sharing all at the tap of a button. In a world of online interactions, we are all bodily removed from other people while simultaneously connected to them and apprised of their every action. So what becomes of the real world? That space is also the title of Nikesh Shukla's novel, Meatspace, which is fraught with consequences for both digital and physical actions.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: makinggoodstories.wordpress/.Kitab [...]

    25. Meatspace. It’s a word I’d never heard before I read this book. I’d never considered that a word like it would exist. Basically, meatspace is the opposite of cyberspace. It’s the real world – flesh and blood world.This book didn’t rock my perceptions of the world because I’m very aware that most of us spend a large portion of our days online. We live by the calendars and apps on our smartphones, we post photographs of our pets, ourselves, and even our meals on social networking sit [...]

    26. Kitab's life it definitely in what you'd call a rut. His girlfriend dumped him, he left his job to write a book using the money from his inheritance generated by the insurance from his mother's death, which didn't sell. Now he spends his life largely in the apartment that he shares with his brother Aziz, surfing the web, checking his Facebook profile and tweeting carefully composed, arch comments. When he ignores a Facebook friend request from someone with the same name, he has no idea the chain [...]

    27. I wrote some notes about why I didn't like this book but I didn't want to be too harsh because perhaps it is for some people and just not me. Also, I'm acutely aware that I probably don't have a novel in me and all writers deserve recognition for having the capacity to create a story. However, I had issues with this book. The main one being the dialogue which I found unrealistic and the relationships which I found underdeveloped (to put it mildly). The only relationship this book explored was th [...]

    28. Kitab Balasubramanyam has a problem with technology. He can’t leave it alone. He fills voids in his life with social media. But social media cannot teach you social mores. This novel put me in mind of a Greco-Roman tragedy. Family is everything, nothing. Modern times: self fights technology. There is crossover, there is confusion. The protagonist has an angel and a devil in his life. Both have aspects of the other entity.At first I was fighting through the crude ‘dudes’ and endless ‘cool [...]

    29. This one definitely got better as it went along.The core constructs of misidentification and dopplegangers are familiar at least as far back as Shakespeare, so it's up to the author to do something new and original with them. I thought examining the role of technology, especially social media, in our lives really worked. I liked the emerging relationship between Kitab and Kitab 2; I liked the back-and-forth between Kitab's London story of lost identity and Aziz's adventure / blog from NYC, which [...]

    30. It's interesting because it's current. It's a little hard to get into at first but once you get used to the outlandish blog posts and the stream of consciousness from Kitab, it becomes very funny. It's a unique outlook on how people live their virtual lives vs their "meatspace" lives. And though I agreed with the trolls that some of this stuff could never happen, I recognize if someone's paying enough attention, it canyour virtual life bleeds into your personal. For writers, and I'm sure actors/ [...]

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