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Transmission | [Hari Kunzru]

Transmission

Transmission, Hari Kunzru's new novel of love and lunacy, immigration and immunity, introduces a daydreaming Indian computer geek whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer.
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Publisher's Summary

Transmission, Hari Kunzru's new novel of love and lunacy, immigration and immunity, introduces a daydreaming Indian computer geek whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer.

Lonely and naive, Arjun Mehta spends his days as a lowly assistant virus tester and pining away for his free-spirited colleague Christine. Arjun gets laid-off like so many of his Silicon Valley peers. In an act of desperation to keep his job, he releases a mischievous but destructive virus around the globe that has major unintended consequences. As world order unravels, so does Arjun's sanity, in a rollicking cataclysm that reaches Bollywood and, not so coincidentally, the glamorous star of Arjun's favorite Indian movie.

Award-winning novelist Hari Kunzru was hailed as a "modern-day Kipling," for his bestselling debut, The Impressionist. With this exuberant follow-up, Kunzru takes an ultracontemporary turn in a stylish, playful, and wicked exploration of life at the click of a mouse.

©2004 Hari Kunzru; (P)2004 Simon and Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS, is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Delectable...Mr. Kunzru writes with wry certitude and cinematic precision." (The New York Times)
"A sprawling, ambitious, shape-shifting novel...Kunzru proves himself a clever, sharply observant writer...much more than a brilliant satirist." (The Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (132 )
5 star
 (46)
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 (34)
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Overall
3.9 (17 )
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Story
3.9 (17 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Don Austin, TX, USA 07-11-04
    Don Austin, TX, USA 07-11-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
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    107
    12
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    "Thoroughly Enjoyable"

    Presents a realistic look at the hurdles faced by technical folks trying to immigrate to the US while at the same time telling a hilarious insider story of high-tech America. The related story of the marketing people affected by the virus lets us in on the buzzword filled conversations of marketing "wizards" in which nothing is ever said that makes sense. I recommend this book to anyone who likes computer or Internet related stories.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Covington, WA, USA 12-30-04
    Richard Covington, WA, USA 12-30-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
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    9
    8
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    "A Great Read"

    I decided I should start adding my two cents worth since I've been snookered by some overly glowing reviews and also assisted by some great reviews. I'd add Transmission to the great list. It was thouroughly enjoyable, especially because I work in the technology sector and with Indian developers. The story line is engaging, entertaining, and at times educational. The author's reading was excellent. There were a few plot loose ends, but I still heartily recommend it. A modern fable of technology, outsourcing, and love.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Kirschner New York, NY USA 07-28-04
    Ann Kirschner New York, NY USA 07-28-04 Member Since 2002

    Ann

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    17
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    Overall
    "First time reviewer!"

    Transmission is the kind of book that reminds you why you read contemporary fiction instead of retreating to the safety of the classics. Kunzru's story is a total page-turner, but one elevated to the level of a modern fable by his amazing observations, beautiful language, and memorable characters. Digital life as filtered through the fine and ironic sensibility of a master. I hoarded the last hour, hardly wanting it to end. And Kunzru is an amazing reader, alternately Indian, English, Australian, American.....

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 02-15-05
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 02-15-05

    Listening since 2004. Mystery, thrillers and anything that can blend with a walk, jog, exercise, long drive or a wait at the airport.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    198
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    "A complete entertaining experience"

    Mr. Kunzuru kept me smiling through the book. A satirical touch to technology driven immigrants, the Indian film industry, unsuccessful jargon pouting marketing geeks, venture capitalist, golf playing Arabs and the various manifestation of women in everyones lives. Thankfully, there is also a plot with many sub plots, which are quite interesting and amusing but the superb characterization and the narration is the winner. I could relate to all the characters in this book.

    Only negative part about Mr. Kunzrus book is the prolonged description of places and events. While at some stages it was useful to visualize the complete scene where the protagonist lives and works to experience his escapades while at the other times the author would not relent until he had informed us about everything other than the brand of lubricating oil used for the swivel chairs in the room.

    The book is well read. The author does this superbly! A cinematic experience!

    This book will not disappoint anyone.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 04-05-05
    Amazon Customer United States 04-05-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    225
    11
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    "Wonderful book"

    This was a wonderful book ... almost a "bonfire of the vanities" for the current tech world, only with some more personal aspects. The author was a fantastic narrator, and the book was fun and exciting. I enjoyed it tremendously.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Reese 10-24-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ken"

    Sorry to do this but I just could not engage in this book. I've been listening to audio books for over 3 yrs, 1.5 to 2 hrs per day during my drive and have many books under my belt. Some books are slow getting started so I give them a good honest try before I give up, but I have to give up on this one. My suggestion is go in another direction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudibleAvid Chico, CA United States 09-04-05
    AudibleAvid Chico, CA United States 09-04-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    65
    7
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    Overall
    "Entertaining yet not very memorable"

    I enjoyed this book and really liked the modern elements that comprise the storyline. The narrator/author is very good. I recommend this book since it's present day and very entertaining but I have to say that I can't even remember the end and I listened to it very recently. It has a great way of weaving many characters from far and near together which is such a great reminder of how small the world has become.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Washington, DC, USA 08-17-05
    Steve Washington, DC, USA 08-17-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    This book was a lot of fun. When I purchased the book, I wasn't sure if I could relate to the plight of Indian computer programmers. This book really draws you into the characters. The writing is skillful, and the plot engaging. Definitely worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KPS 06-22-05
    KPS 06-22-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    225
    4
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    Overall
    "great narration; colorful characters; weak finish"

    This clever yarn dives into the subculture of computer-obscessed programmers (and other lives affected by them), and is beautifully narrated by the author. The colorful characters are all larger than life, but the author can't seem to untangle the elegant web he weaves, and cops-out with weak ending that just doesn't match.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan M. Gellatly Winnipeg, Canada 04-15-05
    Alan M. Gellatly Winnipeg, Canada 04-15-05

    Ace Chucker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "A light listen"

    The narrator, also the author, does an excellent job of reading, really telling an excellent story. He conveys a mood and emotion that ranks with the best of the narrators that I have heard.

    That said, this could best be called a "light" listen. There are a lot of characters and storylines in a short 9 hr audiobook, with probably too little time devoted to any one of them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    6/28/08
    Overall
    "Modern themes, modern media - yaah.."

    That Hitchcockian plotting exemplar has been best carried forward in recent times by the now obscure and seemingly defunct Gilles Mimouni. But, William Boyd aside, here's a fresh and interesting voice that creates a self-referential world within the pages of a fascinating read. Do those computer viruses exist? I'm sure I got caught with that....that block of flats on the Thames, that lovely, lovely, naughty, naughty actress....?? the conspiracy theory...that Scottish castle...?
    Read by the author as a particular treat and with a new book in the shops currently, this new voice and style can only get better - a great first novel full of fun an intrigue with a wonderful and unique Indian/British twist.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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