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Publisher's Summary

Smart and inventive, an emotional and addictive novel that considers the elusive definition of happiness. 

Pearl's job is to make people happy. Every day, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She's good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion? 

Meanwhile, there's Pearl's teenage son, Rhett. A sensitive kid who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence, Rhett seems to find greater satisfaction in being unhappy. The very rejection of joy is his own kind of "pursuit of happiness". As his mother, Pearl wants nothing more than to help Rhett - but is it for his sake or for hers? Certainly it would make Pearl happier. Regardless, her son is one person whose emotional life does not fall under the parameters of her job - not as happiness technician, and not as mother, either. 

Told from an alternating cast of endearing characters from within Pearl and Rhett's world, Tell the Machine Goodnight delivers a smartly moving and entertaining story about relationships and the ways that they can most surprise and define us. Along the way, Katie Williams playfully illuminates our national obsession with positive psychology, and our reliance on quick fixes and technology. What happens when these obsessions begin to overlap? With warmth, humor, and a clever touch, Williams taps into our collective unease about the modern world and allows us see it a little more clearly.

©2018 Katie Williams (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rebecca Lowman leads an all-star cast of narrators in a playful, thought-provoking audiobook that uses its near-future setting to ask big questions about the nature of happiness.... Each narrator is perfectly matched to the character being voiced. Arthur Morey's winsome, devil-may-care interpretation of Pearl's charming but unreliable ex-husband is especially memorable. This audiobook is an excellent example of a full-cast recording done right." (AudioFile)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written and imaginative

This book has a fascinating premise, and the premise and the characters develop throughout the story. This is not a page-turning roller coaster ride, more a series of related vignettes from the viewpoints of various characters. None the less, it held my attention and I look forward to more from this author.

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Realistic Sci-Fi

A very believable family, social, work multi-generational dynamic. The sci-fi sneaks up in the everydayness of this interesting story that deals with a difficult coming of age and parents maturing into emotional adults. A well-told well-rounded story with just enough YA. romance, tech, suspense and mother's love to have a great story for everyone

1 of 2 people found this review helpful