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I really dig Jonathan Raban and I really dug this book. Strong plotline, well developed characters and contemporary themes But are these ideas what they seem? My personal view is that Jonathan Raban is not preaching about civil liberties and the implication that America is a totalitarian state at all. He is telling it very much in the third p I really dig Jonathan Raban and I really dug this book. He is telling it very much in the third person. And what is more the character in third person providing the surveillance state messaging is engaged in some dodgy surveillance himself.

No - the real subtext is about comparative risks and as it turns out, it is a natural hazard not a man made one that brings the whole thing down in the very open - ended ending. Masterful, thoughtful and very rewarding. May 28, Mark rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Finished reading this book last night. Struggled through the first hundred pages of wooden characters and political cant, finally found my footing for the next pages as the plot threads unfurled, got interested in what would happen, and then Raban pulls the rug out from under my feet.

Not a surprise ending--an abdication of authorial duty. Had he had enough of the book? Had his fictive imagination failed him? All I know is I felt cheated. I gave the auth Finished reading this book last night. I gave the author my full attention, began to enjoy his book, and then he betrayed me. Raban should stick to non-fiction e. May 18, Shawna rated it did not like it Shelves: This book no longer felt as topical since Osama Bin Laden's death occurred while I was reading the book. It is because the homeland security debates are still going strong on the hill.

I was halfway through when I realized that nothing was happening and they only thing the kept me reading was the expectation of an ah-ha moment. No such moment occurred unless it was suppose to be the earthquake when despite all the Library Book Club. No such moment occurred unless it was suppose to be the earthquake when despite all the "surveillance" everyone was separate and not in-touch. Not even the fact the book's setting is in places I know; Seattle and Whidbey Island redeemed it. Jul 31, Brian Lomas rated it did not like it. After some effort because it was a Raban book I persevered as far as page Raban should stick to what he is good at - travel writing.

This fictional work is written in Raban's Americanism, and neither his fiction, his words or his story rate reading. Jan 06, Sheri rated it did not like it. Too formulaic and didactic. Aug 25, Simon Wood rated it liked it. First off, this wasn't at all the book I was expecting it to be. Can't remember where I came across it - on some internet site - but the way it was referenced was: Forget Orwell's , read Jonathan Raban's Surveillance. So I bought it off Amazon expecting it to be some kind of dystopian-near-future-nightmare-world - or at the very least, some kind of protagonist-caught-up-in-some-kind-of-espionage-tip-of-the-ice-berg type plot.

Needless to say, this is not that book. And at first I was disappoi First off, this wasn't at all the book I was expecting it to be. And at first I was disappointed by this, but then as the book went on I grew to really like it. The characters themselves also felt very real and very likable, and as it was I was really enjoying it as a simple tale about these people and their simple life struggles.

Then that fucking ending comes along. Honestly, I don't know what to make of it. Started skimming a couple of reviews before starting this book, but quickly stopped as I immediately got the sense that the book has something of an inconclusive ending, and I didn't want to bias my experience of it.

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Still nothing could have prepared me for what almost felt like an abandonment of the story all together. As it goes, I am actually finding myself trying to reason out some kind of potential metaphor for it all. Something to do with Maybe it was the Authors intention to make me think of it in this kind of way, but it just feels like a frustratingly pretentious ending to a book that I was really enjoying.

Still, I can't help but feel like it's going to be one of those books that stays with me. Let's call it 3 and a half stars. Interesting and unusual novel which takes an ironic look at the issue of security versus privacy. On the one hand there's the young kids keen to publish their every fart online. The parents of those kids, or some of them, are concerned that the state is watching their every move, and resent it The state itself undoubtedly uses turrism to justify in Interesting and unusual novel which takes an ironic look at the issue of security versus privacy.

The state itself undoubtedly uses turrism to justify intrusive surveillance, checkpoints, mock disasters to check preparedness etc These themes are explored through some slightly cardboard-like archetypes and then the narrative is abruptly fractured and the story ends. Superficially this feels as though the author got sick of the whole thing The ending will annoy lots of readers, and it did myself.

But I do believe it is artistically valid. Jan 17, Rachel rated it liked it. I agree with the other reviewers who have complained that Raban seems to have gotten tired of writing this book and just stopped at pages without resolving any of the issues he was exploring. I do see what he was trying to do with the ending, but when I read it, I can't help feeling that he kind of took the easy way out. That said, I enjoyed the book. When I first picked it up I thought it was going to be about the implications of living in a surveillance state, but the book really dealt muc I agree with the other reviewers who have complained that Raban seems to have gotten tired of writing this book and just stopped at pages without resolving any of the issues he was exploring.

When I first picked it up I thought it was going to be about the implications of living in a surveillance state, but the book really dealt much more with the ways we all spy on one another and how matter-of-fact we are about it: The book was extremely intelligent and thought-provoking, while at the same time an engrossing work of fiction. I wish he had continued on with themes he was in the process of developing Jul 05, Jan rated it did not like it. Passed onto me by two friends, both of them gave up after the first two chapters, but I thought, oh it can not be that bad.

Should have listened, I wasted my time reading this, no ending, no final, a book you pick up and throw against the wall with frustration that time, was wasted. Story, America is under a "big daddy is watching you" period. Illegal immigrants everywhere, cyber terrorists, etc. Story is on a writer who is to do an article on a boy raised in Nazi Germany, or wa Passed onto me by two friends, both of them gave up after the first two chapters, but I thought, oh it can not be that bad.

Story is on a writer who is to do an article on a boy raised in Nazi Germany, or was he, he has written a book, which is going to be turned into a movie, but is it all make believe?

Democracy Handbook W/ Bassem Youssef

A woman in the UK says the child in the story was spending his time with them, as a refuge, and was an ungrateful brat. However, can the writer prove this? She starts out to try. We never get to find out, because in the middle of an earth quake the story just ends! Don't bother to waste your time, there are other books to read. Dec 21, Ryan Mishap rated it did not like it Shelves: Opens with a bang, literally, as Homeland Security films an attack video in near-future Seattle for a public safety film uh huh, we believe that right away.

Surveillance & Crime

Lucy, single mom and freelancer, is tasked to score an interview witha professor who is enjoying critical success for his memoir as an orphan in post-WWII Europe. Lucy lies to get the interview, winds up befriending the guy, and then discovers he might have made it all up. Meanwhile, lucy's neighbor may be dying of AIDS while developers a Opens with a bang, literally, as Homeland Security films an attack video in near-future Seattle for a public safety film uh huh, we believe that right away.

Meanwhile, lucy's neighbor may be dying of AIDS while developers attempt to purchase the building they live in. And that is as far as I got, sorry. The sense of menace and paranoia--helped along by car wrecks that may or may not happened--was minimal but maybe ratchets up later , but I was just bored to tears. The reviews say the end is surprising and will "outrage" many, but i just didn't care enough to get there. May 13, Holly rated it liked it. I was all set to give this four stars--the characterization was tight, the plot moved quickly, and the social commentary on living in a surveillance society was timely and non-hysterical.

The daughter tracks her mother's alcohol intake, the mother investigates the autobiographical story of a writer she's doing a profile on, the next door neighbor runs down information on the new owner of their apartment building, and I was all set to give this four stars--the characterization was tight, the plot moved quickly, and the social commentary on living in a surveillance society was timely and non-hysterical. The daughter tracks her mother's alcohol intake, the mother investigates the autobiographical story of a writer she's doing a profile on, the next door neighbor runs down information on the new owner of their apartment building, and of course the government investigates us all.

Surveillance and democracy / edited by Kevin D. Haggerty and Minas Samatas - Details - Trove

But then the ending just I guess the point was that while the government is giving us "security theatre" they're doing nothing to protect us from disasters of a more prosaic kind, but given how likable the characters were, it was disappointing not to know what happened to them. Feb 05, Bookmarks Magazine added it. Jun 02, Christy rated it it was ok Shelves: The story is based in Seattle which I thought would be fun to read but, after about the 20th mention of something familiar, it almost became annoying to read about the local venues.

Almost as if the story was written around making sure to mention as many places as possible. Interestingly, in my book club I was the only one who did not like it. Some of the comments, "it reminded m The story is based in Seattle which I thought would be fun to read but, after about the 20th mention of something familiar, it almost became annoying to read about the local venues.

Some of the comments, "it reminded me that the big earthquake might come", "I liked all the Seattle references because I could picture them", "wanted to know if the writer living on Whidbey actually was the guy in the picture the woman in Germany had. Jan 11, Mike Thomas rated it it was ok. What was this guy thinking? A slow start to the story but then a nice flow picks up and a decent storyline develops and then Also, I didn't really get the whole tie-in to how this storyline fit in with the new surveillance that the author continually refers to during this new era being always on guard against terrorists and the loss of privacy as part of the price for that.

That in itself can make for a good book I'm sure. However with the way it's written into this story I may have to try another book by J. Raban just to see what he has to offer because I did get into a good groove in the second half of the book but there's a big gaping hole at the end of it. Not a satisfying read. Aug 07, Christine marked it as to-read. I'm intrigued by the number of unfavorable reviews of this book, as the reason I'm putting it on my to-read list is that a bookstore employee whose opinion I respect recommended it because she thought it was really well paced and has a completely satisfying ending.

We were talking about how many contemporary books we've read lately that we liked well enough, but couldn't quite love because the authors didn't seem to know quite how to end them. She specifically told me to check out Surveillance b I'm intrigued by the number of unfavorable reviews of this book, as the reason I'm putting it on my to-read list is that a bookstore employee whose opinion I respect recommended it because she thought it was really well paced and has a completely satisfying ending. She specifically told me to check out Surveillance because it doesn't have that flaw.

But now I see that other goodreaders have had the exact opposite opinion of it. I'll just have to read it for myself, I guess! I found it quite gripping and really got to like the characters especially Alida and Augie. The very sudden ending is disappointing. It is so abrupt that I had to ask myself why? I suppose he is saying that no matter how much surveillance you have, you are never out of danger which can come from anywhere, in any form and at any time.

Nevertheless it left the st An unusual book. Nevertheless it left the story hanging and somehow unfinished. Mar 12, Martin Streetman rated it really liked it. I planned on giving this book a 5 just based on how much it hooked me, but I just finished it and it simply ended, no closure what so ever. Not that he didn't close everything he didn't close anything. Almost as if there is a part 2 floating around. I don't care for to be continued in the least bit. All that being said he did an amazing job with his characters, I want to know more about all of them.

Was August a fraud? Did the building get demolished? Did I planned on giving this book a 5 just based on how much it hooked me, but I just finished it and it simply ended, no closure what so ever. Did lucy finish the GQ article? Did Charles get exposed? May 12, Manda rated it liked it. Like most of Raban's work, this is set in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle.

This one deals with aftermath: Sep 07, Cara rated it it was ok. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Read more Read less. Save Extra with 1 offer. About the Author Kevin D.

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