The Echo Chamber: John Boyne

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The Echo Chamber: John Boyne

The Echo Chamber: John Boyne

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I can't help but notice that those bemoaning it are, generally speaking, people who have had platforms and a certain privilege. I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Their children are Nelson, an anxious fantasist, Elizabeth, who is obsessed with finding social media fame, and Achilles, who while still at school has used his charm to lucrative effect as a blackmailer.

On many occasions, their misbehaviour, inc sexual abuse, and other transgressions come out to light. I had no idea how a tortoise would fit into the plot and guessed the cover picture was metaphorical but I was wrong, as becomes clear in the first few chapters.Having only ever intended it as an empathic exploration of transitioning, he found himself accused of “misgendering” and “decentring” and many similarly internet-fuelled misdeeds. For example, daughter Elizabeth and her boyfriend plan to visit a leper colony, not to do any work, but so the lepers can see what normal people look like and it will give those poor souls such hope. JB has a really remarkable track record for nuanced characters and writing, but this is an over-the-top rant.

A laugh out loud experience, we're introduced to the Cleverly family, George and Beverly as well as children, Elizabeth, Achilles and Neville. They’re connected in more than just a familial way, - and it will result in their downfall, they just don’t know it yet, which results in hilarious secrets being revealed, and boy it makes for a fascinating and fun read. Up to a few years ago, George and Beverley had a very loving relationship, enjoying each other’s company and having their children around them. All members of the family are very dislikable and the author starts the narrative off for each character by outlining the worst aspects of their personalities, which I enjoyed.Together they will go on a journey of discovery through the Hogarthian jungle of the modern living where past presumptions count for nothing and carefully curated reputations can be destroyed in an instant. I also know that this book comes from the author's own experience after writing his book "My Brother's name is Jessica" and getting lots of hate back then. The youngest of the three, the 17 year old Achilles extorts money from older men that want to ravage him. Boyne comments on good writing: Well, (according to cleverley beverley in conversation with her ghost) a novel must have good sentences that gather together to make fascinating paragraphs .

Neville, the oldest is a frustrated teacher who dives into speed dating and in the process discovers he's gay. But Boyne manages to soften the edges by demonstrating real comedic talent in pulling together a number of linked strands in the manner of a farce – it’s preposterous that all these things should so impact one family and yet it’s also highly amusing. Their three grown children, Nelson, Elizabeth, and Achilles, are all i=ridiculous in their own ways. Still wounded (and still harassed), Boyne has therefore cast aside the sensitivity and compassion for which his writing is rightly known and instead opted to channel the spirit of late-period, mouth-frothing Tom Sharpe.Overall, it’s a mixed bag for me, some parts are devastatingly funny, acutely observed and enjoyable while others are bizarre and odd.

As the book is a satire, there are a lot of laughs but if one digs a bit, one can see that The Echo Chamber is about a lot of serious topics, ranging from sexism in the media, the lack of education in younger generations, being an authentic author to politics. To describe them as narcissistic, self obsessed bigots and blinkered, blind and inattentive to each other is an understatement.Namely that some of the characters had a very pointed discussion about cancel culture and wokeness that felt gratuitous and out of place, and that the characters in the later chapters ventured into farcical caricatures. Being in my early 40’s I have seen the rise of the World Wide Web and the introduction of social media sites: Hi5, Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (sorry I never liked Snapchat and I just can’t get into Tik Tok – yet) However in the past two years, especially on Twitter and Instagram stories I’ve noticed a new breed of people cropping up; they are self-righteous, quick to act aggressive if an opinion does not match with theirs and get all their education from memes, which they share and follow as the gospel truth. The story is told through these wonderful characters with a lot of humour and wit and will leave you smiling. IF I have a criticism then it is how the tortoise part was handled and I won't elaborate as I don't want to spoil it.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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