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Distortion Reviews

Distortion by Gautam Malkani

Distortion

Gautam Malkani

3.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Unbound
Publisher: Unbound
Publication date: 6 Sep 2018
ISBN: 9781783525270

These three very separate identities for the same young man have been growing dangerously hardwired thanks to the self-reinforcing effects of social media and search engines, and the uncanny predictive capabilities of his smartphones.

2 stars out of 5
26 Sep 2019

"[P]arts of Distortion are repetitive or just plain dull, as ideas or scenarios are played and replayed. Digital dependency may be at its heart, but this intriguing, messy novel is a little too easy to put down."

Malkani’s follow- up to the ambitious Londonstani packs in some lively neologisms (tears are “eye-saliva”), and combines a hard-hitting account of the stresses felt by young carers with some sharp points about truth and value in the digital age. Unfortunately, the supporting cast don’t have any real life to them, and parts of Distortion are repetitive or just plain dull, as ideas or scenarios are played and replayed. Digital dependency may be at its heart, but this intriguing, messy novel is a little too easy to put down.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Suzi Feay
6 Oct 2018

"' a vivid argot, complicating and defamiliarising everyday terms and activities.'"

Coming 12 years after his acclaimed debut, Londonstani, Gautam Malkani’s second novel Distortion features a vivid argot, complicating and defamiliarising everyday terms and activities.
In its pages, young people do things in exciting new ways...

4 stars out of 5
Zoë Apostolides
7 Sep 2018

"'An ambitious tale tackling split identity, the life of carers and the dangers of technology'"

Malkani has tackled a great deal in Distortion: from under-appreciated, silent care work among low-income families to explorations of our use and reliance on technology. There are wider questions too about fake news, xenophobia and the rumour mill the internet both enables and, occasionally, debunks. It’s called the web for a reason, but there are some truths more nuanced than the internet can provide, no matter how many questions we tap into Google. Part post-truth nightmare, part social commentary, Distortion is an involved, complex book that rewards the close attention it deserves.