BOOK REVIEW: HATERZ / AUTHOR: JAMES GOSS / PUBLISHER: SOLARIS / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 24TH
James Goss is better known for his work on various Doctor Who-related novels and audios, and technological thriller Haterz is his first crime novel, and a very impressive one at that.
The plot of Haterz is quite clever. Dave, our protagonist, is a social media junkie who also happens to have rather good acting and technical skills. Driven to the edge of reason by a friend’s incessant hectoring via social media, he commits homicide. Thus begins the live of Dave the Serial Killer, a person who actually goes out and kills all those awful people who wind you up when you browse the web.
Goss writes with a razor sharp wit and uses it to cut Internet culture to the bone. The central character is brilliantly thought-out; utterly loathsome in many regards, and yet at the same time we’re constantly cheering him on as he hunts down and destroys the monsters of the modern age. Each chapter focuses on a specific Internet phenomena; trolls on Twitter, con-artists on Facebook, agit-prop columnists on news websites, and so on. Each element is treated with an equal amount of venom and humour.
Of particular interest to book lovers are the scenes that involve a Twitter storm. If the tale of one minor personality using Twitter to attack the host of a popular genre convention sounds familiar, you will find yourself laughing very hard at the Haterz version of events. Goss carefully blends a wide variety of online phenomena and nothing is held sacred. This is extremely refreshing satire, told in a bold and clever way.
If you’ve ever written anything unwise on the Internet or felt that social media is just too dominant in our lives, this will appeal to you. Partially an angry polemic against the way technology has shaped our worldview, but mostly a very clever social satire, Haterz is a technological thriller that actually understands how the World Wide Web has changed people. Funny, clever and shocking, this book, somewhat ironically, deserves to go viral.
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