Hello readers! Today is my stop during the blog tour for XYZ by William Knight, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources, and I’m sharing a snippet from the book below. I hope that pick your interest in this general fiction filled with humor.
XYZ by William Knight
Publication Date: 2nd September 2019
Genre: General Fiction / humour
Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.
When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.
Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?
XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.
Jack Cooper reminisces on what went wrong for the computer industry and his own career.
Background: Our hero, Jack Cooper is a 55 year-old computer genius, but he’s lost his way. In this scene, from the prologue, he’s reminiscing on what was, and what might have been, for both his career and the computer industry.
When my mum threw a party to celebrate my leaving home to go to university, my aunt came up to me, holding a prawn cocktail in a wine glass, and said, “Computers, that’s the new thing isn’t it?”
She got it. I was part of a small wave of silicon-brained cool kids that was destined to become a tsunami. My generation was going to make the world a better place and in record time. We had ideas of perfect information, total transparency, evidence-based-government and university for all. We were the builders of Utopia and the founders of global prosperity. We were Gods.
“Yeah, I guess,” I said.
I hadn’t then realised the destiny for which I was headed. It was nothing more than fun. Fun to spend 10p on a video game and bash the console into submission. Fun to program pretty patterns on a screen and load games from a floppy disk, and fun to be part of the BBC’s Micro Live phenomenon, when the broadcaster sponsored its own computer as part of its remit to educate the masses.
And it remained fun until it became a trap, when computers ceased to be the promise of progress and instead became the terrorists of truth. Somewhere along the way, I turned from God of Silicon to an anorak-wearing dweeb, and from dweeb to a lonely fifty-five-year-old bastard. One at the end of his career, hopelessly out of touch, and unable to operate his own phone.
is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in
Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting,
progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually
wired into technology in the late nineties.
“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms :-)” says William
The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller, started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay. Jazz hands!”
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What do you think about the book? Have you read this book already? Are you going to add it to TBR? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.
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