"Contemporary fiction simply doesn't get better than this. A stunning work."
"A mind-blowing work. It illuminates modern life with a rare sense of perception."
"Finnish author, psychologist, and Fulbright scholar Valtonen’s novel begins with Joe Chayefski, a neuroscientist, moving to Finland with Alina, the mother of his child. Joe soon becomes frustrated with Finnish life, and he eventually leaves Alina and their infant son, Samuel. Twenty years later, Joe has remarried, had two daughters, and become a successful researcher in Baltimore. In a satirical thread, Valtonen takes aim at and warns against, the power of social media not unlike Dave Eggers does in The Circle (2013), as Joe attempts to protect his daughters from corporate manipulation. Joe’s world is further transformed when his lab is vandalized by animal-rights activists. As these attacks escalate, and as his life starts to spiral out of control, Joe’s past collides with the present. While this novel is deeply in debt to the sweeping scope of Jonathan Franzen (there is even a character named Mr. Franzen), its best moments occur when Valtonen reads more like the understated work of Anne Tyler. Ultimately, this hugely ambitious work of contemporary realism offers a dramatic warning about the influence of digital culture."
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