Transmission

Transmission In Transmission award winning writer Hari Kunzru takes an ultra contemporary turn with the story of an Indian computer programmer whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he ac

  • Title: Transmission
  • Author: Hari Kunzru
  • ISBN: 9780452286511
  • Page: 442
  • Format: Paperback
  • In Transmission, award winning writer Hari Kunzru takes an ultra contemporary turn with the story of an Indian computer programmer whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer Lonely and na ve, Arjun spends his days as a lowly assistant virus tester, pining away for his free spirited colleague Christine Arjun gets laiIn Transmission, award winning writer Hari Kunzru takes an ultra contemporary turn with the story of an Indian computer programmer whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer Lonely and na ve, Arjun spends his days as a lowly assistant virus tester, pining away for his free spirited colleague Christine Arjun gets laid off like so many of his Silicon Valley peers, and in an act of desperation to keep his job, he releases a mischievous but destructive virus around the globe that has major unintended consequences As world order unravels, so does Arjun s sanity, in a rollicking cataclysm that reaches Bollywood and, not so coincidentally, the glamorous star of Arjun s favorite Indian movie.

    One thought on “Transmission”

    1. That’s EntertainmentHaving read an excess of tortuous unreadababble Americocaine (anti-)novels this year, I picked up this book, thinking it would be serious literary fiction from a reputable (i.e establishment) publisher.Imagine my surprise when, for approximately 250 out of 280 pages, it turned out to be what Graham Greene would have called an "entertainment". Hari Kunzru is a master of fluent prose that, if not exactly silken in the manner of the pumped up William H. Gass, is at least uniqu [...]

    2. Reads like a college-class treatment for a movie I'd never want to see. Of the many, many examples of its otherworldly unwriterliness, here is one that particulary nettles:He settled a pair of headphones into his ears and pressed play on his current favorite personal soundtrack, a mix by DJ Zizi, the resident at Ibiza superclub Ataxia. Zizi, who bestrode the Uplifting Ambient scene like a t-shirted colossus, had chosen to call his mix "Darker Shade of Chill." It was, Guy thought, a good name, be [...]

    3. Transmit (transitive verb): a : to send or convey from one person or place to another:b : to cause or allow to spread: as(1) : to convey by inheritance or heredity: (2) : to convey (infection) abroad or to anotherKunzru's book covers the entirety of that definition. The lead character, Arjun Mehta, has been transmitted from India to America. He's attempting to transmit his ideas and desires through an entirely new cultural medium. In a desperate attempt not to be transmitted back to India, he tr [...]

    4. It's an interesting premise for sure. It would have been ideal if the book hadn't meandered as much as it did. I liked reading about the intersection of computer viruses, Bollywood & a high-flying businessman.For those who follow Bollywood, the parts about Rajiv Rana will be easily recognisable.It's a good book especially considering it was written in 2005 and some of the points he makes about migrants/refugees are something the world is dealing with even today!

    5. Arjun Mehta is a young Indian man trying to make his way in America who, in a moment of despair, makes a mistake that will change three lives.Leela is a young woman trapped in the Bollywood film industry by her mother's desires. Arjun's actions will make her infamous.On paper, Guy Swift is the high-flying owner of a tech company. In reality, he needs to cinch a deal within the next few weeks or his company will lose its funding. Arjun's actions will turn his life upside down.Transmission is a st [...]

    6. I think it was the shallowness of the cliched characters that most disappointed me. Indian geek, Bollywood starlet, PR exec and their families, friends, colleagues and associates - all seemingly drawn from central casting playing their expected parts against a predictable backdrop of computer viruses, nerddom, client pitches, film shoots and the high life. And then the author seems to succumb to E.M. Forster's mantra that “Nearly all novels are feeble at the end. This is because the plot requi [...]

    7. I found myself quite entertained while reading the first half of the book. You can’t not love Arjun and Mrs Zahir. But Guy on the other hand was so horribly boring. I realise he wasn't meant to be an exciting element but i am sure there are ways to make a character colourful despite the obvious blah-ness. Like many of the other reviewers I found myself skimming through Guy's story because it really wasn't worth the effort. Having said that, I still think it’s a pretty decent book.

    8. Bleh. This is what I get for blind-buying remaindered books on the basis of glowing blurbs. Pretty trivial young-hip-information-era-global-culture stuff. Linked in my head to other annoying satire in similar voices, like the Russian Debutante's Handbook, which I think most people actually like.

    9. I picked this book up on a whim, not having realized that Hari Kunzru is a critically acclaimed author thanks to his first book the Impressionist.What actually made me want this book really badly was the New York Times review featured on the cover which stated that this book was:"Wickedly astuste… starts out with an eye for literate social satire that suggests Martin Amis or Zadie Smith… winds up in a Chuck Palahniuk paranoid daydream."Zadie Smith and Chuck Palahniuk. A dream coupling.Transm [...]

    10. DisclaimerI use computers. I like computers. I study computers. It makes me sad when someone writes a book about a computer virus but is very fuzzy about what the effects of the virus are, how the transmission mechanics work, and how in the world a lone programmer with an arbitrary amount of experience could write something so effective. The point is of course that he didn't mean to do anything bad, and he's terribly sorry for the havoc he's wreaking on the world but that begs the question as to [...]

    11. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I picked it up on the cheap, and forgot about it for almost two years. Even reading the trade dress, you have no idea what you are in for. The cover compares the author to Zadie Smith and Chuck Palahniuk, but the author comparison that most struck me was Don Delillo. Much of the second half of this had a "White Noise" feel to it, substituting a worldwide computer virus for the Airborne Toxic Event. All of the characters are fleshed out excellently, and I [...]

    12. sometimes when a book gets so sprawling - like when at the end you are so far from the places and people you started with - the through-line of the book weakens. but with this book, i felt like i traveled far, very far, by the end - twists and turns all over - but somehow kunzru kept it vibrant and strong the whole time. the descriptions of the programmers working at Virugenix made me laugh out loud - sounded like the floor i work on at MIT. throughout the book there were precisely accurate desc [...]

    13. I first heard of this book back in 2004, but I only just got around to reading it. A book about Silicon Valley and today's entrepreneurs that you can totally see happening in real life. The novel revolves around Arjun Mehta, a film-obsessed Indian who dreams of moving to the United States. Unfortunately America isn't what he thinks it would be and soon creates a virus named after his favorite Indian film actress to save his job. It doesn't give him the desired result and finds himself on the run [...]

    14. Transmission is a highly readable and fast flowing novel that is partly a romp, partly a satire and partly reminds one how cardboard and badly written are usually "the others" (eg non-Western characters) in the hands of the Thomas-Friedman like writers (see David Brin's Existence or Ian McDonald's Dervish House for two super annoying recent examples of that) as opposed when written by people who are from the respective culturesWhile lacking the power and depth of Gods Without Men, the book offer [...]

    15. Satirically covering subjects such as culture clash, pop culture and technology, Hari Kunzru's Transmission is a smart, unique novel with strong characters and an interesting, sprawling storyline. Whether it be book's anti-hero main character, or all the minor ones that play surprisingly large roles, these characters are well fleshed out and easy to sympathize with, whether you actually like them or not. This, along with the intricate and unrelenting sense of satire, is Transmission's greatest s [...]

    16. Lonely and naïve Arjun spends his days as a lowly assistant virus- tester. When he gets the infomation that he can loose his job he produces and frees a dangerous virus that he will neutralize and keep his job. But the virus gets out of the control and Arjun has to disappear. Arjun loves a Bollywood star, but the virus reaches even her. He is searched around the world - the end is that someone saw him and his collegue Christine in some island, but it was just a suspicion. this book is far bette [...]

    17. This is the first book I've read by Hari Kunzru. It was a genre I don't usually read very much, but I liked it.It tells so much about the asian immigration to the U.S. and gives a great account also on computer technology. The book tells of an Indian computer technologist who immigrates to the U.S. in promise of a great job oppertunity. It turns out to be quite different from what he was told, and the story follows his progress of finding a job, and a life.The author highlights the cultural diff [...]

    18. Is the plot (a virus transmitted everywhere, as the title suggests) outdated, as a few disgruntled critics suggest, or is Transmission a timely meditation on the dark pit of greed, money, and technology? Kunzru, the British author of the award-winning novel The Impressionist and named one of Granta's best young fiction writers, has written a high-tech thriller that may fit more with the year 2000 than today. Still, it's a fast-paced, imaginative tale, with insights into culture clash, pop cultur [...]

    19. It took me a few chapters to really start enjoying this, but once I got into it, I found it hard to put down. Probably my favourite thing about the book is how Kunzru really nails small town immigrant South Asian masculinity. Arjun Mehta's character is so on point, it's almost painful. Parts of the book are cartoonish, but they satirize capitalism so perfectly, I couldn't help but laugh ( although the parts with Guy were my least favourite). Also neat is how Kunzru fits in multiple narratives in [...]

    20. "Transmission" is full of cliche characters, but the plot line is original and highly imaginative. An Indian computer geek comes to America - the land of promises - looking for work. When his computer company fires him, he creates the ultimate computer virus. His plan is to crush the virus himself, proving how useful he is and getting himself rehired, but the virus spirals out of control, effecting every computer in the world. It's beautifully written, the descriptions of the virus' effect, the [...]

    21. He's a great writer, and I found the first 3/4 of this really compellingI just wish he had stuck the landing a little better. The last 20 pages or so really felt like an outline for how he would actually end the novel, and that honestly could have been fleshed out to 100+ more pages and ended on a better, more cohesive note. But I enjoyed every page, so that's certainly something.

    22. The plot involving an "innocent" computer hack (if there is such a thing) gone awry appealed to me, but this book didn't deliver for me. The humor just didn't really click for me and I just found it so-so.

    23. Underwhelmed. For someone whose work is spoken about orgasmically, this book is a mediocre work, at best.

    24. This book started out a little slowly for me, but I ended up loving it. I found the ending especially satisfying. It's definitely a different read, but really very good.

    25. i initially gave this book 3 stars, but upon reflection have decided to give it 4, if only for the incredible ending --- which isn't neat, or clean, but the perfect ending nonetheless. kunzru's brilliance lies in not only in his deep understanding of contemporary caricatures, but in his adding dimension to these caricatures, until they're not really caricatures anymore. i also really loved the premise of this book --- i'm a bit of a geek when it comes to computers/the internet/hacking in fiction [...]

    26. Quite a mind-blowing read, the sort of story that could be heading anywhere, you never know what to expect. Perhaps what I like most about Hari Kunzru's writing is the sheer ambition. Like Louis de Bernieres and David Mitchell, he is the sort of author who either doesn't give a toss about the maxim "write what you know" or he literally does know everything.So many highlights, too many to list, but I loved the crowd in India "participating" in the aftermath of an accident, and the lengthy descrip [...]

    27. Hari Kunzru's second novel is the story of Indian programmer Arjun Mehta who loses his dream job in America when the IT bubble bursts. He will do anything to stay in the United States, even if it means creating a computer virus featuring the dancing figure of Leela Zahir, his favorite Bollywood actress. "Transmission" seems to have underwhelmed readers, but I think it's underrated. On the whole, this 2004 novel is a compelling read and not just for geeks. Its biggest flaw - a caricaturish Britis [...]

    28. I'd hoped the 3 strands of story would come together a bit more than they did, but overall, I did enjoy this. The characters were well-conceived and I also liked the narration, as it changed in style appropriately e.g. slipping into LinkedIn-esque self-promotion when talking of Guy.

    29. While this novel didn't include the fast-paced action of other novels dealing with cyber crime, it was interesting to learn the motivations of the characters who perpetrate the hacking and virus release.

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