Transmission, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Hari Kunzru's Transmission is a witty novel about cyberspace, a Bollywood dancer and a world where everyone is connected.

It's the twenty-first century, and everything and everyone is connected.

Meet Arjun Mehta, an Indian cybergeek catapulted into California's spiralling hi-tech sector; Leela Zahir, beguiling Bollywood actress filming in the midge-infested Scottish wilds; and Guy Swift, hyped-up marketing exec lost in a blue-sky tomorrow of his own devising.

Three dislocated individuals seeking nodes of connectivity - a place to fit in.

Yet this is the twenty-first century, and their lives are about to become unexpectedly entangled as a virus spreads, and all their futures are rewired.

But will it take them further from their dreams, or closer to their hearts? "An aphoristic joke, a neat turn of phrase; a joke that makes you laugh ...there's nothing Kunzru couldn't manage in prose.

Thoroughly engrossing". (Literary Review). "Funny, heartfelt and beautifully written, confirms Kunzru as one of the most talented writers of his generation". (Image). "Very enjoyable, I couldn't put it down. Funny and wry; it is deftly plotted; its characters intimately drawn.

Blissful". (Observer). "Utterly affecting, a novel with devastating satirical bite". (Financial Times). Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods Without Men, and the story collection Noise.

He lives in New York.




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Arjun Mehta, computer geek and lover of Bollywood films is offered a lucrative IT job in "Amrika", but finds himself an exploited cybercoolie instead. When a job with a global software security organization turns up, it seems like his chance for a fulfilled life has arrived at last. But when he finds himself facing redundancy, he releases a malicious computer virus, so that he can impress his boss with his ability to create a cure for it. The whole wired world switches on their computers to see Arjun's favourite Bollywood actress, Leela Zahir, dancing on their computer while the virus embeds itself into their software, where it wrecks havoc for organisations across the globe. Arjun finds himself on the run from the FBI and declared a terrorist and hides out in the dark underbelly of America.As the virus spreads, Arjun's actions have far-reaching implications for Marketing Exective Guy Swift with all his vacuous branding pyschobabble, and for the desperately unhappy Bollywood star shooting her next musical in a castle in Scotland.Yes, it's a very funny, enjoyable read, but so richly detailed that you need to read carefully so as not to miss anything. Kunzru frequently delights with a clever turn of phrase (Arjun "meerkating" above his cubicle to see what's going on, a DJ "who bestrode the Uplifting Ambient Scene like a tight t-shirted colossus", are but a couple of things that made me laugh out loud). But the book also asks very important questions about globalisation, our dependency on computers, and the powerlessness of immigrants.Oh and the ending! It's just so Bollywood!

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