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The Echo Chamber: John Boyne

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and their three grown up kids, Nelson, Elizabeth and Achilles, each with their own problems/issues, but Boyne uses the family as a platform for more than a tinge of satire, that will leave you smiling. I also felt the book could have been shorter, at 500+ pages it could have been edited down and it would have still had the same impact. Unfortunately, he is having an affair with a therapist, Angela, who is now pregnant, and he’s not sure how to deal with this news. This made it like this is the author's gift to those who criticized him then which is kind of salty.

The first question I asked myself when I first heard the title The Echo Chamber is what does it mean?As Blur once sang "Modern Life is Rubbish" and the Cleverley Family are going to find this out the hard way. Namely that some of the characters had a very pointed discussion about cancel culture and wokeness that felt gratuitous and out of place, and that the characters in the later chapters ventured into farcical caricatures. Powered by John Boyne's characteristic humour and razor-sharp observation, The Echo Chamber is a satiric helter skelter, a dizzying downward spiral of action and consequence, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions, quoting paragraphs to anyone who would listen but I was also very much aware of the message that was filtering through. Powered by John Boyne’s characteristic humour and razor-sharp observation, The Echo Chamber is a satiric helter skelter, a dizzying downward spiral of action and consequence, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion.

I thought that I'd love this book and to begin with I did, I'm not a fan of stories with saccharine characters of sweetness, light and perfection and this book is the opposite of that and is filled with imperfect characters that are almost impossible to like, so it got off to a great start. Having only ever intended it as an empathic exploration of transitioning, he found himself accused of “misgendering” and “decentring” and many similarly internet-fuelled misdeeds. Then I would just like to state that I have been a big fan of Boynes previous works and as a result I was VERY excited when I received this copy.George honestly cannot see what he did wrong and, instead of laying low, goes on prime time TV to ‘apologise’, which is his second major mistake.

Seems he has drawn on his inner snarkiness to give us a tale about the ridiculous of our social media addicted society.It’s fun but at the same time he’s stirring the pot on the cultural divide that exists around this issue. One day George unwittingly makes a huge career faux-pas by sending out a tweet, one that in his mind shares his empathy and support for someone who is transitioning. I think the author overplays his hand with the Twitter swipes as they are overblown with points hammered home with a great big unsubtle mallet. Achilles does not intend to go down the traditional working route and has plans to finance his dreamed of lifestyle in a less orthodox and rather unethical manner.

John Boyne's novel is a social satire that lambasts the social media frenzy and the damage it causes. Take the last three books of his that I’ve read: The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a heartrending story of intolerance and self-transformation; A Ladder to the Sky had the feel of a psychological thriller, a book perhaps best read whilst lying prostrate on a Mediterranean beach; A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom provided an epic journey stretching across two millennia which I found hard to follow and which, to some extent, I’m still trying to unpick. But George gets his wording very, very wrong and Twitter literally explodes, with the vitriol jumping off every form of media available. It is not particularly funny, the characters are well drawn and you will know their likes/dislikes deeply.He has won four Irish Book Awards, including Author of the Year in 2022, along with a host of other international literary prizes. Poor old George, for example, believes himself to be a dyed in the wool liberal, but he can't keep up with changing terminology and keeps putting his foot in it. This is clever humour, heavy on the pop culture and political references, and so in tune with the pulse of society as it is today. Echo Chamber by John Boyne (I am a big fan) is a farce that will remind you of the Emmy-award-winning series Schitt’s Creek.

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