So here’s a weird thing. This book involves a man who’s only sexually attracted to dolphins and an old man who asks his daughter for rent money in order to buy a second sex doll.
And yet, this novel was actually enjoyable compared to her other one, Tampa. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Tampa was actually pretty good, and better than it had any right to be, but it was not fun to read.
This one is snappy, and funny, and oddly a sci fi book ala especially The Circle. In fact, its weird kind of side-stories revolving around a Google-lite company and a Steve Jobs kind of demagogue character was more interesting and insightful than pretty much any of the books I’ve read that really sought out going at the the throat of social media surveillance culture. In the same way that Silicon Valley is just better at dissecting technology than a million thinkpieces.
Anyway, the story is that Hazel, married to a tech billionaire has run off and found her retired crotchety father who has recently bought himself a sex doll. Feeling quite the failure and trying to figure out her next steps, she decides to live with him and really dig herself a nice rockbottom.
The novel then uses some interesting ideas related to how social media and domestic violence/emotional abuse are kissing-cousins, how a sex doll’s inanimate being is not that different from usury-based sexual relationships, and even sexual deviancy might simply result from the feeling of any kind of intimacy and affection when we might be otherwise cut off from human contact.