Peter Mendelsund (Author)
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DescriptionIn the shifting sands of the desert, near an unnamed metropolis, there is an institute where various fellows come to undertake projects of great significance. But when our sort-of hero, Percy Frobisher, arrives, surrounded by the simulated environment of the glass-enclosed dome of the Institute, his mind goes completely blank. When he spills something on his uniform--a major faux pas--he learns about a mysterious shop where you can take something, utter the command "same same," and receive a replica even better than the original. Imagining a world in which simulacra have as much value as the real--so much so that any distinction between the two vanishes, and even language seeks to reproduce meaning through ever more degraded copies of itself--Peter Mendelsund has crafted a deeply unsettling novel about what it means to exist and to create . . . and a future that may not be far off.
February 05, 2019
5.4 X 7.9 X 1.2 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author
Peter Mendelsund is a designer and writer. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.
"Same Same reaches literary heights. . . . Mendelsund's first novel manages to be breezy and profound in equal measure. That balance is--as the programmers say--a feature and not a bug. . . . In using nonsensical jargon to expose the hollow core of the global Big Ideas industry, Mendelsund has produced--or perhaps reproduced--something entirely satisfying. Same Same is a substantial book about emptiness. It reminds us that there's no here here unless we create it ourselves. . . . [And it includes] one of the most perfectly tuned passages of fiction I've read in a very long time." --Andrew Ervin, The New York Times Book Review "A deeply inventive and wonderfully strange novel that takes dead aim at the question: does it matter if something's real?" --Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation "[Mendelsund] has a grand time serving up what would seem to be an extended metaphor for creativity . . . that would do Brian Eno proud. Mendelsund's novel of ideas makes a neat bookend to Richard Powers's Galatea 2.2 as a study of creation in the age of the smart machine." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Most books aspire to imitate life; this one succeeds in imitating literature. A fractal abyss of copies copying copies, this brilliant and hilarious full-size replica of a novel exposes the limits of conventional narratives by miraculously transmuting repetition into difference and, ultimately, something unique." --Hernán Diaz, author of In the Distance "Rewarding. . . . Absurdist, uncanny metafiction about the nature of identity, individuality, and authorship in an era of rapid technological advancement. . . . Comically disturbing." --Publishers Weekly "Like an ever-shifting Rubik's Cube, Mendelsund's narrative blends influences and genres at will: it begins as an sf dystopia, unfurls like a mystery, and includes some deeply insular sections reminiscent of the late David Markson. . . . Mendelsund has created a dense, complex, and rewarding novel that explores the ever-hazier distinctions between copying and creating, between ourselves and our ubiquitous devices, and between what is real and what is simulated." --Booklist