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A Virtual Love [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Blackman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

For Jeff Brennan, juggling multiple identities is a way of life. Online he has dozens of different personalities and switches easily between them. Offline, he shows different faces to different people: the caring grandson, the angry eco-protester, the bored IT consultant.
So when the beautiful Marie mistakes him for a famous blogger, he thinks nothing of adding this new identity to his repertoire. But as they fall in love and start building a life together, Jeff is gradually forced into more and more desperate measures to maintain his new identity, and the boundaries between his carefully segregated personas begin to fray.
In a world where truth is a matter of perspective and identities are interchangeable, Jeff finds himself trapped in his own web of lies. How far will he go to maintain his secrets? And even if he wanted to turn back, would he be able to?

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Product Description


A compelling tale, told from several perspectives, about the identity that people project about themselves in the social media world and the real life identity that we all cannot escape from. A fascinating, modern story that had me gripped. --Award-winning author Alex Wheatle MBE

A compelling and very entertaining look at the complexities of our hyperreal age, an insightful and witty exploration of the disconnect between image and reality, truth and appearance and whether love and sincere sentiment can overcome the short term thrills of social media. --James Miller

About the Author

Andrew is the author of On the Holloway Road published by Legend Press in 2009.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 490 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B1P6X8Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Andrew Blackman (1977-) is a former Wall Street Journal staff writer, now concentrating on fiction. His latest novel 'A Virtual Love' (Legend, 2013) explores themes of love and identity in the digital age. His debut novel 'On the Holloway Road' (Legend, 2009) won the Luke Bitmead Writer's Bursary and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize.

His short stories and essays have also won awards, including the $5,000 Daniel Singer Millennium Prize, and have been published in a variety of magazines and journals in the UK and US.

He was born and raised in London, and has also lived in New York and Barbados. He is currently living in Crete and working on a third novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fragility of truth 12 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had great expectations when I started reading this novel, because Andrew Blackman's debut novel, On the Holloway Road is one of my all time favourite books. A Virtual Love is just as absorbing, and just as thought-provoking as his first book. I love this writer's style. It takes no effort to read and understand what he is saying, and that is a mark of quality literature. It's no surprise he has won awards for his writing.
In this novel, Blackman has taken the topic of today's obsession with the Internet and has created a carefully structured story examining one man's manipulation of the web that is scarily realistic, and makes you wonder whether this is already happening all around us. How many people are pretending to be someone else when they are online? The book shows how easy it is for people to create multiple identities on the Internet, and it touches on the subject of how the anonymity of hiding behind a computer can be misused by the untrustworthy as a way to manipulate others. The fragility of truth is exposed in this story.
The main character is Jeff Brennan, but we never hear the story from his point of view; each chapter is narrated by different characters, in the first person as if they are talking to Jeff. I thought this was a very interesting way of telling the story, and it works well. Towards the end I wondered whether the story might seem unfinished if we don't hear from Jeff at least once, and was expecting the last chapter to be from his viewpoint, but the ending surprised me and is extremely well done leaving the reader with a lot to think about.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Case of Mistaken Identity 3 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read and enjoyed Andrew Blackman's first novel, On the Holloway Road, I was very much looking forward to reading this, and was not disappointed. The story is told through multiple points of view, with a clever use of the first/second person as each chapter is told by one of the characters addressing one of the others - and also Marcus' Twitter feed. Social media and the use of technology - Facebook, blogs, hacking - form the spine of the novel and the one, big lie Jeff succumbs from which the very compelling plot hangs. I was a particular fan of Jeff's grandad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Virtual v Actual 24 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"A Virtual Love" is a novel of identity and shams in modern world, where online and offline merge together to the dangerous degree. This ultimately sad tale, told from the points of view of several narrators, is about the different faces that people show in the social media world and the real life identities. A modern story that raised issues that are importand and are worth mentioning.

Even though the book carries an important message, it failed to entertain me, a random reader who picked it up by chance. I read the synopsis and was expected something like the great film Catfish [DVD] (please watch it if you are interested in the Internet/identities issues). I did not enjoy the book because none of the narrators are actually likeable, they are rude and not particularly interesting, but very self-absorbing and self-obssessed. But I guess in the nowadays world the above description might apply to many many people. It's human nature.

I did not like the book, because, due to the fact that the characters were so unlikeable, their searches and musings did not engage me. By the end of the book, I did not really care that much about the truth emerging out and all the wrongs undone. The only character that I cared about was the grandfather, whose feelings and thoughts were described with detail, it was enjoyable to read about his love and devotion to his ill wife, his desire to uphold the truth, and his failure to explain the importance of truth to his grandson. I loved the constat presence of the old clock in the book - a great metaphor.

Anyhow, "The Virtual Love" is a caution to all of us, the modern Internet users.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Jeff Brennan has multiple on-line personalities and finds switching between them easier than dealing with his mundane offline existence. Jeff, depending on who he is dealing with can be a caring grandson, a bored IT consultant, avid gamer or committed eco warrior, it is this last one that completely changes his life. Whilst on a protest with a friend he meets the gorgeous Marie, a young American woman who works with the homeless. After the protest Jeff and Marie are introduced to each other and she, who on hearing his name, mistakes him for a famous, yet reclusive political blogger of the same name. Jeff decides to go along with this as a ruse to get a date with Marie, but as they fall in love and develop a relation, he has to come up with increasingly more desperate measures to keep the illusion alive. This all comes to a head when the reclusive blogger decides to attend a protest and introduces himself to Marie. I won't divulge any more of the story, I will just leave you with some questions.

Will Jeff & Marie's relationship survive this?

Will Jeff survive this?

How will famous Jeff deal with the other Jeff?

How will Andrew Blackman tie all the ends together ?

All this and much more make up the final section of this book and how Andrew brings it all together is as much fun as the book itself. A Virtual Love is an old, old tale told in new way, it is a tale of love and deception, but spun from new cloth, spun from Nano technology. In the modern world, where a great part of an individual's life is played out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Librarything or Goodreads etc. Where people whose interaction is more on-line whether this is purchase or play, what needs to be remembered - is how we relate to others and how we perceive those relations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This book promised much more than it delivered. The idea is sound and the subject matter is extremely relevant. Read more
Published 18 months ago by J. Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars A case of mistaken virtual identity
I enjoyed this novel very much. The author has managed to weave together a complex and compelling tale with the use of multiple viewpoints from the characters. Read more
Published 23 months ago by J. White
4.0 out of 5 stars Living the lie ...
We all present different faces to different people: dutiful family member; one of the lads or girls with friends; several faces at work (often depending whether we're talking to... Read more
Published on 8 Aug. 2013 by Annabel Gaskell
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtual love
Boy i whanted to be there it was an intersting read & a fun at that. pitty I can not share it a kobo reader as that what others in my family have.
Published on 27 July 2013 by kirstan Young
4.0 out of 5 stars What A Fascinating Novel
I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the dangers of our Brave New World.

Blogging is relatively new and therefore relatively unexplored subject. Read more
Published on 24 July 2013 by dean
5.0 out of 5 stars clever ending
Well this was different! I like the way the story was told by different characters, and I thought the ending was pretty clever! Worth a read.
Published on 22 July 2013 by juliew27
5.0 out of 5 stars Blogs, lies and computer hacking
'A Virtual Love' is a beautifully written novel. I loved the multiple first-person viewpoints with the second-person address to the main character. Read more
Published on 4 July 2013 by Shirley Golden
1.0 out of 5 stars a virtual love
bad language and a boring story my age group are not interested in this sort of thing ,

i9 didn't read it after a couple of chapters
Published on 2 July 2013 by Elsie Dyson
3.0 out of 5 stars Different from my usual reads
I'd like to point out that this story is not what I'd usually go for. I tend to read a lot of thrillers and having read the plot summary thought that's what I was getting with... Read more
Published on 27 Jun. 2013 by Mr. J. Mewse
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
An easy read but an interesting and current subject matter. I really enjoyed it, though I felt the ending could have been a little more substantial.
Published on 13 Jun. 2013 by Michaela Bate
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