From the Back Cover
‘'Hard, Soft & Wet' is the story of one woman’s love affair with digital culture, America, Youth, modernity, a computer called Apple and a boy called Mac. McGrath is such a good writer that even a cynical Luddite like me could love her book. She has a sharp ear and eye for dialogue and detail and a nice dry sense of humour…She’s created a travel book that’s all about looking for a faraway place called the future. 'Hard, Soft & Wet' represents a perfect match between form and content.’
COSMO LANDESMAN, 'Independent'
‘From Internet cafés in Iceland to Moscow programmers making computer viruses. (McGrath’s) is as much a journey of self-discovery as an exploration of a new technology and a new culture and is written with her usual grace, panache, and flashes of mordant humour.’
KENAN MALIK, 'Independent on Sunday'
‘In the spirit of participant observation, McGrath necks a pill at Tribal Gathering, buys some tunes and drifts through clubs like the Big Chill and the Electronic Lounge, digital hang-outs like Ambient Soho and Warwick University’s Virtual Futures conference, scenes like Reclaim the Streets where post-rave counterculture meshes with green activism. This is a warm, humorous and charming book, reflecting the author’s own uncertainties about what the future holds. 'Hard, Soft, & Wet' is a snapshot of a moment passing (Californian cyber-idealism) and a moment dawning (European post-rave DIY) and published at a point when corporate robber-barons are running land-grabs on cyberspace while the Net’s utopian dreamers wonder whether to hitch a ride and grab some cash or remain on the fringes. It captures the vital chaos of the digital generation as it prepares to break into the mainstream – and that is an achievement.’
MATTHEW COLLIN, 'i-D'
About the Author
Melanie McGrath is the author of the highly acclaimed Motel Nirvana, which won the 1996 John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday prize for the best new British writer under 35.
‘A brilliant writer’ — Dervla Murphy
‘McGrath is a cool-eyed chronicler of a dispossessed generation’ — Deborah Bosley, Literary Review