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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically enjoyable book!
I can't remember reading a book recently that I've enjoyed as much as this. Andersen's style is witty and ultra-observant and his characters well-crafted and believable. Almost every sentence employs a clever pun or a thought-provoking aside. This book is something special.
Published on 24 Feb 2002

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary satire that loses its way
Some novels date, some don't. Some contain references that will be passe as soon as they hit the page, some manage to inhabit a kind of eternal modernity.
Turn Of The Century is such a cleverly written book, but so of its time. Published in 1999, it was a wonderfully prescient account of the American media and the direction in which it was going. The sort of TV shows...
Published on 19 Feb 2005 by R. A. Mansfield


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary satire that loses its way, 19 Feb 2005
By 
R. A. Mansfield "bertieronbob" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
Some novels date, some don't. Some contain references that will be passe as soon as they hit the page, some manage to inhabit a kind of eternal modernity.
Turn Of The Century is such a cleverly written book, but so of its time. Published in 1999, it was a wonderfully prescient account of the American media and the direction in which it was going. The sort of TV shows Andersen mocks in the book are getting closer and closer and no longer seem quite as outrageous as he makes them seem.
The book itself is too long and a bit pompous, but if you can remember the state of the media a few months before the cult of celebrity had happened, it will make you smile.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too long, too shallow, 31 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
What a disappointment, after the reviews on the cover I was expecting a great satirical book - how wrong I was. It was far too long, plot was boring, and I don't know why I finished reading this boring novel. One of the worst books I've read this year.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame I have to give it a crown, when zero would do, 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
Boring, pretentious, long winded, self centered, poorly written, piece of media PR hype.! Kurt Andersen should not be encouraged to write another book in his life. I bought it thinking it would be a satirical, incissive comedy of manners, only to find it was merely the window for Mr. Andersen to show off his plugged-in life. Oh yes, I'm sure he wants us to know just how cutting edge his social and professional lives are. His command of what passes as modern language is not something I would be proud of. What a sad waste of good trees. And to think I perpetuated that massacre by buying the hardcopy. My sadness knows no bounds.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically enjoyable book!, 24 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
I can't remember reading a book recently that I've enjoyed as much as this. Andersen's style is witty and ultra-observant and his characters well-crafted and believable. Almost every sentence employs a clever pun or a thought-provoking aside. This book is something special.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh if a little fuzzy, 7 Oct 2000
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
A book that fills your head full of things you feel you should know. It is a great read because although it goes fuzzy in places, it never really loses it. I found myself using ideas from it and phrases from it and quoting it etc etc. Always a good sign. Mostly books like this lead to a huge disappointment at the end. I turned the last page unexpectedly satisfied with the whole thing and searching for more under Kurt Andersen.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking satirical novel that really catches the zeitgeist, 28 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
I'm about halfway through this fantastic book and I can't stop thinking about it. I was reading it on my way to work in Covent Garden and I was so absorbed in it that I didn't look up until Green Park. That's a "three stop novel" - not bad! The whole world of the book is so absurd and yet so recognisable, so current, that it feels like it's being written as you read. And funny! I think this "trounces" any contemporary novel I've read in a long time: Brett Easton Ellis (without the gore) meets Don deLillo. I'm dreading finishing it!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it before it goes out of date, 29 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Hardcover)
A clunking great slice of media life in the not-too-distant future, this is a brilliant, cynical, funny and alarming vision of an increasingly multimedia world. Forget the Tom Wolfe comparisons and enjoy a genuinely sharp take on popular culture. And read it before it's obsolete.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have read it ages ago, 20 Feb 2003
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
I had a real problem getting going with this book. I originally bought it in 2000, shortly after it came out in paperback in the UK. Given the fin de siècle subject matter I really should have read it then and I did try, but always seemed to get fed up 50 pages in.
As it turns out it I just needed to get a bit further in to where the story actually starts to take off. After that I loved it.
Having really got to the book late and given it's subject matter I though it could appear somewhat dated, however the tale of media and technology industry convergence remains valid today. Having read the book you can see why as it illustrates many of the pitfalls these two industries are facing and how many of the products they continually tell us are the future of entertainment are still some way off.
Whilst this is very much a book about TV, technology and big business it is also a book about a city. New York, LA and Seattle are characters in their own right who dictate how much of the story is played out. New York especially is a great creation in much the same way Anne Rice did with New Orleans.
The prose is excellent. Sharp, hip dialogue with wonderfully jargon filled descriptions of the workings of TV studios and corporations that really make you think you're getting some insider insight.
There is also a lot of food for thought. Some of the hoops shows go through to maintain ratings and viewer approval are quite worrying and given the authors background I am sure there is at least some truth to it. The impact of big business in an entirely non-productive, but money generating way also raises concerns. Nothing we don't already know, but it does bring it home and is dealt with very well.
The ending does tale off a little, but not enough to spoil a very vibrant book. Read it before the date really does catch up with it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty darn good, 16 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn of the Century (Paperback)
I think the best thing about Andersen's novel is its very current feel, but there also is its weakness. It really needs to be read this year, as it is a real vision of the US as it moves into the new millennium covering stock markets, the TV industry, computer games, and its very modern, very 'trendy' feel works well right now, but could become very dated and feel quite wrong if read in a few years time. Still, Andersen's prose is good, his storytelling is intelligent and witty, and though not as complex or insightful as Tom Wolfe (to which it has been so often compared) it is still a worthy, if rather epic-length, read.
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Turn of the Century
Turn of the Century by Kurt Andersen (Paperback - 3 Feb 2000)
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