- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 712 KB
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004R9QSMO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #848,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Joe is Online Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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"Joe is Online" is a story told entirely through a series of emails, chat transcripts, blog posts, web pages, and diary entries stored as word processing documents. This is different, but could easily have turned into a very dry read. Wimpress saves the book from this by cheating a little on what I see as the concept (having everything be an artifact of online interaction). In the "diary entries," which aren't online artifacts, the various characters relate what happened to them in much greater detail than a diarist would typically use. These diary entries even include extensive dialog, which is limited in the other kinds of entries.
The story begins in the mid-1990s and doesn't end until 2020. The technology depicted doesn't advance much beyond what is currently available, definitely not at the speed it has over the last several years. This didn't feel unnatural, but it could for some readers.
The presentation is also a gimmick. It helps the story along, but the story still has to be good enough to stand on its own. I believe it does. The character of Joe, a social misfit who is a whiz with computers, is familiar and believable. Some suspension of belief might be required, although given the stories of what young computer hackers have actually done, not that much.
Since the title mentions Joe, you might expect the story is about him as well. It is, however Joe is not the protagonist, at least as I usually view the definition. Penelope Hunt is the main character the reader will empathize with and be rooting for, while Joe is the antagonist, the character that "opposes" Penelope.
Penelope's story is more normal than Joe's. We follow her through university, where she studies International Relations, and eventually to Scotland for her PhD, specializing in the study of terrorism. As Joe's crimes escalate, his and Penelope's paths cross in cyberspace. When the timeline of "Joe is Online" progresses into the future, we enter the realm of speculative fiction, as Wimpress builds on the themes of cyberspace, cults, and terrorism, theorizing what the future might hold were someone to combine the worst of each of these areas.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Interesting ideas and characters only just beyond the believable, but close enough for it still to be worth reading.
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Most recent customer reviews
Just couldn't get into this one.