- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (2 Feb. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782397981
- ISBN-13: 978-1782397984
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I Am No One Paperback – 2 Feb 2017
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A passionate, gripping, brilliantly voiced and scintillatingly intelligent novel about that cancer afflicting modern democratic states - the surveillance of its own people. Were we ever told that democracy would entail this? I Am No One will get under your skin, leave you jittery and unsettled, and have you looking over your shoulder. -- Neel Mukherjee, author of THE LIVES OF OTHERS, shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Costa Novel Awards 2014 and won the Encore Award 2015 Flanery is a master of puzzling, alarming and even terrifying storytelling. -- A.S Byatt Guardian [Flanery is] gloriously talented The Guardian - fiction highlights for 2016 [A] superbly entertaining novel... a brilliant work of suspense... Its relevance today is without question, and its du jour subject matter is persuasively treated. TLS A hotly contemporary novel by a critically acclaimed American novelist about creeping paranoia in an age of mass surveillance. The Independent: 'Best of 2016' A masterful plot, a terrifying subject, and a gripping read. Independent on Sunday Patrick Flanery pulls off a rarity in the age of compartmentalized fiction: a novel of Pynchonesque paranoid ideas, wrapped in psychologically acute Jamesian prose, delivered by a gripping story worthy of Graham Greene. I Am No One is itself profoundly observant about the post-Snowden culture of surveillance, and the insights of this unsettling novel are ignored at our own peril. -- Teddy Wayne This is such a superb, addictive, startling read that it seeps into your psyche. Read I Am No One and look around you with trepidation at our post-Edward Snowden world. The Herald Disquieting... compelling -- Lucy Daniel Daily Telegraph [Flanery is] the author of [three] thoughtful, meticulously written and slow burning thrillers -- Gerard Woodward Independent I Am No One is a tremendous work of fiction. Its long, elegant sentences and intellectual inquisitiveness are reminiscent at times of Philip Roth, at others of European masters like Alberto Moravia... a brilliant novel that works equally as espionage thriller, cautionary warning, socio-political j'accuse and-most rewardingly for me-existential meditation -- Darragh McManus Independent (Ireland) One of the pleasures of reading Flanery is the tussle between ways of understanding the shapes of stories and language... he writes realist novels which show their awareness that realism is a self-conscious form like others. Guardian Superb... a brilliant novel that works equally as spy thriller, social commentary; and an existential meditation. Belfast Telegraph A smart, chilling novel Metro
Set in the post-Snowden era of creeping surveillance of ordinary citizens and everyday life, I Am No One explores how a world without privacy is a world without freedom of expression. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
One morning, he goes to a coffee shop expecting to meet one of his doctoral students. Instead, he finds himself stood up, much to the amusement of a young man who has stopped by for a coffee. But on getting home, it turns out that Professor O’Keefe has rescheduled the appointment and received an e-mail confirmation from the student – none of which he remembers. Oh, and Professor O’Keefe receives a courier delivery of a print out of every web address he has ever visited. Did Professor O’Keefe print this out and send it to himself? Has Professor O’Keefe started to blank out parts of his memory? His well connected daughter is worried enough to direct him to a neurologist…
What unfolds is a tense story of intrigue in the present, interspersed with a gradual unpacking of what, precisely, happened in Oxford. It is a dense text; deeply introspective and with a tendency towards academic logorrhoea. Basically, Professor O’Keefe never really gets to the point.
For the most part, it is well done. The reader is kept guessing; the characters feel real; the settings feel authentic. In particular, Flanery captures the backbiting world of academia, seldom producing real insight and mostly just cranking the handle of a machine that processes many students and occasionally produces new academics. Flanery captures the strange world of Oxford colleges perfectly, a world of ridiculous tradition and disdain for anything remotely worldly.Read more ›
I am insistent on interspersing brief passages of dialogue with many pages of tedious, superfluous backstory.
I am pompous, I am humourless, I am slow to start and I am showing no signs of improving by page 150.
I am not worth your time.
good read, really
About 300 pages in, I realised that there was no super twist to come, we knew what we knew and that was going to be it, and a feeling of being duped would set in. I never felt any great sympathy for the main character. Some of the bit players are difficult to believe in: the other American professor in Oxford might be a spy, he might be in a relationship with the Egyptian brother of Fadia, the latter a student of our professor, the former might be a terrorist.
There are bits of the writing that are nteresting: some wry observations on being American in the UK, how he's received as British on return to the US. But at what length: 20 line sentences are not uncommon which certainly don't add to the understanding. Perhaps the point is how easy it is for relatively innocent activity to act as a red flag for security services and, how, once in their net, you can't readily escape. But I think I knew that.
He has an appointment with one of his graduate students to discuss her paper; he arrives on time at a local coffee shop, but the student is a no-show. A young man sitting nearby observes that it appears his date didn’t show up. Later, when he checks his email, he discovers an email from himself telling the student to reschedule, and a response from the student. He has no memory of either email.
Then the young man from the coffee shop shows up at a party given by Jeremy’s daughter and her husband. That’s followed by the arrival of the first of several boxes of printed lists of O’Keefe’s emails and online activity. He thinks he’s either losing his mind or someone is doing more than simply watching what he’s up to. His academic specialization in German history is the work of the Stasi, the East German secret police that flourished in the communist era, and he begins to wonder if his life is taking on aspects of his academic work.
“I Am No One” is Patrick Flanery’s third novel, and while it’s tempting to consider it a suspense novel, it actually falls in the genre of serious fiction. O’Keefe’s dilemma becomes an exploration of memory, privacy, and identity in the internet age, an age where threats can be vague and hidden, threatening people can turn out to be something else entirely, and one’s past can become intimately locked into one’s present.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wake me when it gets to the point....seriously frustrating read.
Too much mind numbing detail which I found myself sifting through trying to work out what is relevant... Read more
I found it very difficult to get into this novel. The author appeared to be stuffing the narrator's mouth with long and tedious expositions about music, literature, history etc. Read morePublished 2 months ago by P. Power
“Where does the authority of a court stand in a country that has allowed its intelligence services to operate outside the law. Read morePublished 4 months ago by keen reader
My initial reaction to picking up a novel about an American academic living in England, written by an American academic living in England, was that it definitely wasn't for me. Read morePublished 8 months ago by A. Ross