Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Go with this flow
on 22 May 1998
Probably the most enjoyable book I've read that asks the question: why do people jump on the latest bandwagon only to discover that it doesn't make them any happier than they were before? The protagonist-narrator of the story is a social scientist, working for a research corporation and trying to find how fads begin. The corporation wants to figure out how to use her research to make new fads, and of course gobs of money in the process. The weekly meetings presided over by "management" are hilarious.
This book reads so easily that you might be deceived into thinking that it's simply written. Hardly. Willis has worked very hard to tie together a number of disparate elements. Some of the most enjoyable parts of the book are the short descriptions of dozens of past fads -- everything from coonskin caps to bobbed hair to mah jong. In the process, Willis tells us a lot about what we're willing to do to "belong."
I noticed from previous reviews that some people were disappointed with this book because it really isn't science fiction. It's true, this is not traditional science fiction, with a futuristic setting, new technology, etc. But Willis's remarks that relate fads to chaos theory are very well thought-out. In giving the reader something new to think about, she meets the basic test of science fiction. And in creating an enjoyable, perceptive story, she meets the challenge of being an exceptionally good writer.