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Customer Review

on 12 April 2013
I had great expectations when I started reading this novel, because Andrew Blackman's debut novel, On the Holloway Road is one of my all time favourite books. A Virtual Love is just as absorbing, and just as thought-provoking as his first book. I love this writer's style. It takes no effort to read and understand what he is saying, and that is a mark of quality literature. It's no surprise he has won awards for his writing.
In this novel, Blackman has taken the topic of today's obsession with the Internet and has created a carefully structured story examining one man's manipulation of the web that is scarily realistic, and makes you wonder whether this is already happening all around us. How many people are pretending to be someone else when they are online? The book shows how easy it is for people to create multiple identities on the Internet, and it touches on the subject of how the anonymity of hiding behind a computer can be misused by the untrustworthy as a way to manipulate others. The fragility of truth is exposed in this story.
The main character is Jeff Brennan, but we never hear the story from his point of view; each chapter is narrated by different characters, in the first person as if they are talking to Jeff. I thought this was a very interesting way of telling the story, and it works well. Towards the end I wondered whether the story might seem unfinished if we don't hear from Jeff at least once, and was expecting the last chapter to be from his viewpoint, but the ending surprised me and is extremely well done leaving the reader with a lot to think about.
All the characters are believable and seem like real people, and the Jeff Brennan character is well-developed as we see his life change throughout the book as seen through other people's eyes.
This book is all about secrets, lies, and how the world wide web has changed the way we live, and the way some people view reality.
9 people found this helpful
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