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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Directionless and frustrating, 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World (Paperback)
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I tried. I really, really did. For almost a year The Net Delusion sat on my reading pile. In my magazine stand. By my bed. I would pick it up every week or so, and push on a few more pages, and realise I was lost, and start over. Then the best part of fifty pages in, I was lost again, or worn out, or just plain bored. And beneath the book, the pile of unread texts grew larger and more appealing. I'm sorry it didn't work out, book, but it's not me, it's you.

That The Net Delusion is reactionary literature is betrayed by its snowclone title as much as its blurb, "The X Delusion" breaking free from the cottage industry of astonished Dawkins rebuttals and into the more general field of disgruntled responses. Reactive needn't be bad, if it's applied at a thematic level, but The Net Delusion is reactive at the paragraph level. At each step, the book picks up and examines and rejects an idea, or a distortion of it, often with sarcasm or hyperbole. Have you ever read one of those internet arguments that degenerates into a page full of quote, response, quote, response, with no sign of a theme or a direction? The Net Delusion is like one side of that, without quotes. It's like listening to someone having a huffing argument into a phone, without being privy to the rest of the conversation. It's frustrating and formless.

Maybe one day I'll dust this off, flip through the index, and find some gem of an idea that provokes a great train of thought, but I'm not going to mine through this coarse ore to find those jewels any longer. There's far more thought provoking, and far more accessible, literature to be had.
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