NOTE TO WHOMEVER IS POSTING THIS REVIEW: THERE IS A WORD THAT NEEDS TO HAVE STRIKEOVER APPLIED: 99% OF THE CRAP (CRAP NEEDS TO BE STRIKEOVER)
After reading Like, and I must say being pleasantly surprised by Bart Hopkins’ quality as a writer, I looked up a bit of information about him. That’s a rarity on my part, as usually writers’ lives are about as interesting as a sink full of dishes. Thanks to the ever-snitching Internet, the question I had was answered. Hopkins has three children, none of whom are allowed to have a Facebook or Twitter account. I thought as much.
Like is a sharply observant and exceedingly well-written novel about the ocean of social media in which we swim about like schools of curious fish using cell phones instead of sonar. Following the technique of films such as Welcome to L.A., or the novels of Balzac, Hopkins introduces, one-by-one, a series of main characters who have no obvious connection to one another, yet are eventually linked and herded together through the Internet like so many obedient sheep being called in from the pasture. Facebook is a border collie – it only lets us believe that it is in our employ.
What I love about Like (and if you’re waiting for a coy pun derived from the novel’s title, you got another thing coming, buster) is that unlike 99% of the crap novels that I have read with social media as a core plot device, is that Hopkins doesn’t scream his message in the reader’s face. Believe me, that’s a rarity. Instead, the ironies are allowed to emerge unforced. We get to mull over the issues, such as: Is a realtor growing his practice through tweets and follows others on Twitter hard-working or lazy as sin? Or better yet: Is looking up a former lover after years apart a repair of a long, long ache or is it just a willful desire that she or he has aged like cheese and is finally matched to our taste?
Amidst all of its geniality – and that is Like’s genius – there is a delightful creepiness at the core of Bart Hopkins’ novel. The man can write, and it is my absolute and sincere hope that this review stimulates sales for him. Each one will be well-deserved and equally appreciated. You may even want to Like the author’s Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.
|Page Count||252 pages|
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