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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: The World Clicks

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
The World Clicks
by K.M. Breakey

Plot Summary:
A powerful idea has descended on Lane Craig, a 30-year old corporate gunslinger who dreams of greatness. Simple beyond belief, powerful beyond measure, the idea refuses to go away. Lane knows that if managed properly, a new electronic organism will emerge and transform the Internet and his life forever. A geeky wizard of Web programming, Lane can't do it alone. Fortunately, suitable partners are nearby. Best pal Johnny is a glib slacker coasting pleasantly in life's fast lane. Long-time friend Thomas, he of the freaky high IQ, has grown surly in recent years. Downright awkward. What's he hiding? It is only the addition of hard-charging newcomer Gino that galvanizes the team's momentum. Will the idea triumph? Will it derail in a tumult of testosterone and alcohol? A brave face cannot mask Lane's self-doubt and paranoia. Nor can new love interest, Cat, a striking beauty with a no-nonsense attitude. But as the saying goes, even paranoid people have enemies. Especially when it comes to Internet riches.
Set in Vancouver, BC, The World Clicks is no science fiction tale. The idea is real. It could be developed. The prescription is in the pages of the book. In its simplest form, it's a grand dare to Web developers everywhere. Who has what it takes? Who wants it?  Time will tell...

Expectations: A novel that revolves around a concept. Not a kind of book that I've read before actually, but something that appeals to my tech geek nature.  I anticipate something of a novelized form of The Social Network, not that I've seen that movie because I thought, how can a movie about creating a business be that interesting?

Review:
Well after this book, I admit I might be wrong about The Social Network.  (Also the movie did really well, so why don't I just watch it already.)  I think it's important to mention the simple idea central to this book.  A website where you just click a button.  However times you want, endlessly in fact, with the only goal being monitoring growth.  Seeing how far that number can increase.  Add to that - topics, ideas, people, countries, sports that you can click to support and increase their numbers.  Like fanlistings (is that still popular?) but without the people's names, just the numbers.  Really simple, and really intriguing; the novel shapes the idea and fictionally portrays it in the real world.  The author (definitely a techie) goes into some detail about how one could build a project like this: all the steps, the concerns, potential revenue, and potential growth. The technical jargon and the mathematical implications of such a growth model can be a little overwhelming at times to the uninitiated, but my mind could just glaze over those details and focus on the fact that this is a really cool scenario and interesting to see it being built from the ground up.

This idea then, is set in the lives of the three principle characters who are responsible for setting this website in motion.  Lane, the creator and narrator of the book, Johnny, the charismatic social connector, and Thomas, boy genius who improves on the idea.  The novel is rife with guy humor - that racy, insulting, and deprecating talk that guys indulge in when they are watching sports (in this case it's hockey) and drinking beers, which provides much needed levity to a novel that is pretty straightforward, no-nonsense tech talk.  There is a sort of romance built-in with  Lane and Cat, but it didn't really add to the story; it felt more obligatory to add emotional interest.  And the hint of internet espionage is welcome, but it is over pretty quickly, and not a major enough part of the story to stand out.  The three central characters thankfully are interesting and nuanced enough to engage the reader, and the side story about Thomas was a nice touch at a time when intolerance is still too prevalent.  This novel is best for people interested in the creation of new internet ventures, and finding out more about the kind of people behind them.

On a side note, I'd recommend visiting the book's website, it features some interesting content related to the novel.

review copy kindly provided by the author 
Links: Book Website  ◊  Amazon  ◊ GoodReads  ◊ Author Website ◊  Author's Twitter


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