Part romantic comedy and part social satire, here one of science fiction's most lauded authors examines the consequences of having too much connectivity, and what happens in a world where, suddenly, nothing is private. One of science fiction's premiere humorists turns her eagle eye to the crushing societal implications of telepathy.
In a not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure that has been promised to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. So when Briddey Flannigan's fiancé proposes that he and Briddey undergo the procedure, she is delighted! Only, the results aren't quite as expected. Instead of gaining an increased empathetic link with her fiancé, Briddey finds herself hearing the actual thoughts of one of the nerdiest techs in her office. And that's the least of her problems.
©2016 Connie Willis (P)2016 Recorded Books
"An engaging and satirical look at relationships, technology, and connectivity in the digital age is expertly narrated by Mia Barron.... Barron does an outstanding job of distinguishing between the conversations in Briddey's head and those happening in real life as well as adding authenticity to each of the characters Briddey interacts with." (AudioFile)
I love Conny Willis's approach to sci fi. Always so thoughtful and engaging. Great to see her explore telepathy.
Tracey Hoy Author of Black Irish, Rhuddlan, Conwy, Pádraig, Galen's Child, Lilláen of the Lake, What Brainstem? Cadwy's Haircut...
Whilst I enjoyed the plot, the narrative was repetitive and lengthy. Too much irepetitive nner dialogue and time spent on each scene. Quit slow in places. Narrator was very good though. I really struggled to finish this book to be honest. Unfortunately I'm unwittingly comparing it to her Oxford Time Travel Series which was outstanding.
"It doesn't work like that."
The first act especially drove me crazy. The main character is so dense - the reader knows all the "twists" chapters in advance but we still have to sit through her fumbling about for answers and explanations.
Silly, frustrating and obvious. Very much a young adult novel, but one that treats the readers like they're idiots.
Mia Barron is a capable narrator whose work I've enjoyed before. Listening to another Connie Willis might be a tougher sell for me because the dialogue in this one is redundant and drawn out to the point of pain. If that's her style, she'll be a hard pass for me moving forward.
Crisper, leaner dialogue that gave the reader more benefit of the doubt re: coming to conclusions and filling in gaps; less convoluted plot points--and scenarios constructed purely to prolong events. This audiobook was 18 hours long. I hung in there, but barely. Maeve as a character/plot device was trying, to say the least.
Believability and depth to Briddey (less so to CB). I wanted more of Briddey's interior monologue. Ironically, for a story that's about telepathy and connection and intimacy (and the commercialization of intimacy), we don't really get to enjoy any sense of completed connection until the end, and only a very little. the takeaway seems to be that nothing is sacred--instead of CB and Briddey connecting more deeply and exclusively, their thoughts are going to be accessible to everyone in her family, including a 9-year-old? Jaysus, as the Irish say.
Less detail about perimeters, walls, and safe havens (this could have been explained in a page or two--and didn't need to be revisited every other paragraph) and more moments that were devoted to the growing intimacy between CB and Briddey. Maeve barging into their thoughts was a real buzz kill. Presumably, they'll never be able to prevent her from doing this...
This book had a ton of potential--compelling subject matter that is topically relevant. Unfortunately this was unnecessarily undermined by making this all link back to Irish heritage and genetics, specifically. In any case, as a reader/listener, I never got the chance to fully immerse myself into this story because long-winded explanations and repetitive details pulled me out of the story.
"Learn when to say no"
Very very interesting take on telepathy, specifically on how to harden yourself against the deluge of unwanted voices and how to combat other psychics. For anyone who likes meta-thought this would be interesting, I think.
The main character of this novel is incapable of saying "no" to anything at all. There are countless moments in the story where a simple "no, go away" or "I'm no longer going to participate" would COMPLETELY SOLVE all of her problems, but she doesn't even consider putting her foot down!
"Trite and boring"
Nothing original going on here - kept hoping it would get interesting or the main character would be some one I could root for but it just got worse- disappointed to say the least
"Can not be the same author as Doomsday Book!"
The very worst of romantic tripe... The only character even slightly likable is the niece, Maeve, and she's typical tween snark.
the genre of romance? I was never turned on to it in the beginning- this book is completely mislabeled as anything else
probably- she didn't have much to work with
crushing disappointment... I'm so dismayed this could come from the same author as the amazing Doomsday Book. Crosstalk is truly horrible and I literally had to try twice to make it past the 2/3 mark; I failed both times.
"Another master stroke from Connie Willis"
The story was great. A page turner. The narrator was strong and had no problem doing both men's and women's roles. The only negative point is I think the story wrapped up very quickly at the end as if Ms. Willis was in a kind of hurry to wrap things up, but except for that the pacing was good, ramping up in intensity at a good rate throughout the book.
I love Connie Willis but must say that I wanted to smack the lead character and yell at the narrator. I realize this is a rather extreme reaction but seriously when the narrator can't even pronounce the lead characters name properly it is nothing but irritating
"A good story"
Connie Willis is adept at the witty, fast-moving story and Crosstalk is no exception. Well-written with good characters (some of whom you want to come to harm), it held my attention and kept me coming back. This isn't of the same caliber as the WWII stories, but it's good. More similar to To Say Nothing of the Dog than Blackout or All Clear, but good.
My one problem is with the narrator. She doesn't know how to say "Notre Dame" (Not-ra-dom?) or Kathleen (Kath-a-leen?) and "a western cavalry fort" became a "western calvary fort"--not the same thing at all. If you can those things go, she did a good enough job, but those mispronunciations are sort of hard for me to hear.
Good book, though.
"Connie Willis and the luck of the Irish..."
For some reason, the cover of Crosstalk, made me think it was a re-issue of an earlier novel that I'd missed. I quickly realized it's a new one. Yay! All the Connie Willis humor and detailed plotting is here in full force, but there really is a caveat for new readers.
Connie Willis's writing has a quirk. If you liked To Say Nothing of the Dog, the All Clear duet and/or Doomsday Book, then you're already familiar with the constant "trying to get in touch" "check in with" or the necessity to avoid someone that drives Connie Willis's characters. It's in almost every scene. So it is here although the characters now have modern cell phones. For experienced CW readers, it's par for the course. If you're new to CW, I suspect it might hit you hard.
So, Crosstalk is for aficionados which I am one, but not the uninitiated.
Recommend for fans.
"Another perfect piece of fiction by Connie Willis"
This novel was funny, clever and impossible to stop listening to. Worth the credit. I am a huge Connie Willis fan and this is one of her light-hearted works. There is a reason that Connie Willis has won more Nebula and Hugo awards than any other writer in history. It is because her writing style is flawless. A romantic comedy about telepathy is a pleasant and original idea. All Hail Queen Connie!
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