Independent Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte review – ‘Middlemarch for millennials’? | Storytelling

T saidit’s an unkind word. The friend who decided to express directly what they always think about your baby’s nose. Sometimes all it takes is one line to kill a relationship. For some reason, the publisher of Stand alone invite us on the flyleaf to “Call it… Middlemarch for millennials”. And what was pleasant to meet between the reader and the class of realism is now almost dead, killed by different ideas. Each page of this introduction is punctuated by the negative question: “Is this what a Middlemarch for millennials to do?”

In the pro column: it’s on the long side, with free use of independent quotations, some common misconceptions, and tips to head each chapter (some of which are taken from Middlemarch, indicating that the comparison was not made without reference). It also coincides with an important period in technology from modern history, with the growth of the network of 2007-8 in the area of ​​​​motorways standing down. Middlemarch. In the con column: this is not a study of life in a suburban town, because it is in San Francisco; and he did not find Eliot’s satisfaction. Where Middlemarch has knowledge of its unblemished contents, nothing in it Stand alone rise above the height of the abomination.

The four most important members of the middle group are, of course, faking your own death as a better option than hanging up. Brought together at Stanford and discussing adulthood, they are: Will, an Asian-American Internet 2.0 wunderkind plagued by racism and his own cult of hot women; Cory, a Jew, is a self-made, self-made man who works at a non-profit; Henrik is a highly trained regular student with a global bent. Then there’s Linda, the manic pixie dreamgirl who knows she’s a manic pixie dreamgirl, because she’s a self-taught writer – or a writer if she’s not busy working. dealing with his domestic misogyny with drugs and water. and sex.

Linda is the first voice we hear in the novel, and it is through her that Tulathimutte makes most of the sad feelings. The storyteller doesn’t have a lot of divisiveness in the way of MiddlemarchBecause, as Linda Tulathimutte said: “Modern writers are so afraid of moralizing that they have given their poor people the responsibility for bringing their ideas to life. of inaccurate speech.” Later, it became apparent The Wire, Linda thinks about how the development of the media destroys the state of fiction: the prestigious HBO drama “killed social fiction, that sad oxymoron”, she thinks. “Then you go on the Internet and read the affirmations of the First World. In the end the public can sing the mass. What document can live? The change in verse, the story antisocial?”

With these hard-hitting words in the mouth, it’s hard not to love Linda when she says: “I love the imagination, the missteps of serious humor – especially of female works by male historians.” But it’s also difficult to enjoy the little experiences from such a small size. It is very good to understand that the novels are downplayed by their authors, and the important triple-decker may be increased in the age of existence (one of the most common things of the 2000s. Stand alone‘ characters included), but explaining the limitations of your work doesn’t make it more informative or interesting.

Perhaps if Tulathimutte had allowed himself to play the true story, his characters would have enjoyed a little more space to work with. But they are different and unstable. They do little or nothing for most of the book, and the little threads of the story run into each other before coming together – perhaps Linda could complain that ” “San Francisco is too small to make the finals”, but that’s not the point. provided by the common life of him and his friends. There was an event, but not much of an import.

What happened to the time capsule before the story. Stand alone often spin you out of history to see when geniuses became everywhere, when did the word “cishet” appear in the vocabulary of the right side, When he describes himself as a “ronin” or “ninja” he becomes. It is a common practice in manufacturing industries. Tulathimutte gets these details right, but only the details. It’s little more than nostalgia. In the absence of complex objects and a specific open world, Stand alone settle down Middlemarch and more I love the 00s.

Stand alone published by Oneworld. To order a copy for £10.65 (RRP £12.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

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