Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer is an audacious but ultimately successful worst-case-scenario novel a la The Circle - though darker and funnier and more complex. It's really not genre-able, but it is a great deal of fun. Techno-dystopia-lite? Ish? It is a book that lives up to its title.
We've got corporate conspiracies at the highest level; global corruption; awkward 30-somethings, each lost in their own way; secret rebel groups with crazy protocols; government infiltration; and, of course, unlikely heroes. Also: no one seemed to have chosen the moniker Lee K. Bottoms. Or Claire Voyant. Maybe in the sequel?
I think I'm having trouble writing about this one because I'm afraid to give anything away. I really want to write about the end, but that would just be cruel, wouldn't it? It also reminded me somehow of Infinite Jest, at least the first 300 pages, which is all I managed to read before wandering off into another novel. It might have been all the addiction stuff.
Either way, you should make this your next read. Or, well, read this if:
- You're looking for a novel that is both character and plot driven.
- You like fiction that can't be easily classified.
- You don't entirely trust all this information "sharing" and wonder how it might play out.
- You like wordy, evenly paced thrillers.
- You've had "Airstream Driver" stuck in your head lately.
- And really, you can't go wrong with a title like Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Can you?
- You are absolutely no fun.
- You fully trust every site and technology to which you "give" your information. Wait, scratch that. That's a reason to read this.
- You believe the government/aliens/they/the bats is/are out to get you. This will only fuel that fire.
- You are looking for a very fast, very easy read. This one's complicated - you should probably pay attention or you'll be easily lost.
- You need everything explained to you fully, and all threads tied together neatly at the end, which is not open-ended.
*Thanks to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for my ebook copy, though I also enjoyed the audio. And the physical copy I checked out of the library. Apparently I need to read in all formats.