Posted 20 hours ago

The Echo Chamber: John Boyne

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He does touch lots of important topics and I do think that it is a great read, but I’m absolutely sure that this book will not please the majority of readers. I felt a lot of anger in The Echo Chamber (it is actually based on events John Boyne went through due to a book he published) and I related to these sentiments as well.

It’s repeated so often that it gets wearing and I think some swipes are personal to the author rather than in a novel. The Cleverley family were absurdly magnetic, the loop of six degrees of separation bouncing between them and the extra cast of characters was hilarious and really reinforced just what a small world it can be in certain circumstances, particularly when are you are up to no good or just simply making a spectacle of yourself. The Cleverly Family are made up of Dad, George, a ‘national treasure’, known to the country for his long-running TV chat-show. Beverly is pet sitting a turtle to whom she feeds only the expensive After Eight dinner mints believing she really is taking good care of the animal. It’s fun but at the same time he’s stirring the pot on the cultural divide that exists around this issue.However, I commend JB for taking on these issues as he is no stranger to tackling institutional abuse and social misconduct. I read The Heart's Invisible Furies and was blown away but this felt like a departure but the blurb was irresistible and I believe he has hit another home run.

Namely that some of the characters had a very pointed discussion about cancel culture and wokeness that felt gratuitous and out of place, and that the characters in the later chapters ventured into farcical caricatures. At once, a gateway to other worlds – and a treacherous weapon in the hands of the unwary, the unwitting, the inept. Like Schitt’s Creek characters, Boyne’s characters are shallow and vain but with good hearts and good intentions. and while i agree with the message - the dangers of how deep social media has integrated itself in our lives, how reliant we are on it as individuals and as a society to push an agenda, and the often negative feedback loops that plague social media - its just too… on the nose for me. Without giving away any spoilers as the story progresses each family member is used to demonstrate the downfalls and absurdity of social media.On one level it’s simply a pointed attack on the role overt political correctness has had on modern society. And then there are their 3 children - Achilles, Nelson and Elizabeth, all of whom have their own issues. For most of the book I was going to award 4 stars, but am bumping that up to 5 just for the ending and where they all end up, close to my heart. They wend their way through the usual pop-culture targets – reality TV, influencers, affairs, anxiety, and as they each land themselves in ever deeper trouble, their stories cross over and loop back on one another.

For example, daughter Elizabeth and her boyfriend plan to visit a leper colony, not to do any work, but so the lepers can see what normal people look like and it will give those poor souls such hope.A middle child at 20, Elizabeth is all about social media followers and like most is glued to her phone. His 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. and their three grown up kids, Nelson, Elizabeth and Achilles, each with their own problems/issues, but Boyne uses the family as a platform for more than a tinge of satire, that will leave you smiling. Echo Chamber by John Boyne (I am a big fan) is a farce that will remind you of the Emmy-award-winning series Schitt’s Creek. Powered by John Boyne's characteristic humour and razor-sharp observation, The Echo Chamber is a satiric helter skelter, a dizzying downward spiral of action and consequence, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion.

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