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David Shafer

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

David Shafer Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
$18.59 New
$3.97 Pre-owned
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Biographical note:

David Shafer is a graduate of Harvard and the Columbia Journalism School. He has lived in Argentina and Dublin, and has been a journalist, sometimes a carpenter, once a taxi driver and briefly a flack for an NGO. He now lives in Portland with his wife, daughter, and son.

Main description:

Three young adults grapple with the usual thirty-something problems--boredom, authenticity, an omnipotent online oligarchy--in David Shafer's darkly comic debut novel.

The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, an idealistic online Underground, stands in the way of that takeover, using radical politics, classic spycraft, and technology that makes Big Data look like dial-up. Into this secret battle stumbles an unlikely trio: Leila Majnoun, a disillusioned non-profit worker; Leo Crane, an unhinged trustafarian; and Mark Deveraux, a phony self-betterment guru who works for the Committee.

Leo and Mark were best friends in college, but early adulthood has set them on diverging paths. Growing increasingly disdainful of Mark's platitudes, Leo publishes a withering takedown of his ideas online. But the Committee is reading--and erasing--Leo's words. On the other side of the world, Leila's discoveries about the Committee's far-reaching ambitions threaten to ruin those who are closest to her.

In the spirit of William Gibson and Chuck Palahniuk,Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is both a suspenseful global thriller and an emotionally truthful novel about the struggle to change the world in- and outside your head.

Review quote:

"A funny, emotionally resonant page-turner, Shafer's debut is the thinking man's answer to popular post-apocalyptic techno-thriller genre."—Susannah Cahalan, The New York Post

Review quote:

"A Graham Greene novel written by Edward Snowden. The Anonymous novel I have been waiting for -- a stiletto thriller of the too-real panopticon digitizing our every breath nowadays."—Tom Paine, author of Scar Vegas

Review quote:

"A unique literary treat . . . As ambitious a fiction debut as you're ever likely to encounter . . . At turns the novel feels like a breakneck spy thriller, until, just around the next corner it morphs into a darkly comedic look at the realities of the human condition in our increasingly technology-fueled world."—Brooke Wylie, Examiner.com

Review quote:

"An edgy, darkly comedic novel whose characters and premise are as up-to-the-minute as an online news feed but as classic as the counterculture rebellions once evoked by Edward Abbey and Ken Kesey...Shafer's arch prose, comedic timing and deft feel for shadowy motives in high places are reminiscent of the late Richard Condon (The Manchurian Candidate), only with sweeter, sweeper characterizations...It's possible that Shafer is remaking the international thriller into something more humane and thus more credible."—Kirkus Reviews

Review quote:

"David Shafer's amazing debut novel should be a controlled substance, its addictive quotient of the highest order. I devoured it imagining this is what a brainstorming event between Thomas Pynchon and Edward Snowden would deliver."—Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

Review quote:

"Genius techno-­thriller à la Neal ­Stephenson, powered by social-media info-conspiracy à la Dave Eggers."—Lev Grossman, Time

Review quote:

"Hilarious and chilling, fast-paced and thoughtful, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is literary entertainment of the highest order. While the novel reads like a comic thriller, it speaks powerfully to our over-connected, over-watched, privacy-depleted moment."Zinging with wit and pop culture savvy . . . Shafer's writing is hip, wickedly hilarious, cutting edge, and ultimately concerned with old-fashioned notions of morality and redemption. . . His inventive, comic, dystopian semi-thriller restored my faith in fiction."—Mark Lindquist, Seattle Times


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