The second novel from Costa First Novel Award shortlisted author Nikesh Shukla.
'The first and last thing I do every day is see what strangers are saying about me.'
Kitab Balasubramanyam has had a rough few months. His girlfriend left him. He got fired from the job he hated for writing a novel on company time, but the novel didn’t sell and now he’s burning through his mum’s life insurance money. His father has more success with women than he does, and his Facebook comments get more likes. Kitab is reduced to spending all of his time in his flat with his brother Aziz, coming up with ideas for novelty Tumblrs and composing amusing tweets. But now even Aziz has left him, travelling to America to find his doppelganger.
So what happens when Kitab Balasubramanyam’s only internet namesake turns up on his doorstep and insists that they are meant to be friends?
Meatspace is a hilarious and troubling analysis of what happens when our lives become nothing more than an aggregation of shared content, when our online personas are more interesting than real life. A brilliant follow-up from an acclaimed young novelist writing at the sharp edge of modern life.
‘Like Douglas Coupland’s Generation X, this novel captures
a cultural moment’
‘An anarchic, self-involved and admirably honest portrait of
a bookish life lived in the brave new digital world’
– New Statesman
‘Buzzing with streetwise smarts and satirical barbs, it’s a
thoughtful, often hilarious, meditation on a young writer’s
loneliness in the digital age’
– Independent on Sunday
‘Brilliant stuff ’
‘Hilarious and disturbing’
‘Meatspace is funny. Damn funny. You
should really switch off your computer and read it’
– Matt Haig, author of The Humans
‘Meatspace is the greatest book on loneliness since The Catcher in the Rye’
– Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
‘Totally original and funny and humane’
– Sathnam Sanghera, author of The Boy with The Topknot
‘Meatspace is, simply, one of the finest novels I have ever read
about modern life and modern living. Douglas
Coupland, Junot Diaz, Chuck Palahniuk and Jennifer Egan:
stick them in a blendr, and out comes this amazing new novel
by one of the UK’s most distinct voices’
– James Smythe, author of The Machine
‘Very funny and I’d recommend it to anyone’
– Rick Edwards in the Metro
About the author
Nikesh Shukla is a writer of fiction and television and host of the Subaltern podcast. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011. Meatspace is his second novel.
In this novel, Shukla (Coconut Unlimited) skillfully guides readers on a journey through meatspace the physical world of face-to-face interactions and cyberworld. The novel follows young writer Kitab Balasubramanyam in his struggle to find happiness, new love, and human interaction among family and friends in a world where virtual and transient interactions abound. While Kitab's brother, Aziz, flees England for the U.S. in search of his Internet doppelganger, Kitab stays in London to begin his second novel. When approached at a reading by a Facebook friend with the same name, Kitab must confront the thin line between the Internet and reality. What follows is a story of misplaced identity, virtual catastrophe, and unexpected connections. Throughout the novel, Shukla successfully replicates the 21st-century experience of existing online; the book is brimming with tweets, Facebook activity, comments sections, Google search histories, and chapter-long blog posts about Aziz's U.S. adventures. In this culturally relevant novel, Shukla provides a peek into the hyperconnected and lonely world we inhabit.