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3.43 out of 53.43 out of 53.43 out of 53.43 out of 53.43 out of 5 3.43 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hari Kunzru Narrator: Hari Kunzru Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2004 ISBN: 9780743539883
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In a networked world, anything can change n an instant, and sometimes everything does....

Transmission, Hari Kunzru's new novel of love and lunacy, immigration and immunity, introduces a daydreaming Indian computer geek whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer.

Lonely and naïve, Arjun Mehta spends his days as a lowly assistant virus tester and pining away for his free-spirited colleague Christine. Arjun gets laid-off like so many of his Silicon Valley peers. In an act of desperation to keep his job, he releases a mischievous but destructive virus around the globe that has major unintended consequences. As world order unravels, so does Arjun's sanity, in a rollicking cataclysm that reaches Bollywood and, not so coincidentally, the glamorous star of Arjun's favorite Indian movie.

Award-winning novelist Hari Kunzru was hailed as a "modern-day Kipling," for his bestselling debut, The Impressionist. With this exuberant follow-up, Kunzru takes an ultracontemporary turn in a stylish, playful, and wicked exploration of life at the click of a mouse.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wickedly astute…starts out with an eye for literate social satire that suggests Martin Amis or Zadie Smith…winds up in a Chuck Palahniuk paranoid daydream.” 

    New York Times

  • Transmission is Kunzru’s second novel and he has lost none of his ability to surprise and captivate…Kunzru has created a novel with a devastating satirical bite.” 

    Financial Times

  • “Kunzru navigates the high-tech world with authority and imagination.” 

    Boston Herald

  • Transmission is a dazzle of wit and color and snark.” 

    San Jose Mercury News

  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeffrey | 2/1/2014

    " Very funny book about "head shops" that hire Indians to come to the US and work for software firms. The hero is a young Indian who has two major romantic episodes: the first with an American co-worker and the second with a Bollywood movie star. Made me want to read other books by this author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam Law | 1/31/2014

    " With the waning sovereignty of nation states as more and more people get linked up in global (or, if you prefer, translocal) process of trade, immigration or the interconnection of information technology, new forms of organization - massive, almost beyond our comprehension- are emerging. Kunzru's book, situated across the globe, highlighting the strange interconnections between strangers, speaks to the outlines of these forms, giving them faces, highlighting the connections wrought by IT and the "flow" of transnational capital and challenging the reader to try and understand the world we live in. Yet this is not a multi-sited ethnography of globalization but a work of fiction and for purely literary merit this book shines forth. It was one of those books that I picked up and the sheer brilliance of the writing and the plot, the echos of ideas, the strange connections compelled me to not put it down. The literary aspect of the book means that Kunzru explores subject formation and how deeply personal, cultural beliefs become cosmopolitan as people enter the integrated circuit of global capitalism. Globalization thus emerges not as an impersonal boogyman, the spread of a calculating rational neoliberalism which reforms the world in its image, but as a more complex interaction between people's identity, the market and the transportation and information structures that define our era. Globalization is articulated in local forms and local forms become central to global processes, the exploited indian programmers are not ruled by the processes of that define their lives but they enter into a dialectical relationship, re-forming and asserting their own agency within this global processes. The book poses many of the best problems of modern theories of globalization- How are individuals agentic in the face of global processes, how does technology redefine who we are and how we interact with the world, what is the role of advertising or the nationstate, what happens when very different cultures and moral systems all are integrated into the same economic system. etc. etc. This book is well worth the reed, a pleasurable and thought provoking page turner. Its scope and clarity, intellectual rigor and commitment to level switching in the systems that make our currant age speak powerfully beyond the page. His writing is reminiscent of Zadie Smith or Amitav Ghosh in the way it explores identity and global forms. I plan on reading all the other books he has written (My Revolutions, also by him, was similarly amazing though dealing with an entirely different set of intellectual and moral questions about political praxis today). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/27/2014

    " Very smart, hilarious, ambiguous, and sometimes heartbreaking. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth Seeley | 1/14/2014

    " Starting to see some themes emerging in Kunzru's opus after reading his debut novel, The Impressionist and now Transmission. Identity, belonging, and the fragility of our self constructs. This one feels a little forced, as if he's exploring worlds he doesn't really know (both branding and the geek/hacker cultures). Still, bits of it reminded me of early William Boyd - particularly American Stars and Bars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaslo | 12/26/2013

    " cool and contemporary. Very fun. WOnderful voice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 12/21/2013

    " "Transmission" is full of cliche characters, but the plot line is original and highly imaginative. An Indian computer geek comes to America - the land of promises - looking for work. When his computer company fires him, he creates the ultimate computer virus. His plan is to crush the virus himself, proving how useful he is and getting himself rehired, but the virus spirals out of control, effecting every computer in the world. It's beautifully written, the descriptions of the virus' effect, the way it hits all the computers, is especially stunning. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna | 12/16/2013

    " Not finished. I got really bored. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 12/7/2013

    " Surprisingly pretty funny and maybe even...relevant "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Florence | 11/19/2013

    " An interesting, compelling quick read. Not incredible but not terrible either. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin Seegan | 10/14/2013

    " What a fun book, commenting on the juxtaposition of east surrounded by west and the butterfly effect through a modern, technological lens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Parag | 9/6/2013

    " A good summer read, a new protagonist - the H1B worker - and a crazy spiral to follow. I really thought the author did a good job to keep me interested and guessing. Humanized, in a crazy way, the vastly different worlds of Bollywood and high-skilled workers in the U.S. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jibé | 8/17/2013

    " Loved the whole premise and development! Highly recommended if you've worked with programmers and in entertainment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jack | 4/2/2013

    " promising start, weaker ending... i think i've worked with most of the characters in the book... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob | 2/14/2013

    " Fragmented and occasionally confusing. Too many characters I couldn't care less about, yet was somehow meant to have a connection with. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Asia | 2/4/2013

    " I get all my contemporary fiction from my friends who don't quite have the stomach to plod through the boring parts. ultimately, this book was worth reading, although you really wouldn't have known it from the first 50 pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 5/20/2012

    " i'm not sure if this is the right book cover exactly, but the one i'm talking about is Transmission by Hari Kunzru. i loved this book - it's hilarious, really fun to read, a creative story about a geeky indian guy and the intersection of indian and british worlds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 4/7/2012

    " What I liked most about this book was that it was written from a research perspective. What can we know, truly, about events in the past? How does the transmission of information blur the line of fact and myth? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther Tang | 3/28/2012

    " I liked the story, but wished to know the truth at the end. Ambiguous endings kind of bother me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lydia | 12/3/2011

    " Innocent greenhorn Indian boy learns life lessons in the smug programming environments of Silicon Valley and Seattle. Too many of the characters were cut-outs -- nicely nailed, but lacking in nuance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 11/7/2011

    " Well-written satire about corporate culture, technology, and "branding." The author has a very dry wit and an amazing capacity of saying one thing while implying another. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 10/7/2011

    " This is a funny and irreverant satire on globalization - the author is a talented observer and mimic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna | 5/17/2011

    " Not finished. I got really bored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 5/8/2011

    " India programmer makes it to America only to get laid off. A half thought out revenge goes very, very bad. I would liked a more satisfactory ending but on the whole I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/17/2011

    " Very smart, hilarious, ambiguous, and sometimes heartbreaking. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther | 1/12/2011

    " I liked the story, but wished to know the truth at the end. Ambiguous endings kind of bother me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christy | 12/14/2010

    " I really enjoyed this book. There was a constant stream of social commentary and critique. And yet it was done in a way that seemed to be simply remarking at how things are, and maybe chuckling at them, as opposed to suggesting any particular remedy. (Or even that a remedy exists.)
    Very astute. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahmed | 9/24/2010

    " Possibly one of the best books in contemporary times (fiction) by an Author of Indian origin. Several notches above many half - baked so called fiction bestsellers in India... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlayne | 1/31/2010

    " Very interesting story that deals with globalization "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 zespri | 1/23/2010

    " Picked this up in a second hand store on holiday and was captivated by the opening scenario. The "i saw this and thought of you" that appears in in boxes all over the world. The story moves along nicely and is an easy and enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 9/25/2009

    " The plot involving an "innocent" computer hack (if there is such a thing) gone awry appealed to me, but this book didn't deliver for me. The humor just didn't really click for me and I just found it so-so. "

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About the Author
Author Hari Kunzru

Hari Kunzru is the author of several novels that have been translated into twenty-one languages, and his short stories and journalism have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Guardian, New Yorker, Washington Post, Times of India, London Review, Wired, and New Statesman.