Big Data Is Watching You!

A comic dystopia

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
266 Pages
Reviewed on 10/11/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

It’s way past 1984 in the dystopia called Goozle Earth®. Your toothbrush, your coffee maker and your Rice Krispies® are running your life. But don’t worry... BIG DATA IS WATCHING YOU! For Smith, a native of this paradise, life gets complicated when he wanders off the grid and discovers sex®, the knowledge of good and evil, and the pursuit of Happiness. Can he save the human race from Goozle Inc. and the Next Big Thing?

Bruce Hartman's latest novel is a satirical comic dystopia set in a future in which the all-powerful force of Big Data rules humanity through the Internet of Things and the corporate power of Goozle Inc. The book is intended to be fun. To quote Groucho Marx: "Humor is reason gone mad."

BIG DATA IS WATCHING YOU! follows another satirical comic novel, A BUTTERFLY IN PHILADELPHIA, which has garnered a following on Amazon, recently reaching No. 3 on the paid best-seller list for literary satire. Readers' Favorite Book Reviews gave the book Five Stars and called it "one of the strange comic masterpieces that you're quite lucky to run across once in a very great while."

Bruce Hartman's previous four novels were mysteries. The first one, PERFECTLY HEALTHY MAN DROPS DEAD, won the Salvo Press Mystery Novel Award and was published by Salvo Press in 2008. His second book, THE RULES OF DREAMING, was published by Swallow Tail Press in May 2013. Kirkus Reviews selected THE RULES OF DREAMING as one of its "Top 100 Indie Books of 2013." Another mystery, THE MUSE OF VIOLENCE, was released in October 2013.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL DETECTIVE, subtitled "The True Story of An Imaginary Gentleman," was published in 2014. It explores the boundary between literary fiction and the mystery genre - and as always in Hartman's fiction, between fiction and reality.

Bruce Hartman lives with his wife in Philadelphia. He has worked as a pianist, music teacher, bookseller and attorney and has been writing fiction for many years

    Book Review

Reviewed by Donnie Burgess for Readers' Favorite

Big Data is Watching You! is a satirical look into our own future through the eyes of one man, Smith, who isn’t aware that there is a future – or a past for that matter. Living under the watchful eye of the Goozle servers, Smith doesn’t have a data unit package high enough to worry about anything more than his job (throwing Celebrities to the lions) and his guppies. That all changes when he meets a Yahoo named Julia. She speaks of things like freedom and privacy as if there is more to them that what is defined by the Terms of Service. When Smith begins to question whether she may be right, he starts doing a bit of research. Customer Service notices. Smith finds out just how right she was when Big Data begins pursuing him for a litany of charges, chief among them: questioning the meaning of ‘the pursuit of happiness’.

Big Data is Watching You! paints a dystopian future that is almost too fantastic to be believed, but too believable to be pure fantasy. I particularly enjoyed Bruce Hartman’s ironic wit and irreverent tone as he lambasted our culture’s reliance on computers, the internet, and cloud storage by following their evolution to an (hopefully) unreasonable end. From ‘The Great Stench’ to ‘The Next Big Thing’, Hartman playfully intertwined improbable scenarios with events that seem almost a certainty, leaving me to wonder where the impossible ended and the inevitable began. The story was well crafted and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of light-hearted fun. Big Data is Watching You! will make me think twice before performing my next Goozle search!