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The Atmospherians av Alex McElroy
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The Atmospherians (utgåvan 2021)

av Alex McElroy (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
514410,774 (3.32)Ingen/inga
Medlem:madelinemar
Titel:The Atmospherians
Författare:Alex McElroy (Författare)
Info:Atria Books (2021), 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read

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The Atmospherians av Alex McElroy

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Visar 4 av 4
“Because the book is just the beginning. The books will evolve into a lifestyle, and the lifestyle will become a phenomenon. And what comes after a phenomenon?” Obviously the Atmospherians - but to what purpose? Fame equals life’s meaning; success equals a model of how to exist. The need to have others know who you are; to have life matter within your lopsided belief of your importance.

Really good writing on a super slippery slope that ultimately was impossible to embrace or care about.

Thank you Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy. ( )
  kimkimkim | May 31, 2021 |
The Atmospherians by Alex McElroy is a 2021 Atria Books publication.

Okay- well, that was different!

Satire is hard to balance, but if it is done right, I love it! This book hits an uncomfortable mark as it examines influencers, toxic masculinity, and body image, and perhaps the role we play in it.

Sasha is a successful influencer, until an unforeseen tragedy sends her popularity plummeting, turning her into a pariah in an instant. At the height of her anxiety, her old friend, Dyson, approaches her with a opportunity. He wants Sasha to be the face of his planned cult, which will be disguised as a workshop for men hoping to cure themselves of their toxic masculinity. They will name the cult ‘The Atmosphere’ and the members will be called ‘The Atmopsherians. ‘

Desperate to escape the frightening reality of her life, Sasha agrees to join Dyson at an abandoned summer camp where they will invite a specific number of men, from a curated list of candidates, to join them. Upon arrival, these men will dedicate their lives to cleansing themselves of their ingrained traits of toxic masculinity.

As the cult grows more bizarre, as the only woman at the camp, Sasha walks a fine line, especially since she only agreed to this madness out of pure desperation.

Sometimes a point is best made through satire. Preparing oneself for anything satirical, means accepting that you are being made fun of, in a sarcastic, occasionally caustic manner. This novel is a parody, with laugh out loud funny moments, but the truth is, it wouldn’t be funny, if there wasn’t some truth in it.

Satire can also be rather dark, and this novel has some gruesome moments- so be warned. Mostly, though, the book definitely hits on the pulse, and components of our current culture and society, and does so with searing and occasional graphic stabs at some very serious topics.

One must look at the whole picture, to understand what’s being said here. It’s not just a localized bashing, it’s open season on all of society.

Typically, the word ‘cult’ in a book synopsis will draw me in like a moth to a flame. But, in this situation, the cult, an ingenious move on the author’s part, is one of the most screwball cults ever, making the setup seem more like a means to an end- but it’s the perfect environment to examine all the issues at play and a perfect opportunity ponder they ways in which might contribute to them.

For me, though, I thought the most important theme was how our society is addicted to self- performance, always ‘on’ … being followed, observed, and recorded, by an enormous audience on social media platforms and YouTube, with people overrating their own importance, while overlooking troublesome issues, such as the impact or consequences of their ‘influence’- and to what end?

To feed an illusion, an unrealistic, ego driven image, all for the sake of ‘likes’, followers, subscribers, and the headiness of power, through ‘influence’- and how this continual spectacle has affected all those who dwell in this ‘atmosphere’, including the casual observer.

From the outside looking in, it seems dangerous, not only to one’s physical and mental health, but for our society, overall. Here we see a couple deprived of their ‘fix’, desperate to keep in contact with that adulation, and then finding other ways to satiate their dependence on power and ‘performance'.

This is a strange little book, I must say, but I got a kick out it, dark though it was at times. It was hilarious, clever, and serious, very well- written, and smart. You may recognize yourself in this book, but, even if you are like me, and don’t follow all that wellness and influencing stuff, you’ll recognize the characters for who and what they represent. The message is there for you to decipher, either on the surface or on a deeper level.

Maybe someday, we’ll all get lucky, and someone will intentionally topple the whole house cards, even if it is only to escape their own self- made trap. Maybe then, people will awaken, as if from a long sleep, and return to building real relationships again- one's based on morals, merit and principle, instead of popularity, influence, or performance.

Overall, I liked this book- it’s funny, sure- but remember- satire often exposes the underbelly in such a way to avoid strident offense. One has to be able to read between the lines of the exaggerated scenarios to see the way it exposes some unflattering, but important insights and promotes independent thought.

4 stars ( )
  gpangel | May 13, 2021 |
wow! ( )
  Shep83 | Mar 4, 2021 |
I really struggled with this book. I couldn't decide if it was supposed to be science fiction. It was definitely topical but sort of unbelievable that Sasha would be treated the way she was after the Lucas Devry incident. It didn't help that Sasha and Dyson were both such unlikable characters as were all the men at the Atmosphere. It was well written but I just don't think it was for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC. ( )
  susan.h.schofield | Feb 10, 2021 |
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