Wednesday, August 14, 2013

This Book Will Change Your Life - Gripped by the Jason Donnelly.

Vacation. Read. Beach. Read. Masturbation. Read. Wait, what? To be clear, we are not commenting on our own onanistic activities per se, and who would be interested in those regardless? Don't answer that. But, we are alluding to Gripped by the Jason Donnelly, an homage of sorts to one man's masturbatory proclivities, though this is an element of the book that is clearly drawing too much attention in comparison to the Donnelly's efforts to detail a world where everyone and everything is interconnected by marketing and brand development. In some ways the protagonists decision to join "the program" is reminiscent of Stephen King's great short story "Quitters, Inc." Character seeks self-improvement he didn't know he wanted, character receives guidance, character risks punishment for not following the program. What's different however is how the story is updated for a new age. Donnelly's story isn't about a man finding a program, but a program finding him, because the program hears all, knows all, sees all. This is a world where no one has choices and the consequences of fighting this are less related to our desire to improve than our lack of desire to build brand, move brand, sell brand, and be branded. That it's parody makes it no less serious, it just makes the discomfort of recognizing all of this more bearable. We are all in it and of it, Donnelly tells us, and our choices are not our own, not what we buy, where we work, or who sleep with. Even when and how we choose to masturbate, a moment as generally solo, desperate, and isolated as any is not really something we have any true control over. Is this maddening? Maybe. But will Gripped change your life? Certainly. Now go read it, review it, tell your friends about it, and do not forget, not ever, that your personality is what's holding you back.

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