Little Eyes

Little Eyes

Book - 2020
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"A visionary novel about the collision of technology and play, horror and humanity, from a master of the spine-tingling tale. They've infiltrated homes in Hong Kong, shops in Vancouver, the streets of Senegal, town squares of Oaxaca, schools in Tel Aviv, bedrooms in Ohio. They're following you. They're everywhere now. They're us. In Samanta Schweblin's wildly imaginative new novel, Little Eyes, "kentukis" have gone viral across the globe. They're little mechanical stuffed animals that have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home and a cute squeaking pet following them; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else's life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. Through kentukis, a jaded Croatian hustler stumbles into a massive criminal enterprise and saves a life in Brazil, a lonely old woman in Peru becomes fascinated with a young woman and her louche lover in Germany, and a kid with no mother in Antigua finds a new virtual family and experiences snow for the first time in Norway. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls - but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world. Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love and marvelous adventure, but what happens when the kentukis pave the way for unimaginable terror?"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2020
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525541363
Branch Call Number: F SCH
Characteristics: 241 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: McDowell, Megan - Translator


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Apr 27, 2021

This is a very well written and disturbing novel that might best be categorized as not quite speculative fiction. The technology is totally available for the "kentukis" in the novel to exist and even though they don't, they could by next week. However, you're not going to want one if you read this novel. Little Eyes gives us multiple characters from around the world - some recur throughout the book and some feature in only a single chapter. What binds them together is their involvement with the kentukis, who are kind of an amalgamation of a furby, a roomba and a virtual assistant - but with a twist. A real human consciousness operates them. Everyone who has one of these little eyed critters is changed by the experience - most not in a positive way. Schweblin has a lot to say about the interconnectedness of our world, voyeurism, privacy and the kind of anonymous intimacy that is so common these days. She does so in an entertaining and thought provoking way. Great book!

Dec 23, 2020

Upon hearing of the premise of Little Eyes, I was skeptical as to whether it would make a compelling story. I was wrong. Schweblin takes a simple idea, one that is well within the scope of reality, and skillfully weaves a tale of intertwining lives and experiences in captivating and disturbing ways. If you are at all a fan of Black Mirror, try this read.

Dec 04, 2020

NYT best of 2020. Fad mechanical pets turn out to be surveillance tools

ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 01, 2020

A bold and disturbing story that will terrify anyone who ever owned or was creeped out by Furbies (me!). Technology takes yet another step into the world of home invasion, but this invasion comes on a much more personal, intimate level. Techno dystopian/ thriller.

Jun 19, 2020

A bleak book about a world in which people purchase Kentukis -- animated stuffed animals -- and let them loose in their house. The creatures are animated and controlled by real people in random locations around the world. Those "dwellers" can see out of the eyes of the Kentuki they control, and so they become like living creatures with a great deal of power in the lives of people they live with. All this is to say, a lot of bad stuff happens due to the lack of privacy these devices provide and the general ugliness of humanity. Read metaphorically, it's an indictment of our always connected, always sharing society. Read as a work of horror, it's compelling and sexual, bleak. I will likely go back and find other books she has written that have been translated to English.


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ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 01, 2020

Regulation had nothing to do with setting standards; it meant putting rules in place that worked in favor of a few.

ReadingAdviser_Sally Dec 01, 2020

[F]or the first time she wondered, with a fear that threatened to break her, whether she was standing on a world that it was ever possible to escape.


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