From reviews on the internet, it is clear that this is a polarizing book. Yet when I picked up No One Is Talking About This I wanted to like this book. The title, the author, the nomination on the Booker Prize shortlist were all promising cues. Regrettably, this book broke me. For me, it was challenging to read. Whether that’s because of my dwindling attention span- thanks to social media- or simply the writing format or both, I can’t say. Yet I persevered with the help of this guide that explains the references to memes in the book.
Lockwood is quirky, witty, and clever. However, I only witness Lockwood’s brilliance every couple of blurbs. There are too many extreme American and extreme popular culture references that I have little to no context for- thanks to me for abandoning social media in 2020. Some of the recurring issues (that I caught on) that she examines include Trump (who is only alluded to as ‘The Dictator’), the misery of being anything except male, our frivolous attitude towards climate change. But by far the theme that dominates this landscape of blurbs is a critique of society’s slavish technological etiquette.
Part one of the book starts off from the point of view of an unnamed narrator. It seemed as if a confused stream of consciousness and loosely held together non-sequiturs were being flung at me successively. Part two has some semblance of a plot- the narrator’s niece was born with complications. I understand that Lockwood’s intention is to juxtapose that poignancy of real life and the nonchalance of social media. Sad to say that this was not my cup of tea.