Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell
A visionary novel about our interconnected world, about the collision of horror and humanity, from the Man Booker-shortlisted master of the spine-tingling tale
A Guardian & Observer Best Fiction Book of 2020
A Sunday Times Best Science Fiction Book of the Year
The Times Best Science Fiction Books of the Year
NPR Best Books of the Year
World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2020
Ebook Travel Guides Best 5 Books of 2020
‘She has a gift for fiction that is pure, original, revelatory.’ El Pais
A New York Times Notable Book of 2020
They’re not pets. Not ghosts or robots. These are kentukis, and they are in your home. They’re everywhere. They’re watching you…
They’ve infiltrated apartments in Hong Kong, shops in Vancouver, the streets of Sierra Leone, town squares of Oaxaca, schools in Tel Aviv, bedrooms in Indiana. Anonymous and untraceable, these seemingly cute cuddly toys reveal the beauty of connection between far-flung souls – but they also expose the ugly truth of our interconnected society.
Samanta Schweblin’s wildly imaginative new novel pulls us into a dark and complex world of unexpected love, playful encounters and marvellous adventures. But beneath the cuddly exterior, kentukis conceal a truth that is unsettlingly familiar and exhilaratingly real. This is our present and we’re living it – we just don’t know it yet.
*Little Eyes comes with two different covers, and the cover you receive will be chosen at random*
'Little Eyes supposes a world that is our world, 5 minutes from now... It then introduces one small thing - one little change, one product, one tweaked application of a totally familiar technology - and tracks the ripples of chaos that it creates... Think for just a moment the kind of joy and the kind of horror something like that would create. Then read Little Eyes and see how whatever it was that you imagined was just the beginning of how awful it could be.' -- NPR, Best Books of the Year 'Brilliantly creepy.' -- New York Times, Notable Books of 2020 'In accentuating so many of the dangers of online communities, as well as [the] advantages, Schweblin takes you on a psychological journey that feels like a Black Mirror episode and has you questioning actions that seemed mundane before.' * The Book Slut * 'Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin was pure sorcery. Hands down, one of the best books of 2020 (so far)... I was intoxicated.' * The Book Satchel * 'Samanta Schweblin is one of the most promising voices in modern literature.' * Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature * 'Samanta Schweblin will injure you, however safe you may feel.' * Jesse Ball, author of Census * 'Embedded within this novel of international interconnectivity are questions of the exhibitionism and voyeurism tied up in our use of technology. Expect echoes of the Wachowskis' Sense8, except told with what has been characterized as Schweblin's "neurotic unease."' * The Millions, Most Anticipated Titles of 2020 * '[Little Eyes is] yet another unsettling glimpse of life...providing us with the disturbing psychological insights which we associate with her work... Once again Schweblin has produced a novel which is prescient and frightening in equal measure.' * 1streading * 'The fantastic and strange worlds of Samanta Schweblin's work are described with wisdom and ferocity.' * La Repubblica * 'The undisputed star of Latin American fiction.' * ABC Sevilla * 'Like a true master, Schweblin manages to lure us in with a story that leaves us both bruised and fascinated.' * Culturas * 'Drawn in quotidian elegance, the novel is a string of nonstop, colorful vignettes... If Schweblin's sci-fi thriller Fever Dream made sleep difficult, Little Eyes raises the unease quotient. The book seems to watch viewers creepily as it unfolds.' * BookPage * 'This isn't science fiction; this is the here and now.' * El Diario * 'Schweblin plunges herself once again into the disturbing limits of what we think of as 'normal'.' * Letras Libres * '[Schweblin is] a literary explorer of 21st century fears.' * La Vanguardia * 'An insightful reflection on solitude and privacy.' * ABC * 'Little Eyes calls to mind the world of Black Mirror. The result is suffocating and addictive in equal measure; combining the minutiae of domestic life with a picture of the dark side of technology in a disconcertingly natural style. A story about voyeurism, and the pleasure of looking at the world through someone else's eyes.' * El Mundo * 'She has a gift for fiction that is pure, original, revelatory.' * El Pais * 'Alluring and unsettling in equal measure... A subtle and scathing parody of modern communications technology and social media... Colourful and near-hypnotic prose... A rare, yet powerful, indictment of a society that tolerates and even encourages violations of one of our most precious moral commodities - privacy.' * E&T * 'Schweblin's clear and brisk language, aided by a seemingly effortless translation from Spanish by Megan McDowell, drives home the accessibility of this outlandish story. Little Eyes is strange and addictive, an experience made even more frightening by how familiar this feels.' * Salon * 'In Samanta Schweblin's fiendishly readable Little Eyes, the new must-have tech gadget allows users to leapfrog into the lives of strangers - a sharp idea that became even more pertinent with the isolation and atomisation of lockdown.' -- Guardian, Best Fiction of 2020 'a master of the unsettling... the imaginary technology at the heart of Little Eyesfeels all too real, and Schweblin persuasively elaborates its operations and implications... the novel's breadth provides much of its pleasure, allowing an inventiveness that balances the bleakness of its characters' lives.' -- Hannah Rosefield * The New Statesman * 'Her most unsettling work yet - and her most realistic.' * New York Times * 'Schweblin unfurls an eerie, uncanny story... Daring, bold, and devious.' * Publishers Weekly * 'Schweblin's handling of tension and her viscously instantaneous ironic twists, familiar from her short story collection Mouthful of Birds, are delicious... An eerie sense of disjuncture characterises the entire reading experience...an indicator of the deep, discomforting place it has made itself under my skin.' * 3:AM magazine * 'Readers will be fascinated by the kentuki-human interactions, which smartly reveal how hungry we are for connection in a technology-bent world. Of a piece with Schweblin's elliptical Fever Dream and the disturbing story collection Mouthful of Birds...this jittery eye-opener will appeal to a wide range of readers.' * Library Journal * 'Little Eyes is a short, powerful, disquieting novel. The story explores the grey area that constitutes an invasion of privacy, and the line between intimacy and exhibitionism. Samanta Schweblin guides the narrative with a skilful hand reminiscent of her very finest short stories. An excellent storyteller, but above all, a true writer.' * La Razon * 'This has a propulsive, Dave Eggers-ish readability.' * Daily Mail * 'Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell, is a chilling and often hilarious book on the pitfalls of living in a highly interconnected world. Schweblin has a true talent for getting to the centre of our fears and drawing them out. An intensely clever title that will have you examining your own relationship to the internet.' -- Daisy Johnson, author of Sisters 'A nuanced exploration of anonymous connection and distant intimacy in our heavily accessible yet increasingly isolated lives...Capacious, touching, and disquieting, this is not-so-speculative fiction for an overnetworked and underconnected age.' * Kirkus Reviews * 'The finest novel of the past five years. Quite exceptional. Little Eyes will certainly feature in future lists of the ten best novels of this century.' * Luisge Martin, author of The Same City * 'This brilliant and disturbing book resembles Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale in how it speculates...Schweblin unspools a disquieting portrait of the dark sides of connectivity and the kinds of animalistic cyborgs it can make of us, as we walk through barriers that even spirits cannot cross.' * Literary Hub * 'A dystopian novel that is necessary, hypnotic, irresistible.' * Elle Italia * 'The 'toys' Schweblin has created are the perfect hybrid between a pet and a social network, enabling her to dissect problems that touch all of our lives: the dark side of the internet; the global epidemic of loneliness; the dumb inertia that leads us to jump on board with the latest trend... As always in the worlds Schweblin creates, the real monsters are to be found not in the outside world, but inside each of us.' * New York Times (Spanish edition) * 'If you want a spookily prescient vision of human isolation both assuaged and deepened by inscrutable, glitch-prone tech, then Little Eyes more than fits the brief... Adroitly served by Megan McDowell's winningly deadpan translation, these stories deal not in 'truly brutal plots' but 'desperately human and quotidian' urges, fears and scams... In the middle of our stay-at-home, broadband-enabled apocalypse, that feels right.' * Spectator * 'Daring and original... Schweblin deftly explores both the loneliness and casual cruelty that can inform our attempts to connect in this modern world.' * Booklist * 'Enjoyable reading... riffing on everyday human foibles - jealousy, capriciousness, existential restlessness...the understatedly arch tone is well served by Megan McDowell's translation, which is so slick that one hardly seems to be reading a translated work.' * Literary Review * 'Creepy as hell.' * Weekend Sport * 'A dark story, beautifully translated by Megan McDowell, it leaves the reader in a world from which there is no escape, as it questions our growing complicity in social media and neocapitalist technologies.' * Morning Star * 'This dazzling inquiry into loneliness and connection...has been given added resonance by the atomisation of lockdown.' * Guardian, '50 Brilliant Books to Transport You This Summer' * 'Little Eyes acts as a clear warning that every digital decision we make has consequences... It does feel alarmingly real.' * i * 'Little Eyes provides us with a powerful examination of the underlining disparities that persist. It is a fable for a society in which we are all made to feel simultaneously exposed and anonymous, connected and alone.' * Times Literary Supplement * 'A timely meditation on humanity and technology.' * Harper's Bazaar * 'I cannot remember a book so efficient in establishing character and propelling narrative; there's material for a hundred novels in these deft, rich 242 pages... The writing, ably translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, is superb, fully living up to the promise of Schweblin's stunning previous novel, Fever Dream... A slim volume as expansive and ambitious as an epic.' * New York Times * 'Little Eyes makes for masterfully uneasy reading; it's a book that burrows under your skin.' * Telegraph * 'Disturbing... Schweblin enjoys hovering just above the normal. Inspired by Samuel Beckett, she is interested in exposing absurdities.' * Financial Times * 'Ingenious... An artful exploration of solitude and empathy in a globalised world... In a nimble, fast-moving narrative, what's most impressive is the way she foregrounds her characters' inner hopes and fears.' * Guardian *
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