Reviews

  • "In this sequence of almost Montaigne-like essays, blending observation, philosophical inquiry and a highly literary sort of layering, Scott exquisitely articulates not what the digital world can do but how it feels to engage with it. He resists the usual polarisation of debate, capturing instead our “breathless” mix of excitement and unease. Scott’s writing is exceptionally fine, and his cultural range extravagant. Describing YouTube’s “enveloping of the past”, he moves from Ian McEwan to Katie Price. Pondering the phenomenon of digital detox, he recalls EM?Forster’s yearning for the greenwood. He flits from Google’s Desert View to early Christian hermits, from Airbnb to late-Victorian science fiction — and it is always insightful, never pretentious. An astounding debut."

    Sunday Times, Thought Book of the Year
  • "Scott's references are admirably broad, spanning high and low culture in a layered and complex (and Samuel Johnson shortlisted) account."

    Financial Times, Books of the Year
  • "Clever, allusive, with a capacious sense of humour, the book sizzles with intelligence ... brilliant."

    New York Times
  • "Scott is an ideal person to tackle this subject... Moreover, he is both a creative writer and a perceptive literary critic, who leavens his text with some mercurially brilliant turns of phrase and poetic coinages, while at the same time stiffening it up with huge dollops of literary explication and quotation… with his joyful phrase-making and sharp eye for the follies and absurdities of wired life, Scott would be the perfect investigator to report back on what it feels like to be… uploaded."

    Will Self, Guardian
  • "A book that delivers a nourishing counterpoint to the ephemerality of the digital age. Scott offers layered and complex thought in a style that is elegant and artful. He has worked long and hard, you imagine, at these thoughts and words – and to prove that it can still be done, despite the glow of distraction emanating from a smartphone inevitably sitting on a table nearby, is worth celebrating in itself."

    Sophie Elmhirst, Financial Times