Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling
Translation by Jamie Lee Searle
Hardcover, 352 pages, ISBN: 9781538732977
Published by Grand Central Publishing, 2020
In stockSold By: Young W
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From the publisher:
In the near future sci-fi world of Qualityland, algorithms help create an idyllic life for its citizens, but what if the perfect world wasn’t built for you?
Welcome to QualityLand, the best country on Earth. Here, a universal ranking system determines the social advantages and career opportunities of every member of society. An automated matchmaking service knows the best partners for everyone and helps with the break up when your ideal match (frequently) changes. And the foolproof algorithms of the biggest, most successful company in the world, TheShop, know what you want before you do and conveniently deliver to your doorstep before you even order it.
In QualityCity, Peter Jobless is a machine scrapper who can’t quite bring himself to destroy the imperfect machines sent his way, and has become the unwitting leader of a band of robotic misfits hidden in his home and workplace. One day, Peter receives a product from TheShop that he absolutely, positively knows he does not want, and which he decides, at great personal cost, to return. The only problem: doing so means proving the perfect algorithm of TheShop wrong, calling into question the very foundations of QualityLand itself. ‘Qualityland’, Marc-Uwe Kling’s first book to be translated into English, is a brilliantly clever, illuminating satire in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and George Orwell that offers a visionary, frightening, and all-too funny glimpse at a near future we may be hurtling toward faster than it’s at all comfortable to admit. So why delay any longer? TheShop already knows you’re going to love this book. You may as well head to the cash register, crack the covers, and see why that is for yourself.
Praise for QUALITYLAND:
“Eerily prescient and peppered with near-future projections (including the cryogenic resurrection of Jennifer Aniston), Qualityland reads like the best Black Mirror episode as written by Kurt Vonnegut. Kling delivers scythe-sharp satire, steering us through a hysterical dystopian adventure of technological determinism, all while skewering consumer culture, politics, free will, and making me rethink my relationship with my Roomba. Witty, wise, and terrifyingly funny, Qualityland is a genius gem and an absolute must read. I laughed my phone off.” —Kira Jane Buxton, author of Hollow Kingdom
“A hilarious romp through an absurd hypercapitalist dystopia…This is spot-on satire.”—Publishers Weekly
“Kling’s dialogue is witty and sharp, the relationship between Peter and the droids is handled with a great deal of humour and warmth, and more often than not Kling lands his jokes — Qualityland is incredibly funny –a rare feat for a science fiction novel.”—Locus
“QUALITYLAND is the best kind of satire, offering up a funhouse mirror version of our world that is so smart and so cutting, you have to laugh to keep from crying.”—Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse
“How much you enjoy this is in direct proportion to how much trouble you think we’re all in. Sleep tight.”—Kirkus
“QUALITYLAND is very funny and very scary — my kind of book.”—Mike Judge, creator of HBO’s Silicon Valley, writer/director of Office Space
“The times we live in demand a satire as sharp and unrelenting as QUALITYLAND. The funniest parts will make you cringe. But rather than merely beat the reader over the head with doom and gloom, this novel goes further, showing the value of endurance and even hope in an age of emptiness.”— Robert Repino, author of D’Arc and Mort(e)
“Kling’s sharp observations target the economy, the law, xenophobia, relationships, security, and government, sparing few and exposing with delightful brutality how close QualityLand is to reality.”—Booklist
About the author:
is a German author and songwriter. Qualityland spent months on the German bestseller lists, has sold more than half a million copies to date internationally, and is currently in production as an HBO series. Kling lives in Berlin.
(Credits: Book cover image and publisher’s description have been retrieved from BiblioShare. Front and back cover photo by Jenn Collins.)