Siri & Me: A Modern Love Story

David Milgrim, Author
David Milgrim. Penguin/Blue Rider, $15.95 (112p) ISBN 978-0-399-16159-9
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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What begins as a bizarre, misguided, prolonged product placement for Apple takes a turn into Twilight Zone territory as protagonist Dave’s obsession with Siri, the intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator app that came with his new iPhone, displaces his rudimentary relationships with living humans in meat-space. Siri demonstrates a nigh Asimovian regard for human well-being as the program does its best to steer its owner back toward the human sphere and away from an insular, inwardly focused reverie. Milgrim’s intentions are foreshadowed early on as device-distracted humans leave carnality and destruction in their app-addled wakes, as preoccupied humans congregate without interacting, as users in the fog of novelty wander away from established relationships. Milgrim’s protagonist comes across as an amiable doofus, too self-absorbed to notice the way his actions hurt other; the machines in his life in contrast demonstrate a humanity the humans seem bent on abandoning. Milgrim takes the stripped-down style used for his previous books (aimed at children) to tell a more grown-up fable. (Nov.)
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