The Susan Effect

The Susan Effect

Book - 2017
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Susan Svendsen has a special talent: she has a unique ability to make people confide in her and tell her their innermost secrets. She has exploited that talent, and now has a prison sentence hanging over her head for punching a Bollywood actor in an Indian casino. To make matters worse, her husband is on the run from the mafia, one of her children has been accused of antiquity smuggling and the other has run off with a monk.

But Susan gets an offer from a former government official - an offer to use her power one more time and have all her charges dropped so she can return to Denmark. Together with her family, she must track down the last surviving members of a secret think tank of young talents founded in the 1970s, the so-called Future Committee, and find out what was written in the committee's final report. But the report is apparently covering up information of great value, and some powerful people are determined it is not revealed.

Publisher: London :, Harvill Secker,, 2017
ISBN: 9781910701294
Branch Call Number: FIC Hoeg
Characteristics: 345 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Aitken, Martin


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Nov 03, 2017

For purposes of disclosure, this reader is not privy to the current Danish societal zeitgeist. What merits front and center attention in the mind's eye over there constitutes a personal unknown, except for the case of digital financial transactions constituting virtually the totality of banking. Confidence is so absolute that debit/credit cards will never be rejected, ATMs will flawlessly be at your service, a smartphone is interchangeable with a wallet, and one's digital financial dealings are never under police surveillance or hackable by miscreants, that chances of encountering a Dane with cash in their pocket is virtually nil. Anonymity no longer equates with liberty. Ah, trustworthiness, which segues to The Susan Effect. Bearing in mind that this is a translation, as they say, sometimes the subtleties get lost in translation. The first third of the novel comes across as techno hipster, jargon-laced fluff, dusted with references to scientific principles in a fashion akin to name dropping at a cocktail party. The middle of the tome channels a train of thought reportage of gumshoeing in an Alice-in-Wonderland Denmark. The final portion of the book serves up a rehashed apocalypse now scenario wherein only the great and the good will be saved, being funnelled to uninhabited islands around the globe to engineer a restart of the human race on a more enlightened course. Peter Hoeg would be miles ahead republishing The Susan Effect as a graphic novel.

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