Cover Image: No One Is Talking About This

No One Is Talking About This

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Member Reviews

This book is really well written and has some beautiful, thought provoking and moving moments. But it is also one of the most confusing books I have ever written. I think that partly that is the sense that readers are meant to take away from it, that the distracting and complex world we live in at times makes no sense, the every time we feel we are getting a grasp on where we stand our confidence and sense of understanding runs through our fingers like sand ad we are left utterly confused and disheartened again. 

So if that is how a reader is meant to feel when reading this then the book is brilliant. Is it one I would read again, probably not. But I think I'm glad I have read it. Confusing, unusual but with beautiful moments.
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The first half of this book really didn't work for me. To the point that if that were all this was, it would have been a one star read. It felt like flipping through a random, disjointed stream of consciousness with little if anything to link the various paragraphs together. There's no plot, no coherence, no attempt at pulling these random threads of thoughts together into something cohesive and interesting. 

It's long a long winded Twitter feed, I guess. But each paragraph is significantly longer than 140 characters so it loses any of the punchiness that Twitter might have. I think - think - what the author was trying to do was almost a slideshow of the Twitter headlines from a certain year - which I think is 2017, judging from the election of the Dictator, who I can only guess is meant to be Donald Trump. The problem is that as I don't really use Twitter... or Snapchat... or Instagram... I understood precisely none of these references and Lockwood doesn't bother to explain them. 

I found it lifeless and generally mindless. I suspect it was meant to be witty and sharply funny, but I didn't get any of the jokes. The incoherent and disjointed nature of the paragraphs grated on me and I found myself wishing for something substantial; characters, plot, anything. And example would be that you get a relatively thought provoking paragraph on white people speaking out against injustice, but that's immediately followed by a paragraph on the experience of watching movies. A handful of short paragraphs later you are propelled into a completely pointless rendition of why the unnamed narrator hates the dildo and an argument with her husband about it going up his ass instead. It's... random, thoughtless and entirely fragmented.

So, why two stars? Because yes, I was sick and tired of the narrative steam of vomit consciousness across the page very early on and only continued pushing through because this was a NetGalley read. The one and only reason for the second star is because of the change in tone - if not in writing style unfortunately - of the last 40% of the novel. After a line that could be missed in the chaotic hundrum of the book, the unnamed narrator learns that there is something drastically wrong with her sister's unborn child. And I had to give that extra star if only because there's a level of raw, heartfelt brokenness to this portion of the book that left me crying on a thankfully near deserted train.

The disjointed nature of the second half was just as jarring as in the first though, otherwise this might have squeaked it's way up to three stars if only by the skin of it's teeth. There were some truly poignant and heart-breaking moments here, and Lockwood describes the terror and fear of bringing a seriously disabled child who may not live to see it's first birthday in breathtaking simplicity. But this doesn't negate the fact that the writing style is still incredibly difficult to follow, still disjointed and darting between thoughts and impressions and often veering back onto random topics without thought.

So, whilst I thank NetGalley and the publishers for the chance to read this book, it really didn't work for me. The lack of a clear narrative, any character building or any cohesiveness really made this a nightmare to read and I likely wouldn't have bothered to the end had it not been an ARC. In some ways, I'm glad I did as the second half was mostly worth reading.
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I didn't think I understood this until the second half and then I was totally blown to pieces, just a very clever author.
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I was really unsure of this story and how it was written but it grew on me and I was pleased I persevered. I am in awe of how the author expressed her feelings of love and loss.
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This is a bit like two books in one. And I connected more with one than the other. In my case I was more impressed by the second half than the first. The writing is sparse, which works better sometimes than other. This was so-so for me, gave it 3 stars. I am interested to see what else she is going to write.
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Bold and daring, this narrative structure certainly isn't for everyone, but as the story developed, and especially in the emotive second half, I found it easier to stick with.
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Really original, interesting read. I'm impressed that it's a debut. Loved the writing style and the story. 
Thanks a lot to NT and the publisher for this copy.
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I am a huge fan of Lockwoods previous memoir so I was excited to pick this up. Unfortunately I found it an odd read. The first half is filled with fragmented social media commentary, some of which I got and some I didn't. Although undoubtably witty this may put some readers off as it dates so quickly. The second half was like a different story, containing grief and emotions. I loved the second half and just wanted more of it.
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No One Is Talking About This captures being Extremely Online better than anything else I've read. It made me both laugh out loud and cringe with recognition. And then it switches lanes in Part 2 and becomes something entirely different, a sensitive but also irreverant study of family and grief. I thought it was extraordinary.
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As one who stays clear of all social media, I read this with a mixture of curiosity and incomprehension. It certainly bolstered up my apprehensions about what social media addiction does to the human - most of it unnecessary and/or dangerous in my view. But this is a brilliantly written thought-provoking read, and Patricia Lockwood shows how virtuosity as a writer, veering between the tragic, the farcical and the beautifully touching without missing a beat. I will read more by her.
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Nobody is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood is an intriguing debut novel. It’s a novel, which has a different pace, style and depth to any novel I have read in recent times. Whilst a novel tackling the complexities of our online world have been done before, this one is certainly unique. It’s also a novel of two halves. The first being completely within the online realm. “The Portal” as it is referred to in the novel. The title is relevant, it’s all about people, is or are not observing. At one point the character is approached and told that someone used to read her diary. She then poses the thought. “The diary she had written before anything had happened to her!”
 
The second half is about a couple’s grief and very much about tangible and real problems. The book works fine in both parts but it always felt very stagnant to me. I never invested in “the portal” and its witty comments were amusing but never built up a connection to. Anything. It left me disengaged and not quite ready to then flip into connecting with the characters struggles in the second half of the book. They are two different things but neither synced in for me. I admire what has been done here and it’s clear to see why it’s receiving the praise it is but unfortunately this wasn’t for me.
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Quirky, unusual but not for me. I don't like comedians who only give one-liners, I prefer the whole drawn out story, the more details the better. By the same token, I found it distracting how the topic kept changing making the central thread hard to grab on to. I get that its the speakers stream of consciousness, and its a really brave attempt. For me, it was too disorientating and especially at the end of a long day when Im tired and need a good story. I managed 42% before finally giving up the ghost. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.
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This has to be the biggest load of rubbish that i have ever read.  The acme of her liuterary style are  quotes such as
""sperm u up my holes";  "thansgivin titties to be pippin" and " every baby should have an ass"
to be fair after those pearlers the rest of it does not matter.  

HOW ANY PUBLISHER thinks this is literature is beyond me
To describe it as Humour just beggars belief

IF I COULD and OH i so Wish I could I would give this a minus star rating. The only place for these pages is on a bonfire

I wish i could send this back without a rating or with a negative rating it was absolute trash
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Meh, not really for me. I knew from the description/reviews that this wouldn't be my cup of tea so I don't really understand why I read it.. I guess because I thought it'd be good to read a book that tried to "capture the age we live in". Clearly, I'm in the minority, as the book has done very well in terms of reviews (and presumably sales). I did read it in one sitting, so it is a quick read. Lockwood's background is poetry, and she can definitely write a good sentence - there were lots of funny quips in this. Ultimately, though, I don't like Twitter humour or Internet culture so I just read this in a very detached indifferent way (I did like the sister's joke about Harambe in the hospital, a nice black moment). It's basically just one frenetically fragmented quip/darkly clever one-liner after another, Jenny Offhil on speed. I do respect the book for being utterly committed to its style, like A Girl is a Half Formed Thing (another book that was really popular that I didn't enjoy). I wonder what Generation Z-TikTok users would think of this book - I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say they would find it dated... IMHO it's all about VIDEO for the youth, y'all, Twitter is for old millennials...  This is a book I would like to come back to in 5-10 years time, like Ali Smith's Autumn quartet, to see how it stands.

Thank you to the publishers and to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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No one is talking about this 🌈🌥

A different book that’s for sure! 

Ad - gifted

The two halves of the story read like completely different books, but are quite complementary in bringing together the conclusion of realising what truly matters in life. 

The book is set in an almost (but not quite) alternate universe where online presence and social media has taken over, and everyone’s experiences of the news, and relationships has moved to intense short bursts of sharing things online. It’s a bit of an uncomfortable distance from real life now. Everything is a bit more extreme but that really helps highlight how we are actually living now. 

The narrator shares her life and connects with people on “the portal” and there are many references to real internet culture that felt very current and observationally funny (chonky bois, mood, yaaas). That being said, I definitely think you need to be someone who spends a lot of time online to really “get” a lot of this. It’s got quite a specific target audience and I can imagine someone who doesn’t really use social media or understand those who do reading this and thinking “wtf have I just read” (I mean to be honest even I felt like that a lot of the time!) 

The second half of the book hits home with tragic events for the narrator’s family. The contrast of this part of the book to the first highlights what really matters, and how important it is to be present in real life. 

I both read and listened to this and I think with the role the narrator brings to the story the audiobook really does add something to the reading experience here.

3 stars for me, a little bit too out their for me to really love but I have to commend the author for producing something so clever and different. 

Thanks to @netgalley and @bloomsburypublishing for the advance ebook.
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Priestdaddy is one of my absolute favourite books, so Lockwood’s debut novel was one of the 2021 releases I was most looking forward to reading. It took me a while to warm to, but ultimately did not disappoint. It probably helped that I was familiar with the author’s iconoclastic sense of humour. This is a work of third-person autofiction – much more so than I’d realized before I read the Acknowledgments – and to start with it feels like a flippant skewering of modern life, which for some is all about online personality and performance. A woman who became a social media star by tweeting quips like “Can a dog be twins?” reflects on life on “the portal” and under “the dictator.”

Midway through the book, she receives a wake-up call in the form of texts from her mother summoning her back to the Midwest for a family emergency. “It was a marvel how cleanly and completely this lifted her out of the stream of regular life.” But “Would it change her?” she asks herself. Apparently, this very thing happened to Lockwood’s own family, which accounts for how heartfelt the second half is – still funny, but with an ache behind it, the same that I sensed and loved in Priestdaddy. The story had unexpected personal poignance for me as well.

It is the about-face that truly makes this novel, forcing readers to question the value of a digital existence based on glib pretence. As the protagonist tells her students at one point, “Your attention is holy,” and with life so fragile there is no time to waste. Horrible and beautiful things coexist.

What Lockwood is trying to do with this book is even bigger than that, though, I think. She mocks the idea of plot yet takes up the mantle of the “social novel,” as if she’s creating a whole new format for the Internet-age novel, in short, digestible sections. I’m not sure this is quite as earth-shattering as all that, but it is both entertaining and deceptively deep and should make readers consider to what extent they’ve succumbed to “internet poisoning.”

It feels like a very current and topical book and so plays the role that Weather did in last year’s Women’s Prize race, such that I hope it will make it through to the shortlist.
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A very original book, I was slightly out of my comfort zone with the format and the almost stream of consciousness style. The subject matter was truly interesting; I have never read anything that even begins to address such a difficult topic. It was handled well and I felt the main character was vibrant with a strong personality that was apparent and well written.
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I've not read Priestdaddy yet, but I'll definitely be adding it to my "to be read" list after reading Patricia Lockwood's fiction debut "No One Is Talking About This", a genre-defying stream of consciousness of a novel. set in the world of social media stardom, and the world's current obsession with all things online and digital. 
A novel of two very distinct halves, Lockwood's novel centres on the world of the woman who became a viral sensation when she posted "Can a dog be twins?" on The Portal - the centre of the technological social media world. She spends her life traveling the globe speaking on panels, being interviewed, posting more arch / random / weird comments, and monitors the online social swirl of memes, posts, videos, gifs, viral clips etc etc. If you know anything about viral trends in our current world, you'll quickly start recognising moments from the stream of conscious descriptions of what's going on in the virtual world of the Portal, as your brain forms connections with random comments. Lockwood somehow manages to recreate our daily doom scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, etc etc in her equal parts arresting and dazzling prose, bombarding you with information, some of which resonates, some of which passes you by as you scroll on.
And then, everything changes with one phone call. A summons home to support her pregnant sister, who has had some life-changing and devastating news. A sudden switch, from the virtual to the real world - a world of human connections, love, family, speaking your truth rather than playing for likes... And while the sisters still keep each other's spirits raised with jokes about things they saw on the Portal, it is just another memory of previous times, back in their collective past.
This is a truly extraordinary novel, deserving of all the accolades being heaped upon it. A dazzling rollercoaster ride through the virtual world to which we are all seemingly addicted, grounded in the harsh reality of the real world, but at its ultimate heart - genuine human emotion in all its myriad forms.
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A book of two halves that had be smiling wryly in the first and tearful in the second. At first we are introduced to the main character as she becomes a ‘celebrity’ after a comment goes viral. We are surrounded by the online world, the ‘portal’, all parts of it, the funny, the farcical, the terrifying and the ridiculous. I felt a spotlight was on all forms of social media but my mind primarily went to Twitter. There is such beauty and benefit to the online world but the ugly, dirty beating heart is never far from the surface. Lockwood’s poetic prose felt very fantastical and showed the surreal nature of it. What kind of reality can we really hold onto when we are forever submersed in an online reality?

The second part of the story holds such weight and really brought me back to the real world when she has to deal with a hugely traumatic event. The beauty, light, love and heartbreak just ripped me open. The events so beautifully captured in snippets of time. 

The juxtaposition of the 2 halves, the online world which we choose to immerse ourselves in and the real world which can throw anything at us did work but the second half for me was the true triumph.

SPOILER: A trigger warning should be given regarding infant death and disability.

3.5 stars
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"Stream of consciousness had already been conquered by a man who wanted his wife to fart all over him. But what about the stream of consciousness that was not entirely your own? One that you participate in but that also acts upon you?"

Often I try to wait until I know exactly what I want to say about a book before I review it but I think I could be waiting a long time to do so with this one. I knew Patricia Lockwood was a brilliant writer from her memoir, Priestdaddy, but this work of autofiction (or work at least partially inspired by her own life) is one of the best books I've read in years. It is written, as the snide yet thought provoking statement above suggests, in a stream of consciousness that is not that of Joyce or early 20th century modernists but one that must necessarily reflect the complications of being, basically, so extremely online, part of a shared "mind" or reference point that becomes enmeshed with the person's own mind and thoughts. What the main character encounters in "the portal" feels more real to the reader than her day to day life. It is also, as the above quote suggests, irreverent, absurd and hilarious.

However, as much as I cringe while saying this, as I feel I need to break away from cliches for such a good book, it really did make me laugh out loud several times, but the ending left me in tears. I don't want to give anything away, but the second part takes a complete emotional turn that I really didn't see coming but elevated it in my mind from being a funny, clever read, to a wor of such emotional complexity, honesty, tenderness and sincerity that I'm really not sure I've read anything like it before.
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