Landscape with Invisible Hand

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

M.T. Anderson wrote Feed, which is not to be confused with Mira Grant's Feed, but which is widely admired and which appears to have predicted the world of social media, though it was published in 2002. I still haven't read it, but all those recommendations were what pointed me at his new novella, Landscape with Invisible Hand.

I got an ARC from Netgalley a while ago, but the format wasn't cooperating with my Kindle, so I ended up reading it when it came out, especially after I saw Librarian Sam reading it she told me how great it was. I checked it out and started reading, and it is great--incredibly well written and perfectly portrayed. But my GOD, what a downer.

In Feed...

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Solid satire that really draws you in. The parallels are clear and intense.
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It's generally acknowledged that Anderson is never gonna top FEED, and that most things aren't gonna top FEED, but he does a pretty spectacular job. I'm a sucker for pre-dystopians, things that aren't dystopian but are set in a society that's falling apart. LANDSPACE WITH INVISIBLE HAND is a pretty short book, but that's because it's a tight story. There's no excess, nothing that doesn't need to be here, and everything that's here is amazing. The worldbuilding is just enough to get you into it, leaving so much to your nervous imagination- the scope of this world isn't something I can easily fathom, but I know enough to be glad I do not...

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Unfortunately, I couldn't read this novel because of the formatting of it on my kindle. For some reason it was messed up and impossible to read after downloading from Netgalley.
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I did not like this book.  Perhaps other people will.  I won't post a negative review online.  Thank you and good luck with it.
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An edgy YA dystopia set in the near future where aliens have colonized and monopolized Earth's culture through financial manipulation. Although this is a very short science fiction novel, the world building is well developed. With sardonic narration, this is a horrific vision of a corrupt economic power structure that has much to say about poverty, health care, and art.
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If a more bleak view of the future is you bag, Anderson is the author for you. There is no need to wrap up the book neatly with the promise of a better future. The humans in this book live in a generally desperate situation. Yet their desperation doesn't cause them to band together and start a rebellion. If anything they become more isolated and self-serving. And all of the issues that plague societies - uneven distribution of wealth, the collapse of the nuclear family, etc - are magnified. The plot is not entirely linear, framed instead around paintings, so it's a little strange and isn't likely to have a broad mainstream following. But if you're cool with something a...

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Adam's life is pretty terrible.

His mom is out of work. His father's left. Their house is underwater (figuratively, not literally). He has a terrible gastrointestinal disease. Life since the vuuv invasion has been terrible.

Then Adam falls in love, and Chloe comes up with an idea. They'll broadcast their love story 1950s style to the vuuv. The vuuv are obsessed with the 50s and it'll bring some money in. It's an amazing idea! Until it's not. When one thing starts to spiral, everything starts to go out of control and it's up to Adam to figure out a way to save his family and himself.

Well, it's not Feed.

When I love a book, really love a book, I...

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I don't think this book was for me. Though it was only 150 pages, it was a bit slow, and not as engaging as I would have hoped.
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Wry and clear-eyed, Anderson imagines a future where an alien civilization has invaded and controls our society. Since their first contact was in the 1950's and they have no idea that humans have moved on at all from that era, there is plenty of room for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Then again, how much HAVE we moved on? Inequalities abound, health care is inaccessible, unemployment and underemployment are epidemic. It feels uncannily like the present. Except there are these aliens....

I enjoyed this book as much for what it says about art as for what it says about humanity . Art and real artists come out on top. At least, that's my interpretation. A great, quick, funny read.
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I am in love with this book. It is a wicked and shrewd look at the world we live in and what it might become. Adam is a teenager when an alien race, the vuvv, land and offer the people of Earth a gift, their advanced technology. We Earthlings always want more, so we accept, which leads to disastrous results for many, including Adam's family. This science fiction/satire has some sly, timely, and bleak (but not totally bleak!) things to say about our world. Adam is an artist, and I really liked that the chapters are organized around his pieces. It is a nice reminder, that for all of our issues, we humans are beautiful, messy creators. I highly recommend Landscape with Invisible Hand!
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A thought provoking novel seen through the eyes of Adam who attends high school. 
The story begins after aliens (VUVV) have landed on Earth which later causes the collapse of human economy and only the wealthiest of humans can compete.
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This was my first time reading M.T. Anderson (I know, I know...) and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick and enjoyable read. I pretty much immediately felt drawn into this world and sped through the book. The vuvv land on earth and humanity essentially allows them to remain because of the promise of new technology and medical advances that will cure all diseases. Little do they realize that this technology will leave millions out of a job, and the life-changing medicine promised comes at a steep price. It was interesting to see a non-hostile takeover of planet earth and the repercussions of it. I appreciated Anderson's ability to balance the hardships faced by the human characters...

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This science fiction story takes a dark satirical look at a future in which an ostensibly benevolent alien race,the vuvv, has come to earth as colonizers (literally living up in the sky above the rest of the people), promising advanced technology and lives free of work. There are a small percentage of those on Earth who, investing in vuvv technology, manage to become rich, but most humans are in a permanent state of poverty and despair; the human economy could not stand up against what was provided by the vuvv.

Possibly a dark look at communism, or colonialism, or even capitalism (there is a lot of discussion of “the invisible hand” of the market determining worth and value), or at a...

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A fast paced YA dystopian novella. Satire. Commentary. 

Thought-provoking. Definitely worth a read and then thinking about, discussing.
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"Feed" was the last M.T. Anderson book I read, and that was probably over a decade ago. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when I saw that he had some new material coming out in the fall. That said, it can also be a bit nerve racking when an author has been out of your life for so long. I mean, I loved "Feed" and Anderson's writing style is one of my favorites, but what if after so long, it just didn't have the same effect? I mean I've changed, he's probably changed, so many variables! Well, I shouldn't have worried, because "Landscape with Invisible Hand" definitely reminded my why I love Anderson's work so much. This is...

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YA Books Central review link: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/21772-landscape-with-invisible-hand

Aliens have invaded Earth and promise to share their technology. Of course most people are very excited about the idea that Earth will have advanced technology, but they don't realize the cost. Adam watches as his parents lose their jobs to this technology. Then his father leaves the family. His mother rents the house out to another displaced family. Adam hooks up with Chloe, the daughter of the family and together they put together a pay by the minute recording of their romance. They do this to survive. Only their loves fizzles in the process. Adam needs to find another way to...

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On another note, I was very surprised when I saw the starred reviews (from Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal) that LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND by M. T. Anderson had received. I would agree that it is very well-written by National Book Award winner Anderson, but his vision of a dystopian future was depressing to read, especially given all of the all too real recent news about hurricanes, a major earthquake, identity theft, and immigration restrictions for refugees and dreamers. Anderson's work involves a future Earth controlled by an alien species, the vuvv. Humans such as the main character, Adam, struggle to provide for their families due to...

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I can appreciate a book, even when I don't 100% enjoy a book. Take the humor and alien invasion of Smekday, plus combine it with a bit of reality TV satire a la Beauty Queens, and then throw in a bit too much diarrhea for my personal tastes, and you get this odd, short, ya sf novel.
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An interesting commentary on poverty and where our society is going. The haves and the have nots. After having read the groundbreaking book Feed many years ago, this is another fine work by MT Anderson. His language is captivating  and playful at times ("chic sheath" stands out.). I'm not sure yet what audience I will talk this up to, but I will!
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