Connect by Julian Gough
Julian Gough’s latest novel provides a welcome antidote to the “hyper-literary” flavour of much contemporary Irish writing, said Anthony Cummins in The Observer. A “high-tech chase narrative in low-slung prose”, it is set in near-future Nevada and centres on Colt, a virtual reality-addicted 16-year-old, and his sex-addicted biologist mother, Naomi. Written in the “jaunty style of a Hollywood action thriller”, and at times reading like a “gonzo hybrid between The Matrix and Fifty Shades of Grey”, Connect is a pacey and entertaining novel that addresses important themes.
This is a “predictive novel” which, appealingly, “avoids the usual doomsday clichés”, said Claire Lowdon in The Sunday Times. While Gough is far from being idealistic about technology, he embraces its “genuinely transformative” possibilities, showing how life could be improved by, say, solar-powered cars that charge themselves while driving, or fridges that remind you to take your medication. Connect may not be an “enduring classic of literature, but it will subtly change how you see the world”.