By Peter Carey
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780385352772, 320pp.
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
The two-time Booker Prize winner now gives us an exceedingly timely, exhilarating novel at once dark, suspenseful, and seriously funny that journeys to the place where the cyber underworld collides with international power politics.
When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into Australia's prison computer system, hundreds of asylum-seekers walk free. And because the Americans run the prisons (let's be honest: as they do inso many parts of her country) the doors of some five thousand jails in the United States also open. Is this a mistake, or a declaration of cyber war? And does it have anything to do with the largely forgotten Battle of Brisbane between American and Australian forces in 1942? Or with the CIA-influenced coup in Australia in 1975? Felix Moore, known to himself as our sole remaining left-wing journalist, is determined to write Gaby's biography in order to find the answers to save her, his own career, and, perhaps, his country. But how to get Gaby on the run, scared, confused, and angry to cooperate?
Bringing together the world of hackers and radicals with the special relationship between the United States and Australia, and Australia and the CIA, Amnesia is a novel that speaks powerfully about the often hidden past but most urgently about the more and more hidden present.
Peter Carey's novel opens as a hacker's computer virus is unlocking prison cells around the world. He says, "Assange was the reason I started writing the book, but I didn't want to write about [him]." More at NPR.org
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