As miraculous as our wired world may be, everything connected to everything else eventually shows its downside. A rumor, a virus, a financial crisis – these days, they all cascade throughout the world in record time. SIX CLICKS AWAY tells the story of a single ripple through a tangled web, and how one person can affect us all.
In Bonnie Rozanski’s captivating novel, the social network becomes a stage for six indelible, interconnected characters: a lonely writer in Toronto, pining for her lost love; an unemployed engineer in Seattle who finds himself working at the Pike Place Fish Market. There is a young collections operator in Bangalore, India, who can’t stop caring about the people from whom she collects; and a seedy real estate magnate who gets his just desserts. Finally, there is a down-on-his-luck actor, an old friend of the Dalai Lama, who finds enlightenment from a most unlikely source.
A chain of falling dominoes is set in motion when Jeremy and Rachel, an unlikely duo of a geek and a Jersey girl, contact a friend on Myface.com, the largest social network on the planet. That friend contacts another, and another, each link bringing the pair one step closer to the goal of reaching the Dalai Lama, their choice of exotic target on the other side of the world. What they expect is that their simple classroom project will demonstrate “six degrees of separation,” the idea that everyone on this planet is connected in six short links to everyone else. What they get, however, is a cascade of the unexpected.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Ah, technology these days is what I thought.
I suppose this story is quite fitting for this day and age. The fact that you can connect with someone on the other side of the world almost instantly is quite amazing really. If you were to be transported back in time when the phone wasn’t even invented yet and told about today’s technology you would think the storyteller was just that, a story teller, and mad to boot.
Myface.com is used to connect people all over the world but it brings with it some negative experiences and leaves some of the characters questioning who they really are. Six Clicks Away follows a few different people from across the world through their daily lives and shows how Myface.com affects them.
For one character in particular there is a certain greediness in regard to wanting more and more friends. It’s not about friends in real life who you would catch up with, share a coffee and perhaps gossip a little. No. It’s all about that number counter getting bigger and bigger with what are essentially names of people, complete strangers, who add to the total. In the end is it really better to have quantity over quality though? I would say no.
Some characters find out things they perhaps shouldn’t or at least wouldn’t have if communication was to be face-to-face or even by telephone. Connections are made, the past shows its face and the future appears foggy. Money is a problem, success is sought out and families are tested. It is quite the group of people and quite the handful of personal situations. A slice of life one might say. How technology plays a part depends on which character you’re referring to but I can say it does play a part and it’s not all pretty.
As an aside, technology does seem to take over life sometimes and it’s important to remain grounded and in the real world. Most important, remain true to yourself. I think I could discuss today’s technology for quite some time, good points and bad points, but best get back to Bonnie Rozanski’s story.
All in all I thought it was a good read but felt the ending was a bit rushed.
Many thanks to Bonnie Rozanski for providing me with an e-copy of Six Clicks Away – thanks, Bonnie!