Kurt Andersen writes for THE NEW YORKER. He co-founded and edited SPYmagazine, America s equivalent of PRIVATE EYE and was a regular contributor to TIME MAGAZINE. He has written and produced tv, including HOW TO BE SPECIAL, starring Jerry Seinfeld.
Journalist Andersen, the cofounder of Spy magazine, has written a gargantuan first novel set one year in the future. Turn of the Century tells the story of married supercouple George Mactier and Lizzie Zimbalist, both firmly ensconced in the media-crazed world of modern-day New York. George is a television producer and former "serious" journalist, while Lizzie runs a software company engaged in takeover negotiations with Microsoft. Their careers and personal lives change when Lizzie becomes an adviser to George's boss, media tycoon Harold Mose. Although Lizzie is slightly more likable than George, neither character is endearing, and the plot is not interesting enough to carry any but the most determined reader through the book. Reader John Rubinstein, a veteran of television and musical theater, has a pleasant, slightly reedy voice reminiscent of George and Lizzie's New York. He is particularly good with accents and convincingly voices not only the main characters but minor ones as well. Andersen apparently prides himself on his ability to insert into each chapter literally hundreds of cultural references on everything from Al Gore to digital television to online shopping. But Rubinstein's excellent reading and the recording's seamless abridgment are not enough to keep these nonstop references and the periodic technopop music from wearing thin. Not recommended.--Leah Sparks, Bowie P.L., MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
An astute and irreverent observer of modern culture...Andersen's narrative is a hyperkinetic reportage that leaves no detail unnoted. Andersen knows his stuff - corporate takeovers, computer hackers, the stock market, media ratings, unthinkable menu items at fusion restaurants... - PLAYBOYThe dilemmas, personal and professional, that George and Lizzie confront and cope with - and which threaten to overwhelm them - during the course of the year all reflect, in big, bold ways, how most of us lead our lives these days: at the mercy of too much technology, too much information, too much time spent on meaningless tasks.... Andersen has certainly caught the dreambeat of our times - BOOKLISTA blockbuster fiction debut...brilliantly conceived, keenly incisive...mischievoutsly tweaks current attitudes regarding marriage, friendship, the mass media, Wall Street and the computer industry, just to name a handful of his numerous targets. With ferocious energy he also captures the essence of New York, Las Vegas, LA and Seattle.... The convoluted plot boldly defies summary but it ultimately achieves a mad convergence highlighted by an intricate, hilarious plan to virtually kill Bill Gates. Andersen employs a bitingly topical humour that is always exaggerated, yet seldom actually seems inconceivable....Andersen brilliantly sustains the comic page throughout the lengthy narrative -