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Devil's Plaything

1 rating: 4.0
A Psychological Thriller by Matt Richtel about the effects of computers and technology on the brain.
1 review about Devil's Plaything

Fun "Thriller" Without a Lot of "Thrills"

  • May 26, 2011
This is one of the oddest "thrillers" I have ever read and it does make the reader think of the effects of computers and "multitasking." The author starts with a quote about the inverse proportion of computer memory doubling every year while the instances of human memory lost through disease also doubling every year. Is there a connection?

Lane Idle is an elderly woman who interacts with a computer which is a type of artificial intelligence that can interpret and store human memories for future generations. The computer seems to flash butterflies on the screen while asking Lane to continue with various stories of her past. During the interactions the computer will ask questions about how she heard about Pearl Harbor, what her husband wore to her wedding and the type of car her father drove.

Lane's grandson Nate is a professional blogger/reporter who has upset a bunch of police by exposing a scandal involving porto potties. Nate takes his grandmother to a dental appointment and crazy things start to happen like Nate and Lane getting shot at when they go to the park. The dentist office is also very strange with a very nasty receptionist.

Later Nate wants to visit his grandmother in her senior care center and has some issues with the staff. Nate thinks his grandmother is being mistreated in the center and has to "kidnap" her from the center. It is difficult for Nate because his grandmother is not lucid most times and he wants to take her to her neurogist for further evaluation.

All the while Nate must make a meeting with a mysterious person with the initials L.P., who gave him a password protected thumb drive that Nate had earlier guessed the password to. Throughout the book the reader expects a lot of action and tension. That is sparse here. What makes this book work well is that the author only sends out tidbits to the reader as to what is actually going on with Lane and the computer and Nate doesn't ever know who can be trusted and who are the bad guys. This is an excellent psychological thriller that raises a lot of questions as to whether our technology today is ruining our minds.

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Devil's Plaything a book by Matt Richtel
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