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Going Zero: A Novel (2023)

af Anthony McCarten

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
20212134,058 (3.91)1
Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

TWO HOURS TO VANISH.

ONE CHANCE TO ESCAPE.

ZERO ALTERNATIVES.

Ten Americans have been carefully selected to Beta test a ground-breaking piece of spyware. FUSION can track anyone on earth. But does it work?

For one contestant, an unassuming Boston librarian named Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are far higher than money, and her reasons for entering the test more personal than anyone imagines. When the timer hits zero, there will only be one winner...

From four-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten comes a breakneck, wickedly entertaining thriller for our times, a twisty, action-packed novel reminiscent of the best Michael Crichton technothrillers.

.
… (mere)
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» See also 1 mention

Engelsk (10)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (11)
Viser 1-5 af 11 (næste | vis alle)
In partnership with the CIA, a Google-esque tech company run by a loose cannon Elon Musk type claims that it can stop terrorism using an arsenal of new surveillance products and techniques. To test the claim, the company invites 10 Americans to participate in a trial run of the software suite. If the contestants can go on the run and remain undiscovered for 30 days, they will win $3 million; if the company catches all 10, it will win a multi-billion $$ security contract with the CIA. Several are caught in the first few days/hours, but one mysterious participant threatens the entire course of the project. Of course shenanigans and twists ensue. Super fun, fast read. It gets a bit tricky and melodramatic in part 2, but overall I was highly entertained.

I enjoy thrillers from time to time, but I usually find they aren't that well written and the point (for me) is the plot, fast pacing, and enjoyment of the formula. Going Zero had these three elements and strong writing to boot. Much more literary than the typical thriller writing, without sacrificing the forward momentum. Parts of the book read like dystopian science fiction, but I wouldn't be surprised if all the "new initiatives" the company uses are already possible, here and now. Certainly made me think about what "terms and conditions" I've blindly agreed to in the past. ( )
  sansmerci | Apr 9, 2024 |
I would have given a higher rating when I first started this book but I get quite annoyed when authors and editors can't be bothered to check assumptions, such as the existence of a backwoods border crossing to the U.S. from Canada near Hamilton, Ontario. (The border between Ontario and the U.S. is almost entirely on bodies of water.) ( )
  drthubbie | Jan 2, 2024 |
Anthony McCarten is so successful as a screenwriter that it is no surprise when he writes a novel that seems like raw material for a screenplay. Genre doesn’t seem to matter to him. His films include works as different as Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Two Popes, and The Theory of Everything, and his novel, Going Zero, is something different yet. It is a tech thriller about surveillance and big data used to track suspects. A software company wants to sell its products to Homeland Security and the CIA, so it hires ten people with diverse backgrounds to try to evade its predictive software for a month.
The action moves back and forth between the hunters and the hunted, and all the characters have complex motives. Even Cy, the surveillance software developer, tells himself that he is doing the right thing in building tools to destroy privacy. He says, “People don’t want privacy, not anymore. Privacy is passé. Privacy is a prison. People can’t wait to give it away, if you really want to know the truth. The fact is, they’re so damn lonely … that they barter away their privacy with relief, first chance they get.” He goes on to argue that loneliness makes people “crave to be watched,” so being spied on becomes a pleasure. ( )
  Tom-e | Nov 5, 2023 |
Going Zero lost me in Phase Two. The story changed and became something else. ( )
  Melly9779 | Oct 12, 2023 |
Intriguing premise + snappy writing = Four star book! Yay. What satisfaction to find one that's not hyped yet (recommended by the NYT no less) and so one is free to go in with pure expectations.

Now let me add that Going Zero is written by a screenwriting heavweight. No wonder I soon began to sense a moviemaking influence in its pacing and character exploration. When we begin, social media giant Fusion has selected 10 contestants for a very interesting challenge: Go underground, remaining unfound for 30 days, while we use all the might of the billions of pieces of data we've mined on you, surveillance technology, and plain old digital snooping to hunt you down. If you succeed we give you 3 million dollars, tax free.

The stated premise behind all this is noble: protect the country (USA, who else) from any imaginable threat. And the contention is that citizens willingly give up their data, their right to privacy. Private entities have long managed and manipulated these vast data banks, so why not use it all for the national good? So says Cy Baxter, Fusion founder, along with Erika Coogan, his right hand.

So far, so so good, as the ten contestants start getting captured by a truly breathtaking mix of techniques at Fusion's disposal. But then it emereges that one particular one, a seemingly low-profile librarian named Kaitlyn Day, has started leading Fusion on a clever, even playful, cat-and-mouse game. How come? Cy is intrigued even as other contestants keep getting captured.

Now mind, the actual US government is also involved in all this, albeit in a slightly behind-the-scenes capacity. And as we follow the exploits of Kaitlyn the shadowy details begin to emerge. Why is she so able to evade capture? What role does the CIA actually play? Who is Warren Crewe? And what are the true motivations behind the Going Zero project?

Dang, Anthony McCarten is good. I hear that this novel has already been snapped up for a movie, no surprise there. Meanwhile he has entertained me thoroughly, no easy feat these days seeing as I have turned into an authentic curmudgeon.

Never mind. Dear Anthony and others of his ilk shall keep delivering surprises to my jaded soul and thus keep me on the sunny side of the street. On to the next! ( )
  dmenon90 | Aug 24, 2023 |
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Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

TWO HOURS TO VANISH.

ONE CHANCE TO ESCAPE.

ZERO ALTERNATIVES.

Ten Americans have been carefully selected to Beta test a ground-breaking piece of spyware. FUSION can track anyone on earth. But does it work?

For one contestant, an unassuming Boston librarian named Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are far higher than money, and her reasons for entering the test more personal than anyone imagines. When the timer hits zero, there will only be one winner...

From four-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten comes a breakneck, wickedly entertaining thriller for our times, a twisty, action-packed novel reminiscent of the best Michael Crichton technothrillers.

.

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