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あらすじ・解説

"This novel made me want to retire from contemporary reality. I loved it." (Zadie Smith)

A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this "incisive" and "funny" debut novel that "brilliantly captures the claustrophobia of lives led online and personae tested in the real world" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend's phone and makes a startling discovery: He's an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she's not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she's relieved - he was always a little distant - and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women's March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies. 

Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can't trust anyone - shouldn't the feeling be mutual?

Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.

©2021 Lauren Oyler (P)2021 Random House Audio

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  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Allison C. Gates
  • 2021/02/10

Self-absorbed drivel

This book added insight into the world of the millennial feminist. It read like a series of op-Ed pieces cobbled together. The actual story arch would have been more enjoyable as a short-story without the filler section aptly entitled “Middle: Nothing Happens Here”. I cannot recommend this book to anyone except a twenty-something, smug, spoiled white girl.

  • 総合評価
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paul in Towson, MD
  • 2021/02/22

Thin plot, lots of padding, prolix literary color

What to say? Intriguing idea. I listened through the “back story” section. The protagonist is a young woman with opinions on just about everything. “Back story” started slow. Typical diversion is a lengthy description of the icons an interface on an iPhone circa 2006. I had one, don’t remember, don’t care. The plot finally gets going, possibly interesting, slowed down with a long digression on the protagonist’s experiences at the women’s march following Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Then, yikes! A five hour long section titled “Nothing Happens.” I think this section deals with what the reviews described as “satire” regarding social media. I’ve listened to the protagonist’s discussion of the pros and cons of women getting their nails done (disclaimer: my wife regularly gets her nails done; my wife’s explanation is more succinct and to the point); a description of buying groceries at a Turkish deli in Berlin, and a description of the t-shirt worn by a guide in Berlin sometime in the past. I don’t know if I can stand five hours of this before getting back to the plot. This is a first novel. I feel that the author has included and exhausted all the exercises from writing classes. It’s like being trapped in an NPR segment. I can’t imagine there’s anything left for the author’s second novel.

  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Elie Bilmes
  • 2021/03/19

tedious for many hours in the middle

The premise of the book and the strong reviews grabbed my attention, and as a millennial I really want to support books that speak to my generation, but WOW this was a miserable book to listen to. A little bit of plot at the beginning and end, but otherwise you're listening to hours and hours of nothing happening in Berlin. She goes on a date, makes up a story about herself, nothing happens. Repeat this about 20 times. The crowning moment comes when she visits the government visa office and you, the listener, are treated to a narration of the dozens of countries listed on a particular sign, in alphabetical order ("Andorra, Angola, Argentina..."). Clearly there are plenty of others who liked this book much more than I did, but I can't recommend it.

  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Unbiased Consumer
  • 2021/02/15

Scattered and pointless

I just can't believe i listened to this book all the way to the end.
I kept waiting for it to get better, alas it never did.
I am sure Lauren is a great writer but this might have just been a too early of an effort to write a book.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 匿名
  • 2021/02/10

Starts great, but so many missed opportunities

I feel like this is not the book you think it is. It is not the book you want it to be. And I wanted to love it. Oyler does a great job poking at the vapidity of middle class millennials but... somewhere near the middle, the book itself descends into an inwardness of character that loses the bigger picture... and it starts to feel inexcusably vapid itself. I couldn't finish it. And this was AFTER I urgently sent it to all my friends after the first few chapters. Maybe it would have redeemed itself... I hope you finish and tell us it does.

  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 2021/05/28

Don’t Waste Your Time

Stupid, shallow, discontinuous, no character development. I only listened to this as it was a book club selection - we had book club last night and all 11 members agreed it was awful. We were in disbelief this book could be published. Sorry I wasted a credit!

  • 総合評価
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021/05/26

Shallow

None of the characters were likeable. The story was shallow. I kept hoping someone would have an epiphany. Sadly, that did not happen. Disappointing.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 匿名
  • 2021/05/23

Laugh out loud funny (lol)

This book and narration were great! I don’t know what all these h8ers are talking about. So many quotable quotes. I love the nyc and the Berlin described here

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mary D
  • 2021/04/11

Don’t waste your time & money!

The author is a smart writer that writes in the most boring manner. Sadly, I thought the premise was initially interesting but she proved me wrong.

Keep your credit for a better story.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anna
  • 2021/03/12

The Love Child of Great Books

JD Salinger and Jane Austen had two love children: Lauren Oyler’s Fake Accounts, and Kate Clayburn’s Love Lettering. One is a biting criticism of social media’s strangle hold on consciousness and self-awareness. The other is a romantic fantasy where hand-lettering and number games bind true love like indelible embroidery on the heart. Can you tell which offspring ended up living with Mom, and which one couch-surfed at Dad’s and plenty of other places? Why make note of two very different books in this review? Reid Sutherland’s impossible confession of love to Meg is one reason:

"If I did [say what I mean], I would say that last week I watched every video you’ve got on your website so I could hear the sound of your voice again. I would say that a woman stood next to me on the subway and I think she used the same shampoo as you, and I could hardly breathe for how much I missed you. I would say that I walked around all day with a Meg-shaped shadow beside me, and I only came in here because of the signs outside, and so I wouldn’t call you up at nine o’clock on a Friday night and beg you to talk to me again—about Frisbee, the weather, the name for that piece of a letter you told me about—"

The unnamed narrator in Fake Accounts has no such declaration made via comment thread, much less in person. That’s primarily because she is chasing her own emptiness rather than true love. Oyler writes with dizzying intellect, but her heroine (HA! HA!) is mentally over-fed, and aesthetically, spiritually and philosophically undernourished. I envision her as Francois Boucher’s reclined nude painted in 1752. Stomach down on a disheveled mass of pillows with her naked bottom in the air, her arms are folded on the edge of the couch-- a perfect cradle for a phone. The woman’s enigmatic eyes are looking outside the frame not at one lover, but an off-stage chorus of former boyfriends. The comparison was brought to mind after an ersatz sex scene in the book. It’s really a narrative fragment where famous porn stars read passages from their favorite books while they are brought to orgasm by off screen vibrators.

Meg in Love Lettering and the narrator in Fake Accounts are both ensnared by games of coded declarations. Which would you prefer as a prize? An honest, if needy, confession of your soul mate, or the undying scrolling of thousands? These books share the same cautionary tale of careless messaging. One girl avoids conflict with an implacable sunny disposition— a post traumatic reverberation from a childhood sabotaged by her parent’s unhappy marriage. The other avoids her loneliness by carefully curating an addictive half presence on multiple dating and social media platforms. What gets them in to trouble is a virtual blind spot. Meg thinks no one can decode her calligraphic scavenger hunts, while Oyler’s narrator thinks she can outsmart and outfake anyone on or offline. Their irresponsible arrogance is mutual. When an older friend asks Meg what message she left on Reid’s voice mail, her response is baffling. “Nothing, since I’m under fifty and this is the twenty-first century. Who leaves messages?” Healthy adults who want to communicate with each other, that’s who.

In Fake Accounts the narrator tweets when she is late to meet her boyfriend at a movie theatre. “I’m a pretty girl and I’m always late.” Although she had sent him a message to go ahead and get seats because she was late, she uses beauty to exonerate her bad habit in a very public way that she thinks he won’t see because he’s not on social media. That arrogance is the same disingenuous posturing that begs for thumbs up and hearts throughout the novel. At one point the narrator is in a waiting room as part of a visa application process in Berlin. She recites a long litany of obscure nationalities all waiting with her. Although it’s a clever way to illustrate how tone deaf and privileged this girl truly is, there’s something cloying about it. Is the author asking us to exonerate her for writing a book about a navel gazing, privileged woman from Brooklyn? She could have written an explication of how social media CEO’s and the Alt Right are frog marching us all to the brink of humanity’s mass grave. But no. We get front row seats to a very long, if clever, humiliation as social shaming art piece.

Why drag Salinger and Austen into this? Because these are both well written works that would not be possible if Catcher in The Rye and Pride and Prejudice had not endured. Holden Caufield captured our hearts because in spite of his confused teenage angst, he went to the pond in Central Park to save the ducks. He worried over the graffiti that might tarnish his brilliant sister’s childhood. Oyler’s narrator seems to care for her innocent twin charges that she strolls through Berlin. I kept waiting for her to leave them in a park or let them get kidnapped, but she keeps them safe throughout their time together. Her appreciation of and adaptation to the immediate needs of two infants make me think there might be hope for her after all. Oyler’s fakeness is the direct descendant of Salinger’s phoniness. What she gets from Austen is the cost of pride and prejudice. What was a country dance or a ball in 1815 has become the endless drama of swiping and scrolling. Austen’s careful grooming of the Benett daughters for marriage is no different than the constant curation of moments in Fake Accounts. Every online interaction is a performance against which a person’s value will be measured. Thumbs up or thumbs down is dependent upon avoiding the censure of others.

Meg and Reid’s love story is fraught with miscommunication and childhood trauma that threatens to derail their budding relationship. We never meet Jane, the object of Holden Caufield’s desire, but she is always on his mind. Meg becomes Reid’s ideal because of her uncanny ability to code with the semiotic power of typography. She is his balm in an alienating city, as Jane is the only one who listened to Holden explain the poetry in his dead brother’s baseball mitt. Ultimately, however, Reid and Meg are successful for the same reason that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet fall in love. They are honest people who learn to communicate in a dishonest world of social pomp and circumstance. Oyler and Clayburn are pedaling the same wish fantasy. Someone out there can read you like a book. Not speed read, but absorb all the footnotes, subtexts, pretexts, contexts—all of it. You are not just naked on a private couch with this person. You are naked every moment of the day because they know you so well they can anticipate your needs. They also see right through your lies, even the innocent sins of omission. In Fake Accounts the wish fantasy becomes a funny nightmare, whereas Love Lettering is a plausible fairy tale. Although I do have doubts that professional calligraphers and community college math teachers can afford to live in New York.

Why read popular romance when you can justify your existential angst with intelligent social commentary? I want to understand the underpinnings of our socially curated reality. Oyler is a brilliant and funny writer, as is Salinger, but their stories are tragic and too real to read over and over again. Fairytales are necessary, and uncomplicated happy endings just make us feel better, right? So next year when I get the blues because of whatever is dominating the news, or because I’ve read another biting literary work on our failings as humans, I will be picking up Kate Clayburn’s Love Lettering—right after I binge watch the BBC 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice. And then the blues will descend for another reason. No one reads anyone like a favorite book over and over again.