Tell the Machine Goodnight

Tell the Machine Goodnight Review

Pearl's job is to make people happy. Every day, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She's good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion?

Meanwhile, there's Pearl's teenage son, Rhett. A sensitive kid who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence, Rhett seems to find greater satisfaction in being unhappy. The very rejection of joy is his own kind of "pursuit of happiness." As his mother, Pearl wants nothing more than to help Rhett—but is it for his sake or for hers? Certainly it would make Pearl happier. Regardless, her son is one person whose emotional life does not fall under the parameters of her job—not as happiness technician, and not as mother, either.

Told from an alternating cast of endearing characters from within Pearl and Rhett's world, Tell the Machine Goodnight delivers a smartly moving and entertaining story about relationships and the ways that they can most surprise and define us. Along the way, Katie Williams playfully illuminates our national obsession with positive psychology, our reliance on quick fixes and technology. What happens when these obsessions begin to overlap? With warmth, humor, and a clever touch, Williams taps into our collective unease about the modern world and allows us see it a little more clearly.

Title:Tell the Machine Goodnight

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Nat

    It feels so good to have enjoyed a novel so fully that I read it in a day and a half. What had me so keen on the premise of Tell the Machine Goodnight is a) the fact that the synopsis "playfully ill...

  • Jessica Sullivan

    I really love speculative fiction, so this was right up my alley. Imagine if there were a machine that could tell you exactly what you needed to do to be happier. Pearl works for the creators of Apric...

  • Gabrielle

    The first blurb I've written in a while:"Tell the Machine Goodnight is philosophical, funny, cleverly structured, unpredictable. The characters are recognizably humans, but not ones I have met before;...

  • Chris Mara

    Half star to one star rating. ☹Started out with some possibility of promise and then went downhill quickly from there. Characters unlikeable. The Story was rather boring and not exciting at all. The...

  • switterbug (Betsey)

    What if you could turn happiness into a consumer product? What if a machine could tell you simple instructions to achieve it? “Eat tangerines,” “Arrange fresh flowers,” “Write poetry.” Wha...

  • Jen from Quebec :0)

    I thought this book was unique and awesome. My ISBN says that this is the hardcover edition, but it is actually an ARC that I won in a giveaway, and it is one of those rare giveaway wins that I will t...

  • Frosty61

    Multiple narrators, pointless detail, unlikeable characters, and a unsatisfying ending all added up to a waste of my time and made me grumpy. :-(...

  • Alex (PaperbackPiano)

    This was a well-written and entertaining literary debut. I love a good dystopian future story so I was immediately captured by the premise of this one (it reads in a similar vein to 1984 and Brave New...

  • Uriel Perez

    Literary sci-fi/speculative fiction intrigues me, especially when it draws comparisons to episodes of Black Mirror and the Twilight Zone. TELL THE MACHINE GOODNIGHT revolves around a device (called an...

  • USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Tell the Machine Goodnight was like one major thought experiment. I adored the mult...