Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir Book Summary

The prescient, page-turning account of a journey in Silicon Valley: a defining memoir of our digital age

In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener—stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial--left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course, progress.

Anna arrived amidst a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. But amid the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty, a new Silicon Valley began to emerge: one in far over its head, one that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.

Part coming-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Anna Wiener’s memoir is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. With wit, candor, and heart, Anna deftly charts the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment.

Unsparing and incisive, Uncanny Valley is a cautionary tale, and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand.

Title:Uncanny Valley: A Memoir
Edition Language:English



Enjoy the book review !

    Uncanny Valley: A Memoir Reviews

  • Michael

    In her debut memoir, Uncanny Valley, Anna Wiener recounts how, at age 25, she abandoned her drab job at a New York literary agency for a high-paying customer support role at a Silicon Valley start-up....

  • Meborn

    Wiener is a very good writer, and I really liked the original essay that inspired the book. But this felt too much like a long-form essay extended into a book, with little narrative arc. I never felt ...

  • Emily

    I thought I was burnt out on reading about tech, but many parts of this excerpt made me laugh out loud:Job listings are an excellent place to get sprayed with HRs idea of fun and a 23-year-olds idea o...

  • Julie Ehlers

    These are the days of miracles and wonderthis is the long-distance callthe way the camera follows us in slow-mothe way we look to us allthe way we look to a distant constellationthats dying in a corne...

  • Doon

    This book is badged as an inside look into the world of tech bros by a woman who was there. However, the books main insights, that the men who work in Silicon Valley are mainly white, middle-class and...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Audiobook....read by Suehyla El-Attar [8 hours and 14 minutes]For Anna Wiener, working in the high tech industry from where she came from - a literary book background - was like learning a foreign lan...

  • Diane S ?

    DNF. I tried and tried again but my interest in start ups and the excessive money they draw is just not there. For the most part this is garnering good reviews, but it's just not for me....

  • Andrew Smith

    This is the third audiobook Ive listened to in the past few months that is focused on Silicon Valley. The first two concentrated on the development and life of specific companies, namely Yahoo and Goo...

  • Lou

    Silicon Valley, a place in which Anna Wiener was overwhelmingly outnumbered by men in the technological sphere, is still as dominated by white males as it was decades ago. Minorities and female worker...

  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Anna Wiener left behind NYC and a job in publishing for a position at a Silicon Valley startup.  With no experience in tech, her position in customer service / data analytics isn't valued by the indu...