San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/28/2014 -- Jay Begler’s ‘Love in the Time of Apps’ may have been a debut novel, but it has rapidly picked up both pace and influence to have thousands of readers re-examining the blurring lines between social media and Government control. With dozens of glowing five-star reviews now in, Begler is using his work to make the world realize that their online activities could one day decide their fate.
The narrative depicts a world where a mega-company, Pragat Corporation, has developed a web-based Zagat-like rating system for individuals – based on information they have mined from the internet and other underground sources. The bad news is that each person becomes the sum total of their rating and the world treats them according to their place on the ‘scale’.
“People are now rated like restaurants. Oprah is a 29, Madoff is a two and by reading the book, readers can figure out where they, their spouse and their friends would place,” explains Begler. “However, this is so much more than a satire; it showcases the serious possibility that mined data could one day be used to form a new kind of discrimination and Government oppression.”
Continuing, “Therefore, my narrative doubles up as a bold warning about the dangers of both Governmental and private-sector data mining, as well as an exposé’ of how everything a person says on the internet cannot be erased and could one day come back to haunt them. This fusion of fact and fiction is really resonating with readers.”
Begler isn’t exaggerating; reviews for the novel have been outstanding. A representative of Kirkus Reviews comments, “His (Begler’s) gonzo narrative skewers many of modern society’s most controversial subjects: privacy rights, health care and class division. His extended commentaries often feature moments of surreal wonder, as with “a low-flying, small black cloud, which to all eyewitnesses, not one exception, resembled a profile of Abraham Lincoln wearing a baseball cap.” Begler’s exuberant cleverness is perhaps most cutting when focused on the rich and famous: “Several celebrities were brave enough to place their heads directly into [Sheila’s] mysterious light,” which grants instant facelifts.”
Amazon user ‘Postrow’ adds, “In is debut novel, Jay Begler captures what it is like to live in a world where so much online data is available about each of us and what would happen if strangers and friends alike were able to influence our lives based on this often (non-representative) information. Begler's magic here is to combine biting humor that is critical of many of the trappings of our popular culture with a glimpse of what it may look like when our online personas drive our personal lives and decisions.”
Tom Hackett found that the book provided an abundance of real-world thought. He writes, “Jay Begler's debut novel is an extremely witty look at just how far we've come in the age of social media. I found myself laughing out loud on every page and then reflecting on the deeper, darker message hidden within. Just how far away are we from each of us having a personal Zagat rating? The more I read, the more I wondered what that number would be for me. It got under my skin.”
Begler looks forward to future releases, “The message of this novel is extremely timely, and likely to develop further as more revelations about the NSA come to light. Perhaps we’re closer to a ‘Pragat Rating’ than we think? Either way, I’ll be there to document it in further novels that straddle fact and fiction to leave reader with plenty to think about. In the meantime – watch what you say online!”
‘Love in the Time of Apps’ is available now: http://amzn.to/U9rzYW.
For more information, visit the book’s official website: http://www.timeofapps.com.
Chapter 2 of the novel, The Data Snatcher, is contained in its entirety in Begler’s website, and explains how the personal rating system evolved and how it caused a sea change in society.
“As he passed a newsstand, Philip Goodwin saw his photograph on the cover of People magazine’s newest publication, Unpopular People magazine. A banner across the photo proclaimed, “The Most Unpopular Man In America.” Given his present circumstances, Goodwin believed that the tag was accurate.”
Romance, media influence, and the consequences of celebrity all intersect in Jay Begler’s digital-age satirical debut novel, Love in the Time of Apps
A Zagat-like numerical rating system becomes the sole yardstick by which individuals are judged. The ratings soon lead to a new social hierarchy based exclusively upon a person’s rating.
Philip Goodwin is living the good life until a series of incredible events cause his rating to plummet from stellar to abysmal. Ultimately relegated to a ghetto for people with ultralow ratings, Goodwin must fight back against the forces that have savaged his reputation.
In the vein of Kurt Vonnegut, with a dash of Woody Allen, Love in the Time of Apps is a witty, satirical glimpse into a media and internet obsessed society in the digital age. Its insightful musings will have readers thinking—and laughing—long after the last page.
About Jay Begler
Jay Begler has authored many non-fiction articles, but Love in the Time of Apps is his first full length novel. He currently lives with his wife, Linda, in San Francisco and is working on his second novel.