Written by: Elisabeth Cohen
Read by: Cassandra Campbell
12 Hours and 30 Minutes
Penguin Random House | Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Humorous – General
Release Date: May 22, 2018
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
A fast, funny, deeply hilarious debut–The Glitch is the story of a high-profile, TED-talking, power-posing Silicon Valley CEO and mother of two who has it all under control, until a woman claiming to be a younger version of herself appears, causing a major glitch in her over-scheduled, over-staffed, over-worked life.
Shelley Stone, wife, mother, and CEO of the tech company Conch, is committed to living her most efficient life. She takes her “me time” at 3:30 a.m. on the treadmill, power naps while waiting in line, schedules sex with her husband for when they are already changing clothes, and takes a men’s multivitamin because she refuses to participate in her own oppression.
But when she meets a young woman also named Shelley Stone who has the same exact scar on her shoulder, Shelley has to wonder: Is she finally buckling under all the pressure? Completely original, brainy, and laugh-out-loud funny, The Glitch introduces one of the most memorable characters in recent fiction and offers a riotous look into work, marriage, and motherhood in our absurd world. http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/556483/the-glitch/
This is an absurdist silicon valley fantasy written with artistic abandon — taking chances. The character believes she became ambitious via a freak occurrence, and a success by studying hard, scheduling (including sex), and by work, work, work. This story is a lesson everyone needs: Working hard is important, but if you don’t rest you will lose sight of what’s important. More important to someone like Shelley, working too hard allows issues to slip past you and opens you up to mistakes. Like the adage goes, when a person is dying they don’t wish they had more time at the office.
The plot is twisty and bizarre, and the technology is probably a little far-fetched — although, to be fair, I thought the internet was a fad and the iPhone silly (wait, where’s my iPhone? Okay — there it is, phew!). The plot is actually so off the rails at times I was wondering how the author would make it through.
Shelley realizes she is odd but she hangs that, and most of what happens in her life on a freak accident in her college days. She is overly concerned with her sinuses and irrigates them as a panacea for pretty much everything, referring, when she is done to an empty place in her head. There’s an empty place where her commonsense should be, that’s for sure. She is rather gullible. Her heart may be a little off-kilter too; you would understand what I mean in the first few pages. Although, I could almost understand — almost. She may be on the spectrum, with her tendency to have coping rituals, like sinus irrigation, and a plethora of facts to relate.
Hers is a life lived on the surface, she is a CEO but doesn’t really seem to operate at that level. She is more concerned with yoga, with talks she gives and with the magazines in which she appears. She sees what she can sell, but she is more about marketing than making.
In the end, will she come to her senses and learn what really matters. Or, will she continue to stumble through leadership positions as a figurehead but without, I thought, offering any leadership.
Is this what life at the top is like? I hope not.
The narration was spot on. Cassandra Campbell offers perfect voices for all the characters, the perfect narracting of both Shelleys. If this were a movie, it would deserve an Oscar.
The book is entertaining and just a little ridiculous. It requires the reader to suspend a lot of disbelief but it is a fun ride.