Book Review: Broadcast, by Liam Brown

Publisher:  Legend Press

Publication date:  15th September 2017

Broadcast is a riotous victory for speculative live entertainment, delivering a sleek, alternative diversion for our appreciation. A streaming theatre without the prospect of an intermission becomes mind-cabaret for the masses, an innovation giving new meaning to the phrase ‘airing’ your thoughts.

Little by little our daily habits are already scrutinised, analysed and harvested until often they no longer feel like our own. With the rise of social media, You Tube, and Reality TV, the brave among us embrace this prospect when they volunteer to publicise moments of their daily routine in the name of recreation for a devoted audience. Staged bed hair and carefully placed brand placement is perfectly edited to present a censored version of their personality before any footage is Broadcast.

You’d think this kind of attention alone would feel intrusive. Yet the stars of these channels are the custodians of their own content and commercial destiny. They perform for their viewers, their ratings soar, along with potential advertising prospects.

I would imagine that maintaining that level of admiration would be exhausting, as YouTube star David Callow discovers. So when he is offered the opportunity that exceeds all others he jumps at the chance, as his current wavering success is no match for the possibilities of MindCast. Now anyone can tune in to see, hear and share the constant traffic of his thoughts 24/7, experiencing the unedited essence of David Callow, every silent judgement, aspiration, and caffeine craving now amplified.

Surely our minds should be the last frontier, even if the only protection that stands between social etiquette and oblivion is our mouth. But what if that were bypassed? Every reckless thought could escape into the wild – just think of all that uninhibited chaos your celebrity brain could cause!

This unhealthy brainchild is triggered by six rapid bursts of narration. The first is narrated in the third person until David steps into the spotlight to bare his soul for the remainder, and quite rightly so as he is the unique host after all. The story develops convincingly as the inclusion of ‘Plutchik’s Wheel’ (a scientific colour-code that classifies our primary emotions – yep, it’s an actual thing) shows how David’s initial thoughts were born as an embarrassing assortment of publicly identifiable hues before MindCast’s vision takes hold.

Not only is this book highly imaginative, it’s also one of my favourite reads this year. Terrific stuff!

Rating:  5/5

(My thanks to Tom Chalmers and Imogen Harris of Legend Press who kindly sent the advanced copy of this title. It is my absolute pleasure to provide an unbiased review.)

PLUTCHIK’S WHEEL

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few months you’ll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.

A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show’s creator has for him.

BUY THE BOOK

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Liam Brown is a writer, filmmaker and former-life model. His debut novel Real Monsters was published in 2015, and was followed by Wild Life in 2016; both were long-listed for the Guardian‘s Not the Booker prize. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and two children.

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Broadcast, by Liam Brown

  1. Pingback: Liebster Award – Take Three | BrizzleLass Books

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