Tell the Machine Goodnight

By Katie Williams
Read by Rebecca Lowman , Kirby Heyborne , Alex McKenna , and  a full cast

8.66 Hours 06/19/2018 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780525626251

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Smart and inventive, an emotional page-turner that considers the elusive definition of happiness. 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.

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Summary

Summary

Finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize

A BookPage Top Pick for the Month

Smart and inventive, an emotional page-turner that considers the elusive definition of happiness.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"[A] vivid, clever debut.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“Sci-fi in its most perfect expression…Reading it is like having a lucid dream of six years from next week, filled with people you don’t know but will.” NPR
“Between seasons of Black Mirror, look to Katie Williams’ debut novel.” Refinery29
“An imaginative, thoughtful inspection of our deep and perhaps misguided longing for our happiest selves.” BookPage
“Filled with extraordinary writing, wish-they-existed characters, and unexpected narrative turns…will delight your mind and heart.” Courtney Maum, author of Touch

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Katie Williams

Katie Williams is the author of two young-adult novels, The Space Between Trees and Absent, and a novel for adults, Tell the Machine Goodnight. Her short fiction has appeared in the Atlantic, American Short Fiction, Prairie Schooner, Subtropics, and elsewhere. She earned an MFA degree from the Michener Center for Writers at University of Texas at Austin. She teaches writing and literature at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 8.66
Audience: Adult
Language: English