Walter Kirn began writing his novel online last year, he says in the introduction to its receipt-like paper counterpart, with a surge of naïve faith in the capacity of cyberspace to do for long-form fiction what it has done already for journalism, music, gaming, and the graphic arts. Slate.com published him serially, week by week, the copy entering the public sphere within days of leaving his hands. He rolled out a potboiler about — what else? — the consequences of letting technology’s lidless eye gaze into our private lives. The spy vs. spy plot is substantial enough, and Kirn doesn’t let his epistolary form of storytelling interfere with good prose. In the world of The Unbinding, even emails and blog entries feature good, sharp dialog.
Book: The Unbinding by Walter Kirn, Anchor Books, 2007, Paperback, 165 pages, $13.95