Rating: 4 / 5
I received a complimentary audio copy of QUALITYLAND by Marc-Uwe Kling for an honest review. Thank you to Libro FM, Hachette Audio, Grand Central Publishing and the author for the chance to read and review! This was originally published in Germany in 2017 with great reviews, so I was excited to check it out!
QUALITYLAND introduces us to QualityLand, a place where everything is ranked and being superior is the main goal. Everything in life from the services you receive, your job and the relationship matches you get are automated. Even your purchases are made for you based on what TheShop knows you want, not necessarily what you actually order. You have access to all information at all times and everything is perfect. Except when it is not.
Peter Jobless is a machine scrapper, assigned the task of destroying defunct machines from smart toasters to robots. Disillusioned with the world he lives in, Peter subverts the plan by hiding those meant for destruction and allowing them to continue to “live”. His girlfriend determines he’s not good enough and his social ranking drops to an all time low, but the breaking point comes when he receives a product that he knows he doesn’t want and he finds it impossible to send it back. This gives him a new mission, proving that the algorithm of QualityLand is not the perfect ideal it purports to be!
I really enjoyed this one, though it took some unexpected turns and there was a bit more of a sexual content than originally expected based on the synopsis alone. The content and the writing deliver a good amount of humor and this was a fantastic break from some of the darker novels I had been reading at the time. I really thought that the audiobook was well done as well.
As it turns out, this was also the last physical book I checked out of the library before everything shut down and I am glad that I picked up the physical copy as well. The narration has various ads interspersed in the story, so I was curious to see how those were separated out in the text. I really loved how the novel was packaged with everything from the technical notes in the beginning to the acknowledgements at the end written as though this book was a direct delivery from the folks at TheShop to a resident of QualityLand.
This one was quirky and unique and a lot of fun to read! Definitely worth giving this one a read!