Friday, December 1, 2017

Startup - a "millennial" novel?

Startup by Doree Shafrir is a funny, light read that makes one feel old. Oh, to be thirty again--even though characters in their thirties in this novel wish to be in their twenties.


The title cues one's expectations though there are some who might quibble over the choice of New York for the location of this story. The companies and groups named include TakeOff, TechScene, StrollUp, and Startup Bootcamp. The characters talk about seed funding, unicorns, valuations, and "faking it till you make it."

The workday begins with "Morning Rave" which reminded me of the company calisthenics that Japan, Inc. introduced. The characters consume coconut water, use meditation apps, never hail a cab or ride on the bus. This is the age of Uber. Of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat - better, you know, for sexting than Twitter.

Into this millennial world, some rain must fall. Nannies get sick and even Engagement Ninjas have to deal with toddler demands when the husband is uncooperative. And how does the wife cope with her obsessive shopping habits? Supplemental income - selling her underwear, it seems. Then there is that sexual harassment thing. The consequences of such for this story are weightier than fake news and fake identities.

Without a doubt, this is not the world of Jane Austen or John Cheever. It does not pretend to be. For a while, I was pleasantly transported into a world that, alas, I shall never experience. 

But that is why we read, isn't it?


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