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Publisher's Summary

Finalist for the 2021 Booker Prize

Finalist for the Women’s Prize 

Finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

“A book that reads like a prose poem, at once sublime, profane, intimate, philosophical, witty and, eventually, deeply moving.” (New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice)

“Wow. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much reading a book. What an inventive and startling writer.... I’m so glad I read this. I really think this book is remarkable.” (David Sedaris)

From "a formidably gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review), a book that asks: Is there life after the internet?

As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms "the portal," where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats - from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness - begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal's void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. "Are we in hell?" the people of the portal ask themselves. "Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?"

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: "Something has gone wrong," and "How soon can you get here?" As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.

Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.

©2021 Patricia Lockwood (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

Named a “Most Anticipated Book of 2021” by Harper's Bazaar, Vulture, O, the Oprah Magazine, Parade, Refinery29, Good Housekeeping, The Guardian, Wired, USA Today, Buzzfeed, Esquire, AV Club, and more! 

“One of the most incisive observers of the spectacle of digital discourse.... Lockwood is a sharp and often funny social critic. She writes wisely of the emotionally labile landscape of the internet...many of her images are evocative and often beautiful.... More inventive than lapidary, Ms. Lockwood’s style is artful without being precious.... What begins as an ironical story about irony becomes an intimate and moving portrait of love and grief. In this way, a novel that had been toying with the digital surface of modern life finds the tender heart pumping away beneath it all.” (Emily Bobrow, The Wall Street Journal)

“[An] attention-grabbing mind-blower which toggles between irony and sincerity, sweetness and blight...surprisingly beautiful.... Lockwood is a master of sweeping, eminently quotable proclamations that fearlessly aim to encapsulate whole movements and eras.... It's a testament to her skills as a rare writer who can navigate both sleaze and cheese, jokey tweets and surprising earnestness, that we not only buy her character's emotional epiphany but are moved by it. Of course, people will be talking about this meaty book, and about the questions Lockwood raises about what a human being is, what a brain is, and most important, what really matters.” (NPR)

“Lockwood is sending a bulletin from the future.... [She] has set out to portray not merely a mind through language, as Joyce did, but what she calls ‘the mind’, the molting collective consciousness that has melded with her protagonist’s singular one.... Lockwood gets it right, mimicking the medium while shrewdly parodying its ethos.... God, is she funny!... Lockwood’s conceit is smart, her prose original, hugely entertaining and witty...a powerful, paradoxical observation about what digital platforms take from us.... Lockwood’s own writing takes on new depth and a more focussed, richer beauty as her protagonist gets farther from the portal and deeper into the tangible present.... Lockwood’s writing grows radiant...it is a story, simply, about love, selfless and delighted.” (Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker)

What listeners say about No One Is Talking About This

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The most original and profound book I have read in many years

This books defies genre as it twists and turns from surrealist poetry to the autobiographical. It is a portrait of the absurd world that we have made through social media and also the profundity of love and loss that is timeless.
The narrator Kristen Sieh is also one of the best readers I’ve ever listened to. She shifts tone of voice and character’s inflections in a way that is relatable and not cheesy. When she speaks I feel that I have heard people saying things exactly like this. She also brings the comedic rhythm of the book to life.

6 people found this helpful

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Funny, moving, glad to have read it

I read several reviews that said this book didn’t have a plot and one that said it did. The positive reviewer said something like they were glad to have read it. I am also glad and still crying.

Part one required my attention. I had to sit and listen, which makes me think that part may have been easier to follow with a hard copy book. I had to stop part 2 several times because I was crying (and not quietly).

I’m thankful to the writer and the voice actress for gifting such preciousness to us. Worth it. Worth it. Worth it.

5 people found this helpful

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No story

A writer this talented should be able to sustain a bit of a storyline or at least be able to ground more of her clever, clever riffs in time and place. It's so thin. This author might really be more of a standup comedian than a novelist. I found it utterly exhausting to listen to, despite impressive perceptions, and despite a lively and appropriately distinctive reader/actress. I love irony, but most of this goes beyond irony and is relentlessly cynical. Perhaps the material is harder to bear in a pandemic and in a fraught political climate.

5 people found this helpful

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Captivating

Some reviews I read stated that this story had no plot. I assure you, it does, and I am grateful to have experienced this journey.

4 people found this helpful

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Not for me

The author makes a strong point on how we live through social media these days by contrasting a family tragedy with the superficial comments online, but I really struggled through this book.

3 people found this helpful

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She rules

Thank god for Patricia Lockwood, our beating heart in the portal. She is pure love and genius

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and profound

A poetic and dreamy exploration of love, grief, human strength and adaptability in the age of online immediate gratification and judgement. It is incredibly ironic while sharply realistic and honest. I did not know what to expect but I found it to be a haunting, joyful and eye opening surprise.

3 people found this helpful

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PORTAL TO THE WORLD

In “No One is Talking About This”, Patricia Lockwood shows mind is life’s portal to the world. Every human being perceives the world though their mind. Her book offers three hours of introduction to a mind’s amorphous perception of the world with one hour of clarity. Lockwood writes three hours of “stream of consciousness” to introduce one hour of personal belief in the sanctity of human life.

My quibble with her story is the introduction. The introduction is too long. Her point is well made but "stream of consciousness" is a mind numbing way of introducing the real substance of her story.

2 people found this helpful

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Rediculous regurgitation of nonsense.

Three hours into a four hour book, and all I can say is absolutely Ridiculous.

2 people found this helpful

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I tried to like this

There just wasn't enough of a story here to keep me engaged. I'm sure from a literary standpoint this is a new genre, but no hook to bring me in and move me forward.

2 people found this helpful