3.1 (924 ratings by Goodreads)
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An electrifying novel of blood ties, online identities, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.

At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She falls in love with Manhattan, and becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own.

As Alice closes in on Mizuko, her 'internet twin', realities multiply and fact and fiction begin to blur. The relationship between the two women exposes a tangle of lies and sexual encounters. Three families collide as Alice learns that the swiftest answer to an ancient question - where do we come from? - can now be found online.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 40mm | 569g
  • One
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0992918294
  • 9780992918293
  • 473,309

Review quote

A smart story of obsession and technology... exquisite... an astute, quirky, slow-burning satire on emerging codes of behaviour, intergenerational differences, globalisation, the tech industry and the vortex of the dark web Guardian A stalker's story shows how the web has shaped a generation... This impressive novel is alive with clever ideas The Times Engrossing... an intelligent and absorbing literary thriller that promises much for the future Financial Times The best fictional account I've read of the way the internet has shaped our inner lives. A literary thriller that confirms the arrival of a major new talent -- Alex Preston Observer, Fiction to Look out for in 2017 Inventive and highly charged... good at evoking the tensions in a world where we can't switch off... a compelling mystery tale Daily Telegraph A shrewd examination of how love stories are transformed by the distorting filter of the internet... super-smart... intriguing Daily Mail Filled with explosive intelligence and dark humour, Sympathy is both beautiful and raw, and captures the essence of personal responsibility in the digital age Elle, Author to Watch 2017 Seductive, deeply compelling... poetic and unsettling... one of the most accomplished debuts I've read this year -- Elizabeth Morris of Waterstones Gower Street Emerald Street The 28-year-old British author has written the book of the summer... Reads like The Talented Mr Ripley for the 21st century VICE UK If last summer's must-read debut was Emma Cline's The Girls, this year its undoubtedly Olivia Sudjic's remarkable Sympathy Vogue UK The addictive new book about Instagram that everyone is reading Evening Standard A gripping odyssey into one woman's online-addled inner life Independent This is a disturbing and brilliant novel Emerald Street Sympathy tracks a young woman's obsession with another, a fixation that is exacerbated by social media Esquire, Best Summer Books of 2017 Smart, funny and provoking, this warped love story is every bit as addictive as your ex's Instagram account Refinery29 Shot through with dark humour and prose that burns like a laptop overheating on your thighs, Sympathy captures the exquisite agony of life online AnOther Magazine Sympathy is a haunting exploration of our digital lives, and as dizzyingly addictive as scrolling through your ex's Facebook pictures Diva A brilliantly claustrophobic read Psychologies Phenomenal Radio Gorgeous A novel examining the interaction of technology and self The Lady, Must-reads for 2017 A tale of obsession and doubling in the digital age -- Lucy Scholes Bookanista, Spring 2017 Highlights Sympathy will double-click your heart Vanity Fair In the digital age, the lives of glamorous others have never felt more tantalizingly near, or so finds the lonely antiheroine of Olivia Sudjic's Sympathy Vogue Olivia Sudjic's exceptional debut... As with all the book's best moments, the arresting image and the gawky tone are inextricable from its pervasive melancholy Literary Review A memorable debut. Sudjic's acute observations and sharp wit engage readers from the off, but the real revelation here is how Sympathy deepens and darkens as it goes into something altogether rawer, wiser and more challenging Peter Ho Davies, author of 'The Fortunes' A powerful and original novel Diana Athill In this unbelievably accomplished first novel, Olivia Sudjic creates a narrator whose compelling voice is timeless, even as her obsessions and the tools she uses to satisfy them are up-to-the-minute modern. At once a riveting mystery and a literary tour de force, Sympathy had me spellbound from the first page to the last Emily Gould, author of 'Friendship' Olivia Sudjic elegantly explores the warped world of intimacies formed online - and how quickly those intimacies derail. Global in scope, as subtle as it is suspenseful, Sympathy is an extraordinary debut Idra Novey, author of 'Ways to Disappear' Getting to know someone has always been a thorny affair. With the addition of personal devices the line between bonding and surveillance has become freakishly blurred. Sympathy is a mind-bending novel that skillfully depicts the bizarre interplay of technology and intimacy with a story that is compassionate, funny, and incredibly alarming Claire-Louise Bennett, author of 'Pond' An impressive debut. Complex, crisp and highly topical Vesna Goldsworthy, author of 'Gorsky' and 'Chernobyl Strawberries' Olivia Sudjic has written a masterful, mysterious, mindfuck. A dark, nuanced, fantastical and thrilling debut novel, posing questions of reality vs. fiction and exploring the ways that infatuation causes us to lose ourselves Chloe Caldwell, author of 'Women' and 'I'll Tell You in Person' Sympathy is an impressive debut: complex, bold, intelligent, unafraid to tackle big ideas The Writes of Woman (blog) Sympathy is honest and raw. It made me think even more about how the lines between our real lives and online lives can blur Yasmin Oureshi (blog) Clever, riddled with a network of allusions similar to that of Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics... Olivia Sudjic's smart debut novel is an uncomfortably contemporary tale of unrequited love in the internet age The New York Times Book Review The reason to read this novel, aside from the au courant topic, is the luscious, absorbing writing Library Journal The first great Instagram novel... exceptionally unnerving... a remarkable debut New Republic Fresh, topical, switched-on... This is a potent first novel from a formidable talent Minneapolis Star Tribune
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About Olivia Sudjic

Olivia Sudjic was born in London in 1988. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University where she was awarded the E.G. Harwood English Prize and made a Bateman Scholar. She started writing her first novel, Sympathy, in 2014.
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Rating details

924 ratings
3.1 out of 5 stars
5 11% (99)
4 26% (237)
3 35% (325)
2 20% (181)
1 9% (82)
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