Book Review: Disco Sour by Giuseppe Porcaro

A politician addicted to dating apps embarks on an existential odyssey to save democracy from being swiped away.

In the aftermath of a continental civil-war, nation-states have collapsed, the European Union™ holds on, preventing anarchy.  Bastian Balthazar Bux is a leading member of The Federation®, the European network of civil society and local governments. Bastian has just been unexpectedly dumped through an app, the BreakupShop™ service. Heavy hearted, he just wants to drink, get on with work and forget his romantic woes. 

However, he discovers that Nathan Ziggy Zukowsky is planning to sell Plebiscitum®, a dating-style app that is meant to replace elections with a simple swipe, at the same conference he is invited to attend in Chile. Haunted by the ghosts of his recent relationship, he finds himself without his all-important Morph® phone, just a few hours before embarking on his trip to try to save democracy. 

Will he make it to his conference on the other side of the world? Will he stop Zukowsky from selling his app? And will he ever find a way to deal with his breakup?

Today I am kicking off the blog tour for Disco Sour by Giuseppe Porcaro, a dystopian-esque technological drama. In the book you follow Bastian Balthazar Bux a politician set on saving democracy from a new app designed to vote for you. Disco Sour was published via Unbound, a service not unlike Kickstarter, there is a list of the backers this novel received at the end of the book. Read till the end of my review for giveaway details!

disco sour

The Basics

Genre: Dystopian adventure
Length: 148 pages
Published Date: 24th May 2018 (Unbound Digital)
Available formats: Paperback and Kindle
Amazon Buylink

giuseppe porcaro
As a political geographer, Giuseppe has always been interested in how the intersection between technology and politics is moving towards uncharted territories in the future. He has recently published a series of scientific articles about how the internet of things and algorithms will change policymaking. DISCO SOUR is his first experiment with fiction. it has been inspired by a mission to Chile he had in 2013. Back then, he was Secretary General of the European Youth Forum, the platform of youth organisations advocating for youth rights. And on his way to Santiago, he missed three connecting flights across two continents within the span of 72 hours.
Giuseppe works now as the head of communications for Bruegel, an international think tank specialised in economic policy. During the rest of the time, he DJs, reads, dreams, writes.

 

My Thoughts

There is only one word that comes to mind as I write this review. Bizarre. Disco Sour is a book like no other I have seen, it has dysopian-like technology and social rules, and unreliable narrator and oddly placed flashbacks. But I love it, it is so refreshingly different from the style of books currently available. This isn’t a book that you can simply read through in a day, despite the short length. I could easily read 148 pages before I even finish work, but the content of this book makes you stop and think quite a few times.
While it is set on a not too distant future earth the actual rules of the world have been greatly changed. Country lines have moved, names have changed and politics have evolved future than you would think possible. You don’t stay in one place for very long as Bastian tries to find his way across the world from Greece to Chile via several other countries. The descriptions of these places are told through Bastian’s perception so as you go further and further into the book they become less reliable as the character becomes more sleep-deprived, leading up to one of the oddest scenes in one of the last airports he is in where he has a full blown hallucination.
The technology shown in the book is far more advanced than our own, and it is everywhere, easily available by everyone and is closely connected to the political situation. Several years before the book is set global politics went through a major upheaval and is still trying to find its feet when we are introduced to it. While the technology is futuristic I think it took a step back at one point, where Bastian has lost his phone yet has a separate device for listening to music. That is fairly uncommon nowadays, almost everyone has their music on their phones so it struck me as odd that in a more advanced society they would go back to having separate devices.
Culturally the world is quite different from our own. Religion seems to have adapted worldwide, the most common religion seems to be that of a Goddess who promotes equality, morality and karma. To the extent that it is considered right to be open sexually otherwise you are disrespecting the Goddess. I think it is brilliant to have a novel where open sexuality is clearly present but for it not to be the focus of the book, to show it simply as the norm without making a big whoha about it. The novel starts with Bastian getting dumped by his boyfriend via an app, we later see flashbacks between Bastian and his ex-girlfriend Janine and at the end of the book we see Bastian searching for a hook-up with another guy. There is no evidence of people being unhappy with the open sexuality so it would seem that is it globally accepted, it’s a vision of what a lot of LGBTQIA+ people would love to see our world become. It’s like people realised that there are more important things to worry about than what people do in their own time.
Overall I think Disco Sour is a realistic dystopian that calls a little too close to home a few too many times. But some aspects of it are welcome in my opinion. It is an entertaining read that will take you longer than you would expect for its size.

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So if this novel sounds interesting click on this link to be taken to a form to enter my giveaway to receive a copy. This giveaway is open until the 18th July and the winner will be announced within a week of the closing date.

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