Off The Grid
By Robert Kingett
What happens when a blind journalist accepts a challenge to go for a month with no Internet? No email, no Facebook, no Twitter, nothing connected to the World Wide Web? This book shows how he deals with: his job, obtaining a job, receiving information, traversing around Chicago. Will he survive without podcasts? What type of world did he leave behind and now faces.
Actually, I think is a very insightful book and plot. A man’s struggle in the modern world and what he loses…and gains.
Robert Kingett: (yes, the author), almost blind, lives in Chicago, freelance journalist, homosexual
Marcus: black, brown eyes
Crystal: blind, brown hair with gold flecks
Travis Cornell: homosexual, brown eyes, 6’
I realize the book deals with Robert but I was disappointed in a lot of the characters. They weren’t developed enough. He meets Crystal but she’s never mentioned again. Did he connect up with her after the month was over? Robert’s friends show up every now and then, but they don’t seem to have an impact, other than the scene when they were trying to hook up a landline telephone. Which scene seemed a bit unbelievable that nobody would know to plug one the jack into the phone and the other end into the wall. Unless I’m missing something, I can’t believe the setup could be that incomprehensible.
Not much, but Robert has his own voice (if you can get by imagining what he sounds like singing in the shower. Lol.) The conversations do show his frustrations when dealing with people who don’t understand that-for awhile-he doesn’t have access to the Internet.
Profanity. Titled chapters. Short book.
A couple misspelled words, a couple punctuation errors, and a capitalization error.
As mentioned, I think this has wonderful insight into today’s world and how people behave and interact. I found common ground with him when he was looking for a job and the employers wanted email resumes or online applications. If I may relate my own story: I ran into a similar situation years ago when I couldn’t access a certain college’s website to apply for a job. So I spent an hour looking for the campus employment office (which was actually off campus). When I walked in, half the lights were out and one person was manning the desk. I wanted to apply for a position. She told me the college did everything online. “Here’s my resume and I’ll fill out an application.” “No, you have to do it online.” “But I’m right here.”
I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t accept my resume. I was standing right in front of her. I walked out thinking that she really needed to find another job because her position was obsolete.
Anyway, back to Kingett’s book. What I thought interesting was that though he constantly mentioned his blindness, I felt that disability was almost secondary to his troubles having no Internet. They were inter-connected, but his problems were common enough to be relevant for anybody with no access who needs information.
Of course he did mention the vast wasteland the Internet has become but he did mention it has become vital for persons with disability to function ‘up to speed’ with everyone else.
So, for ranking. As mentioned I was a bit disappointed with the lack of other characters’ developments and I was a bit disappointed with the ending. I hope I’m not playing spoiler by saying when Robert goes back online, I found it sad that he acted like a junkie who, after being deprived of his drugs for too long, has now been shown the vault of heroin.
Okay, maybe not that bad and there was humor in some of his actions, but, in a sense, that’s what it reminded me of.